Friday, May 30, 2008

What Happened to Scott McClellan? Career Suicide, That's What; and Blog Takes a Turn (Friday Roundup)

London Bridge is falling down, falling down ... OK, so it's not actually LONDON Bridge you hear crashing into the water below. It's a lot of figurative bridges going poof! Up in smoke. Pieces breaking into the deep waters, littering the roadways. These are the bridges that Scott McClellan is burning all over the world. He has officially made himself the Least Likely Person to Get a Real Job Ever Again, a pretty big shift from Golden Boy With the Dream Job.
Who hasn't wanted to point out a former employer's faults and poor decisions? Who hasn't wanted to tell an ex-boss to "kiss off"? But when your former boss is the leader of the Free World and you write and publish an attack on his administration and that book is distributed worldwide (during an election year, no less, when awareness and interest are heightened), you had probably better get used to the idea that your standard greeting is no longer "Hi, I'm Scott McClellan, former press secretary to George W. Bush," but "Good afternoon. Would you like fries with that?"

This blog is taking a sharp turn (and let's hope we don't get lost) ... We've gone from 0-100 in no time flat. Just five months and (almost) 100 posts later, and it is time for a little reinvention. Confession: I am a very lazy blogger. I don't do as bloggers do. The most successful bloggers (and "successful" is a very relative term, we all agree) spend a lot of of time leaving comments on other blogs, hosting contests and give-aways and navigating the political course that is Blogging. Their blogs are not always--but sometimes--a showcase of writing talent, but are meant to be a very fun form of communication and networking. It's a constant exchange of give-and-take, with a heavy, heavy emphasis on the give. Done correctly, they garner hundreds of comments, which serve as their feedback, their emotional paycheck. And then there are bloggers like myself. I average between 80 and 100 visitors each day and am lucky to get seven or eight comments. Here's one theory recently proposed to me: "Your posts aren't posts. They're complete stories. There's no INVITATION for feedback or comments."
"Is that bad?"
"No, not if you don't care about feedback."
"But I don't want to pass NOTES, for Pete's sake, I just like the writing part of it."
And that led me to the revelation that, hey, I somewhat care what people think, to the extent that I like to entertain them, but am I willing to provide a play-by-play of my day, of my brilliant kids and their kid-like lives, of my very mundane family life? Am I willing to copy and paste song lyrics and provide links to youtube? In a word, am I willing to sell out just to keep a blog alive?
The answer didn't come easily, but ultimately, I sputtered out "no."
If I were to be completely honest (and I am always completely honest), I'd rather just write. Editing and writing are all I've ever been paid to do, other than that unfortunate stint at Krystal in high school, which would make a nice blog post, by the way. I like to write blog posts, throw them out there like chunks of bait. If I get a bite, fine; if not, I'm content just sitting here in this boat with my rod and reel.
However, unless you're Dooce or some similar blogger, blogs don't pay the bills. For me, I am free to do with this space whatever I want because no one is paying me to do otherwise with it.
So, here's the deal: In order to prevent this blog from becoming Just Another Blog, I'm going to steer it in the direction of becoming something else. Perhaps less of a blog, more of a regularly updated website. I'm shutting it down, temporarily, and will reboot with a new product in a new format. If you are in my address book, you'll be among the first to know when it is born. If you are not in my address book and would like to be updated, you can find my e-mail address in my profile. Please sign it as if it were a guest book.
In the words of Brian Doyle Murray:"We like to send out a mailer." (Spit.)

For now, it's the weekend. Go do as Sheryl Crow would have you do and soak up the sun ...