Saturday, August 16, 2014

As I begin my tenth year of blogging liberally and locally and snarkily...

Not sure why, but old friends are finding me via my blog. Maybe my analytics are peaking after nine years on Blogger. My first couple years in the blogosphere were spent trying to figure out what to write about 3-4 times per week. I called it "hummingbirdminds" after a quote in Wired magazine from hypertext pioneer Ted Nelson. Nelson was asked about his severe case of Attention Deficit  Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He said that people with ADHD have "hummingbird minds." That seemed to fit. My wife and I raised a son with ADHD and we got to see a hummingbird mind up close and personal. His attention could flit to more places in five minutes than mine did in a day.

At first, I thought I would blog about ADHD. I was working on a book based on our experiences with our son. I figured that I would put excerpts up on the blog, editors and publishers would discover me, and soon I would be dreaming of ways to spend my five-figure book advance. That didn't happen, mainly because  my own short attention span wandered off-topic and I began writing about writing, politics, life in Wyoming and other fascinating topics. Much to my chagrin, I was not a one-topic blogger like some of my more successful friends on the blogosphere. A romance novelist. A knitter. A diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan. A high-altitude gardener. All were making hay online, especially the gardener. Their blogs engendered readers and comments and numbers. My posts earned a smattering of visits and an occasional comment. 

Leading up to the 2008 elections, I began focusing on politics. As my blog's subhead says: "Blogging Liberally and Locally in Wyoming." The "blogging liberally" term I borrowed from Drinking Liberally, a great idea and a great site. "Locally," of course, I got from the local movement that has been sweeping the country and making a big difference in our politics and in business. I try to act locally and shop locally. 

My political blogging earned me a trip to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, a scholarship to Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis and a mention as Wyoming's top state liberal blog by Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog. Good experiences. Good times. 

What's next? More politics. More wise-ass comments. I plan to self-publish another book of short stories by the end of the year -- beware of marketing posts about my book as self-publishing means self-promotion and lots of it. When I first began to blog, I heard that shameless self-promotion on your blog was gauche. It just wasn't done. Then along came social media and self-promotion became the rule rather than the exception. It's as American as apple pie. So I will post snippets of my work and even stage a book giveaway or two. 

But I won't totally leave off of politics. I'd be afraid that my old conservative friends wouldn't find me online. There is nothing like old friends....


RobertP said...


This is the first site I go to when I fire up the laptop each night, so hope you continue to blog for a long time. And reading about the craziness in Wyoming politics almost makes Missouri palatable.

Let me know when the book comes out.


Michael Shay said...

I won't be able to help myself, Bob, as writing about Wyoming's crazy politics is addictive. It's just that I have another book that is crying out to be published and another one after that and I need to find some creative ways to do that. The publishing game almost as wacky as politics.