This post is about not being one of those bloggers.
Call it burnout, call it frustration, call it a desire to regain some of the health that I've lost somewhere along the way as I've spent countless hours hunched over a keyboard writing Sifts, Coolers, and other posts that total over 11,000 in number...but I think it's time to move forward. I've expressed my frustration at how blogging has evolved from being one of the primary outlets for thought and discussion to just one of many platforms to get words out. Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook have become distractions to the blogosphere that have pulled readers and any comments they may leave away from the traditional blogs. I've watched my stats slowly taper off over the last couple years to a point where, on some weekends, I can barely justify the effort.
Yes, the blogosphere is a different place than it was when I started but there are some things that never change...like the rabid obsession that a few people have with my last name. While I may know the full names of my neighbors, I have no idea what their political views, dining choices, and/or feelings on the Miami Heat are. In a lot of ways, The Chowfather, Eye on Miami, and Bark Bark Woof Woof are more familiar and known to me, and certainly less anonymous, than my neighbors will ever be. Apparently that's something that doesn't connect with the folks who would have been only satisfied had I just simply signed my posts with the name of, oh say, Rick Spencer...or maybe Rick Catrell....or possibly Rick Carbonell. For my greatest detractors, that's apparently all I needed to do to give authority, validity, and weight to everything that I've ever written here at SFDB. Who knew it was that easy?
But despite these "challenges," as I'll call them, there's been a lot of good times. I still remember the blogger meet up at Tobacco Road some 7 or 8 years ago that was emceed by Alesh from Critical Miami and the Christmas blogger dinner a year or so later that was hosted by Gus of Miami Beach 411 at some now-defunct restaurant on South Beach. I also recall when a bunch of us turned out and participated in a charity walk in memory of Fanless' father. Those were the heady days of blogging in Miami where we all were bonded by our writing and our desire to connect to each other and the rest of South Florida. We were bloggers, pure and simple. We may have had our individual agendas but there was the unique world of blogging that brought us together.
Strangely, I have never had the privilege of meeting most of the bloggers who I began and ended my days with. But most of those that I have did not disappoint. The duo from Eye on Miami, Discourse, Blind Tastes, Ipanemic/Hello, I'm Scott, A Mom, a Blog and the Life In-Between, Sex and the Beach, Hidden City, Fanless, Balou, All Purpose Dark, Carlos Miller, Gus from Miami Beach 411, Swampstyle, Bark Bark Woof Woof and Alex from On Two Shores are all fellow bloggers that I've had the pleasure of putting a face to a name. Over the years, I've played golf with one of them and enjoyed dinners, breakfasts, and even spent a New Year's Eve with a couple.
But I have to say that even those who I didn't get a chance to meet in person I felt I knew to a certain degree through their blog posts. Maybe it speaks to the previous point that I made about blogging anonymity and how last names, or even first names, really mean nothing when it comes to that, but after five years there's an awful lot I can tell you about each blogger, including their meal preferences, their drink choices, their political persuasion and, in some cases, even their families. Just from their blog...and with or without their first or last names. Each blogger has become a person, and in some cases, a friend, that I'll miss to one degree or another.
To my readers, I want to say thank you for your loyalty and your patience over the years. SFDB wasn't always the easiest blog to stick with but so many of you did. I'm not sure many bloggers understand the reach they have with their words but the comment I received on the last evening Sift pretty much sums it up for me...
Every morning at this time sitting in a commuter train going to work in downtown Toronto, this blog has provided me incredible insights into the community of my "second home" in Miami. If this indeed "the last", you will be sorely missed...kweHow can you really top that? Thanks, kwe, for following along on that train to work.
My original purpose with this project was to help strengthen the SoFla blogging community, provide a central place to connect to South Florida bloggers, and recognize the more exemplary blogging efforts. Somewhere along the line, it took on a little more than just that but I'd like to think that I accomplished those original goals in these pages and hopefully you do, too.
These last few days of transitioning out of writing have been, as Obalesque says, liberating. No schedules, no digging for content, no structuring the day to accommodate the posting. It's going to take some getting used to, I think, but it's a kind of good "getting used to." Sorta like receiving unlimited free pizzas at Anthony's Coal Fired or waking up to find a new Ferrari in the driveway. That kind of "getting used to."
SFDB will remain up for the immediate future so feel free to use the blogroll to continue to connect to the rest of the South Florida blogosphere. Because of the inundation of spam, in about a week I'll probably be doing something with the comments to further filter that junk out for good.
So this is it. Closing time.
I'm going to let Pat take me out one more time.
'Til next time, people, keep on blogging!