July 20, 2012

Same as it ever was

Well, that didn't take long.

Almost two years ago to the month, I shuttered this here politics/pop culture blogging experiment, launched when I split with The Boston Globe, to go pro: specifically, taking a job with Politico, the internet-based equivalent of ESPN for DC insiders, a fast-paced web site chockablock with blogs and interesting political morsels.

Politico seemed a safe haven: I'd get a nice paying gig at a place where I could hone my political writing skills at a fast-paced, seat-of-the-pants, churn-and-burn outfit that matched what I wanted to do on my own with the blog, and get experience at a dot-com shop on my resume.  In exchange, a place somewhat notorious for its lack of diversity would get to showcase the fact that an experienced, quality journalist from a well-established newspaper chose to join their ranks.

What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, it turns out. 

Wow: didn't see that one coming. 

The upshot: now, as in 2010, I'm at loose ends, a termination agreement having ended my 24-month career at Politico.

More similarities: my departures from Politico and the Globe both centered on a pragmatic decision to leave corporate journalism as well as a burning desire to express myself on political views of the day.  This time around, however, I have a much higher profile, as well as actual experience having my views known on TV as well as Twitter and other areas of the Internet. And I have more connections, real-life models and concepts that I didn't have in 2010, ways to make my views matter.

In other words, things are exactly the same, only completely different.

There are a lot of things to try and cover in my blog, and I really want to get them all.  Just this morning, going about my daily rounds, I had a collision of thoughts that would make good blog posts and keep true to the vision of writing about politics, popular culture and race: the political implications of the Colorado movie theater shooting, Romney's Bain pain; what the Penn State scandal says about intercollegiate athletics; what my own departure from Politico says about the lack of real diversity in Washington's elite political press corps.

But hanging out my electronic shingle again after a two-year absence -- and the fact that I didn't have a lot of readers to begin with during my first blogging go-round -- reminds me of a message that pops up on the internet music site Pandora when, after playing for awhile, it detects no activity from its subscribers and pauses: "Are you still listening? We try not to play to an empty room."

Well put, computer music algorithm. 

The last few months have shown me that a handful of people out there in the web hinterlands do pay attention to what I say and report.  If you guys are still out there, and you're interested in reading JoeWilliamsDC, let me hear about it.  Give me feedback -- likes, dislikes, "what-the-hell-were-you-thinking"s.  Toss some ideas and tips my way, let me know what you think.  I'd like this part of the experiment to become more of a two-way street.

At the same time, I'm interested in experimenting a bit with the style, the format and the appearance of JWDC. I want music to play a role here, too: I love it and there are tons of songs that pop to mind when I want to make a point.  Perhaps even a name-change is in order, the better to distinguish the old from the new, rebranding things for yet another phase in my career. Suggestions and feedback -- as well as pointers from some bloggers you read that I haven't yet discovered -- are always welcome.

So, dear readers: what do you say? Is there anybody out there?  *THUMP_THUMP* Is this thing on?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...