This will be crossposted to my Substack page, where you will now find all my new content.
Back in 2016, when I left the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee in the middle of my term, I said I was leaving at the time of my choosing.
After getting to post number 5,302, this is the time I choose to leave monoblogue behind.
That’s not easy since there aren’t many things I have done for seventeen years straight, but this enterprise got to a point where the passion wasn’t there as much, the website needed constant updating, and it wasn’t worth the cost anymore. (My last renewal was something like $72 to have this server access for a year.) All that for a daily readership that had dwindled down to fingers and (maybe, on a good day) toes. I realize I have sort of a niche market, but these numbers were downright depressing and I saw it was time for a change.
But there are seventeen years’ worth of memories associated with this site. To get a little autobiographical, when this started I had been on Delmarva barely a year, so I really didn’t know anybody outside of my workplace. As an introduction to some of the movers and shakers of the area, monoblogue worked like a charm.
Because I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself, I wrote about a lot of things that interested me: not just the political but baseball and live, local music had their place here, too. My website also functioned as a way to sharpen and promote my interests. In thinking back, there were a lot of things I wrote about back then that I probably couldn’t have gotten away with a few years later once I got my political reputation: for example, I closely followed my Detroit Tigers’ successful quest to the 2006 playoffs and eventually the American League pennant. Once you understand my affinity for the underdog, though, it makes more sense as a great rags-to-riches story. (I lived through 43-119 just three short years before.) There was also my time as a journalist, when I knocked myself out to be at political news events like forums and appearances to give them the coverage the mainstream media couldn’t or wouldn’t. Luckily, that era ended once I met someone I loved spending time with more than the effort to be the ace reporter.
When I started, the blog was approaching its peak as a means of expression: those who have been around since the aughts might remember BlogNetNews and the arguments we had about whether a website deserved to be number one for Delmarva. I went months and months being in their top 20, and it was fun. I have pretty much outlasted all of those competitors except Salisbury News, and if it makes whoever is the news aggregator running that place now (is Joe Albero even around anymore?) feel better he can have the pride of knowing he survived all of us.
But a year or two after I got started, things began to change. People began to migrate to what was known as “microblogging” on Twitter, limiting their thoughts to 140 characters at a time. (That definitely wasn’t for “wordy and verbose” me.) A couple years later Facebook came along and basically supplanted any need for most average, non-junkie folks to have a website when they could wax poetic to all their friends and acquaintances for free. Granted, I have used Facebook for several years to help promote what I write but the one thing I have noticed over the years is that a significant portion of my social media friend requests come from people running for office somewhere in Maryland. I suppose my reputation still precedes me.
So what’s the plan for monoblogue now? After today, there will be no new posts here but the site will remain up for awhile because a month or so ago I paid for another year of WordPress and the domain name. Until then, it will remain in a somewhat stripped-down version because I may get rid of the sidebars rather than keep them current.
However, back in October I spent a Sunday watching my content be migrated over to my Substack. Over the last few days I’ve been working on the Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame page that I migrated over and found editing it is easy, so it follows that any of my monoblogue posts should work well, too. That legacy was my biggest concern and it’s now been addressed. My links to monoblogue can now go to my Substack archive.
When I began this enterprise seventeen years ago, I wasn’t sure what I really wanted out of it. I had a good-paying job, so it wasn’t really about money – although if the site had become monetized to a certain degree I wouldn’t have turned my back on making it full-time work – and it wasn’t necessarily for fame, although as I said it did serve well as my introduction to a lot of great people. I just liked to write and share my opinion, and I felt constrained by my previous home on Blogspot. Over the life of this website I have probably spent roughly $1,000 on server fees, but thanks to the occasional tip jar rattle and the compensation from my record review posts, it ended up being a net profit at (maybe) about a quarter-penny an hour. (I got exposed to a lot of good music thanks to that long-running series of posts, though, so there was that.)
As I look back here at the end, the main thing I strove for was to write content that allowed me to sleep at night because I didn’t regret anything I said, and I accomplished that. There may have been some wrong turns and misdirections along the way in business and editorial decisions I made, but the pixels that made it to screen were always from my heart and what I thought was best at the time. I’m leaving this stage of my writing career with no regrets, but looking forward to continuing my next chapter on my two Substack pages, the eponymous one and The Knothole, which is my baseball history page and new home of my Shorebird of the Week Tracker and Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame – legacy projects from monoblogue that will continue to live on.
Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, my writing career will live on too. It just won’t be here anymore. As I close this chapter, I just have one thing to say: thanks for being here for seventeen wonderful years!