I started this blog under pressure from my friends in L.A. I’ve never been one for peer pressure, even made it through the go-go 80’s without ever trying cocaine – and I was a nightclub D.J. in Georgetown D.C. for 4 of those years.
I’d done a blog once before. After Katrina, while organizing a truckload of goods to bring South, Richard Dreyfuss said he would donate the money for the truck but only if I wrote a blog about it all. So I did. There was very little I wouldn’t have done to get money for that truck – we had a storeroom full of goods and only one day to find money for the discounted truck (thanks Avon Trucks) and gas (generously donated by actor, Harry Lennix).
Blogging was still relatively new and I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I did my best, alerted my friends and wrote until I felt it had run its course. I have to admit now that part of how I decided it had run its course had to do with how little feedback I got, how disconnected I felt from any readership.
Over the course of the last few months, my relationship with blogging has changed quite a bit and I’ll go ahead and admit that a lot of that has to do with how supportive people have been. The comments have been overwhelmingly gratifying – not just those you all can read, but the comments people call to tell me, email to me or let me know over lunch. Yes, if you have my number, odds are that means you are my friends and are therefore biased, but it means a lot to me. My friends wanting to read the blog is how this all started. And I’m grateful that so many of you have.
Today, my blog passed the 3000 mark for hits. Peanuts in a world of viral video and bloggers on the covers of magazines, but pretty darn encouraging to me. So, thank you for that.
During Mardi Gras, when I went to 27 parades and only had friends with me 4 or 5 times, knowing I would be blogging later filled my alone-time with a mission. It made me pay close attention so I could try to put you on that curb next to me, surrounded by children and Maw Maws and everyone in between, yelling out Who Dats and reaching for strands of beads. And somehow, in doing that, you were there and I was less alone.
As the months have passed, I realize that I’m no longer writing just for my friends. I looked at blogs before moving here. Heck, I selected my new home on the web. Now, I write the blog I wanted to read when I was making this move as well as a blog a tourist could read if they wanted to mix in a more local experience. This, I admit, is partly to get my friends to come visit.
I think the nirvana moment for me really began when I realized I could do my own YouTube videos and include them as a new method of storytelling. As I’ve made new friends, I also write to express my love for their home and let them see the familiar through fresh eyes. And as the blog has spread past just people I know, I write to provide history, context and a collection of links to sites that might be of interest.
Earlier this month, I got a comment on the Who Datitude (Mardi Gras 2010 wrap-up) posting. Though I’d love to ignore it, it came from the aforementioned Richard Dreyfuss and should, therefore, for numerous reasons, be taken seriously. He’s not in love with the videos, but I am. They make me happy, though they take hours and hours to create. More to the point, he suggested that I’m not revealing enough about why I left L.A. True.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think it reflects well on me to judge too harshly a place I chose for nearly 20 years. That said, there may be some value to revealing more about it all. Maybe it can serve as a cautionary tale for young people, maybe it would be comedy to hear what it cost me to stay that long in the same way that watching a cartoon get hit with a frying pan is funny, maybe (and most frighteningly) it would give me a place to exorcize some of the demons and reveal more of myself on this world wide web.
I’m still thinking about it, still discovering this blog as I write it. I really debated talking about blogging on the blog. It smacks of the snake eating its own tail or Narcissus getting caught in his own gaze. But this blog has become more and more important to me and I’m enjoying reaching people so I’m becoming more interested in what it has become for other people. And this all started because of people who know me so it does occur to me that it was never meant to be a travelogue any more than I intend to let you read my diary. I keep thinking it’s like hanging out after a trip and showing you pictures and videos of all the cool stuff I saw, but maybe there’s an opportunity for more that I’m overlooking or unwilling to get into.
Thank you all again for reading, especially the subscribers who guarantee me the feeling that I’m not writing for an audience of one. I’m glad so many of you are enjoying the blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Keep coming back and if you dig it, send it to a friend.
Laissez les bons temps rouler.
Oh, and if you click Richard’s name on his comment, it takes you to a website for The Dreyfuss Initiative, a non-profit designed to educate today’s youth in civics to help build future leaders.