State of the Blog Address
*door to the McKinney Diner opens, causing the little bell above it to ring*
*herald says, “Ladies and gentlemen, the proprietor of The McKinney Diner!”*
*friend pushes the play button on the iPod, which is connected to travel speakers, and Moby’s song “Go” plays as I shake hands with several patrons, dap a few others, and point and wink at those I can’t reach*
*music fades as I get behind the register and begin*
“Fellow bloggers, frequent commenters and faithful lurkers,
Please let me begin by saying how thankful I am for your consistent patronage ever since that first blog on Monday, June 23, 2003. The Diner opened up that day with 11 hits, and I think I was 5 of them (*polite laughter from the patrons*).
But since that time, we’re getting about 150 hits a day from different people, and some of you are stopping in 3 or 4 times a day to get that feeling of “where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came” (*puzzled looks from the patrons*)–that sense of electronic community that can help you pass the time at work or school or whatever, and for that, I’m very thankful. The Diner’s #1 goal has always been to keep folks connected…largely to me, but also to each other. I think that’s a pretty good goal, “il tango el situacion por mi familia” (*patrons who’ve watched “Bottle Rocket” chuckle, everyone else is still puzzled*).
We’ve overcome a lot, too. What with Blogger actually developing their own commenting feature as well as the ability to post photos…but we stuck with haloscan, warts and all, for the ease of it. We did ditch “Hello”…but we never got sucked into those Xanga or MySpace fads…let’s be honest: They’re all sizzle and no steak. (*first standing ovation from the patrons*)
Well, I know most of you are here today to hear what’s going to go on this year with The Diner. And first of all, I have to say that we’ve got our work cut out for us. I mean, it’s the little things that matter. There’s no question that I’ve been lax in the links on the left. It’s a lot of minutae to keep up with those that have blogged and those who haven’t. There’ve also been some realities that I’ve been listening to music I haven’t told you about, books I’ve read that never got mentioned and watched movies and shows you never heard about. There have been websites that have been worthy of hits that never got the credit they deserved, and there have been sites that never should’ve been linked. There’ve been bloggers who need to be added…
…the suburban mother of two who has hot opinions comes to mind…
…and missionaries, who, while no one questions their nobility, let’s just say that you have to discipline and correct those who don’t blog…
So, I give my promise to you that the “index” to the left will be better managed and maintained since they have since The Diner’s inception! (*2nd standing ovation given*).
And, if I can be honest here…let me say that not a day goes by that I don’t want to hang a “gone surfin'” sign on the door and simply stop blogging (*hushed whispers among the patrons*). I mean, I wrestle with it all the time. The creative energies burned, the amount of time writing down things during my day that I should just enjoy because I think, “I should blog about that.” Or, “This’ll stir up the comments tomorrow.” You other bloggers know what I’m talking about. (*some patrons nod in agreement*)
But this year I’ve already decided to use this as a forum for a few more disciplined essays. Not just smatterings of opinions or thoughts or whatever…but as a forum for me to hone my craft a bit. To work towards using this for a means to make a few extra bucks. (*murmurs through the crowd*)
*going off the prepared text*
I know what you’re thinking. The Diner’s selling out! Going corporate! Becoming The Man instead of sticking it to The Man!
Save your breath. I’m not talking about squelching ideas, here. I’m talking about becoming a more disciplined writer. One that can have ideas and thoughts considered worthy of more than self-publication. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever become that corporate tool. Look at me! I’m wearing the Birks and a Social Distortion T-shirt for crying out loud! (*third standing ovation*)
*back to the prepared text*
See, I think I want to write some essays on the nature of the Christian life in suburban America of 2006 vs. the Christian culture of the 1st century. I think I’d like to explore marriage. I’d also like to write some essays on losing my father and what it means to me now. So, with your indulgences…
…that’s the plan.
I wrestle with it all the time. What this blog should be. And I think it’s time to take it to that level. Not just comic strips and Auburn football musings and the occasional jab at American institutions like schools, churches and government…
…but don’t get me wrong, we’ll still offer those on the menu…
…it’s just that if you’re going to be a writer of influence, who better to give critiques before you ship them off to publishers than the people who’ve been on board with you every day for the last few years?
So, there’ll be no skin changes.
No fancy fonts or photo backgrounds.
Gone are the “five on the first” questions that weren’t very good anyway.
The minimalist, hoi polloi & blue collar fabric of The Diner will remain intact. We’re just going to offer a few specials to the menu here and again this year. It’s time. You know it, and I know it. (*4th standing ovation*)
Thank you for coming today, and please, keep blogging, commenting and lurking here at The Diner and other establishments. We’ll all be closer for it.”
*friend hits the iPod connected to the travel speakers again, this time playing Ted Nugent’s version of “Baby, Please Don’t Go” as I exit, shaking hands, dapping and pointing and winking*
*the bell dings as I exit The Diner*
*patrons will now sit and discuss the key points and strategies among themselves*
*rebuttal now begins in the comments section*