Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time to take a little break ...

Well, three-plus days with no Internet or cable television last week really gets a man to thinking. But, to be honest, I was already thinking ...

As I approach the beginning of my seventh year producing Politizine [First post: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002], it has become clear that I really need to think a bit more about what I'm doing on this site. Some questions? What its purpose is, whether or not it is time to step away from it for a while, what is the point?
Every year or so, I start to contemplate such things. Politizine has always been an outlet for me ... an opportunity to speak my mind. But, during the last seven years, admittedly, I've just become another blogger, writing about whatever.
To be completely blunt, at this point in my life, I'm too connected. Things are too stressful and too fast. I'm connected at work, connected in the car, connected at home, and, in many ways, it's a lot of fun. But, if there is one thing I learned this weekend, it's that there can be too much of a good thing now and then.
At the same time as we are all connected, too connected, we're not thinking about things. We're not taking the time to analyze. The entire nation, world, online community, is motivated by nothing more than speed. "Super, fast speed," as Mickey tells Rocky in the chicken coop as Rocky realizes how humiliating it is going to be to try and run around and catch a chicken.
Chasing a chicken ... that's an analogy.

As well, there are other things I want to work on. I've been hashing around a few different book projects now for quite a while and I never seem to manage to get to them. A couple of months ago, I was approached by a political historian about writing a book about the New Hampshire primary, something that sent exciting thought flares through my head only to later realize, When will I find the time to do that? Or, I should say, my wife said that when I pitched the idea to her. In some ways, she's right. But, I really want to do this book.

Then there is OurConcord.com, the online/print hybrid newspaper which some folks seem to really like and is a blast to put together. It is local at a time when there needs to be more and more local and less and less know-it-all wanking on about politics - even if some folks, like me, offer something that really isn't out there. Over the last few weeks, traffic at the OurConcord site has really picked up. It's almost equal to Politizine, mostly due to this column I wrote about the disasterous local elementary school consolidation plan.
On Saturday, I attended a party and more than a few people approached me about OurConcord and told me how great it was. One person asked when I was going to take out our daily newspaper [I answered, "When I win the lottery!"]. Another person asked what could be done to get more editions out and how difficult it was to get advertising. Another person asked if I would run for council or board of eduction next year, since some people are sensing that OurConcord could become a platform for a political campaign. The wife cringed at that one. "Probably not," I answered. "Too much to do, family stuff, too many people to upset with reality checks on OurConcord.com ..." that got a laugh.

If there is one thing I learned after this last presidential election it is that there are too many blogs and pontificators and not enough serious deep thinkers. In some ways, Politizine offers that. James Pindell of PolitickerNH.com, one of the hot political reporters in the state, commended the blog at a forum last year for being a blog steeped deep in policy. It was a HUGE compliment. Others have noticed it too and it regularly gets pretty good votes on the N.H. BlogNet site.
But what good is it if only 50 to 100 folks are interested in it? All the time I put into it could probably be better spent on something else that might actually be more fulfilling. If I publish a book, I might earn a bit more than this blog does ... not a lot more, just a bit more. That's an incentive too, right?
When do you decide, as an individual, when you are destin for slightly greater things in life? Jeez, I don't know. I guess when you decide you don't want to do something anymore. Well, it might be time to decide that ... or at least to think about it. And that's what I'm going to do.

Politizine is going to be on vacation until after the holiday sometime, barring, of course, a nuclear war going off or something else. Feel free to post questions, comments, or anything else here. Consider it an open forum. Will anyone really miss what I'm doing? Is it time to think of bigger and better things? I'll tackle that sometime after Politizine's seventh birthday.

1 comment:

Jon Keller, WBZ-TV said...

Tony....no, don't go! Your blog is one of the most consistently reliable sources of thought-provoking, independent-minded commentary on the web. This has great value in a blogosphere that is a sea of ideological boilerplate spewed by get-a-lifers.