Friday, May 30, 2014
State of the blog
I have long seen brilliant minds behind other blogs post regular State of the Blog addresses in the past. Yet, for whatever reason, I have yet to compose one of my own in the two-plus years I've been in the blogosphere.
So, tonight, gather 'round for the inaugural State of the Blog address here on "Dime Boxes".
Where do I begin?
I've been in the blogging business for a while now, and I've loved every single minute of it. When I first started, there was absolutely no guarantee that it would become a long-term commitment of mine.
I figured I'd try my hand at it for a little while and see what it was like. I never expected to blog for more than a month or so. That month has turned into nearly two and a half years.
I'm proud to have developed a decent following of readers who enjoy what I write. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading the other spectacular blog material all of you have written as well.
Of course, some great blogs have faded away over these two-plus years. On the flip side, though, it's been awesome to see so many great ones sprout up over the same time span as well.
There's no denying that the blogosphere is a well-oiled machine.
That's one of the things that keeps me coming back to it on a daily basis.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself going back through my old posts fairly often.
It's hard not to notice the changes I've made to the blog during my time around here. Though the current state of "Dime Boxes" is good, the shifts I've made in my writing has done a great deal to maintain a good balance for this blog.
Some of my more longtime readers may remember that I used to regularly post two, three, even four times a day way back when. I'm still not sure how I wrote at such a backbreaking pace.
At times, I guess I'd force posts, feeling like I had to get something out in the open. I'd often pick a random card, perhaps a cool Negro League issue, and write a quick and often fairly incoherent post about it. I made it more about post frequency than actual fun in my early days.
It's not the same story here in 2014. I rarely, if ever, post more than once a day anymore. And the days I go without blogging has increased dramatically. I probably average five posts a week now, and I'm fine with that.
Blogging is only fun if you do it at your own pace.
I've made a conscious effort to shorten my posts around here lately.
A lot of my older writings feel like novels. Some posts I write have to be fairly lengthy. That's part of writing.
Still, reading through them now, some of my past posts were long for the sake of being long. If I posted a Marlon Byrd card, I'd tell you his life story for no apparent reason.
It's like The Stranger stopping himself at the end of The Big Lebowski.
Look at me. I'm ramblin' again.
Short and sweet is the way to go.
My theme posts dominated this blog during the early days.
It felt like everything else was basically an afterthought. The main focus was on my random "Gems of Junk Wax" or perhaps "Into the Sunset" posts featuring guys like Rod Carew or Rollie Fingers.
It's not that I don't enjoy writing theme posts now. I do. It's just that they're not the main focus of my blog these days.
I'll toss in a "Sunset" post every now and then, but I've tried to focus more on trade posts and original ideas as of late.
After all, the original purpose of this blog was to have the more dime box mentality of never quite knowing what to expect on a regular basis.
I think that's more true now than ever.
Overall, the outlook for this blog is phenomenal.
I still have the same passion to write as I did two years ago. I still crave dime boxes every bit as much as I did when I started this blog. If not more.
In fact, the blogosphere accomplished something that I didn't think was possible. It made my dime box digs even more fun than ever.
Instead of simply searching for guys I collect, all of you have taught me to expand my horizons a bit. Now, I pick up cards that simply strike my fancy, regardless of whether I collect the player or not.
On top of that, I've developed an appreciation for oddballs that I never had before I started this blog. Whether it's old '70s Kellogg's oddities or more recent ones, it's been fun to see oddballs gain more and more of a presence around here.
Plus, I still get a great kick out of finding a card that I know another blogger will enjoy. I never had that feeling before I became part of the blogosphere.
The art of paying it forward is a feeling that's hard to put into words.
I don't know where I'll be in the next two years, but it's impossible to see my future without blogging.
It's become such an important part of my life during my time in the blogosphere. While I'd like to say that I write for only myself, the support and gratitude I've received from so many people around here has encouraged me to stick with blogging for the long haul.
So, whether you've been with me since the beginning or just discovered this blog yesterday, I tip my cap to you.
Writing for all of you has allowed me to discover a passion I never knew I had in the first place.