Thursday, January 03, 2008

Blog Makes the Newspaper


I received an email from a reporter last week from the New Haven Register last week. He told me he was doing a story on local Blogs and wanted to interview me.
Well today the story was in the paper along with a big dorky picture of me.
The article was pretty neat. So for my fellow bloggers out there I want to say that someone is actually reading what we write about so keep it up.

Here's the article for those who are interested:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Even the guy next door who grows catnip and the kid who collects dust has a blog By Jim Shelton, Register Staff

Will the last person in Greater New Haven without a blog please turn off the lights on your way to the 21st century?
A decade after they first hit the Internet, digital diaries and compendiums continue to multiply and flex their muscles in the national discourse. It’s common now for people to check in with various blogs as part of their daily or weekly routine. Meanwhile, New Haven’s little corner of the blogosphere keeps growing. There are students with blogs, parents with blogs and citizens of all ages posting their thoughts about life, work, politics and the latest installment of “American Idol.”
For instance, readers far and wide can visit “Yankees Tonight,” at yankstonight.blogspot.com, for sports analysis from an East Haven man in his 20s; they also can surf over to “Derailed,” at bobbyderailed.blogspot.com, to read the ruminations of a 40-something Metro-North conductor from Clinton.
Then you have “For God, For Country and For Yale,” at ivycatholic.blogspot.com, written by a Yale University football player; and “This Blog Is About What?” at rochpunk.blogspot.com, compiled by an avid triathlete in Branford.
Some bloggers keep at it for years, while others post their musings for a few months and then move on to something else. Heck, even a passel of Register editors and reporters have blogs at nhregister.com.
“You want your voice to be heard, even if it’s only lighter stuff that you’re writing about,” says Rick Clark, a 42-year-old hospital lab technician from East Haven.
Clark is the author of “Rick’s Time On Earth,” at rickstimeonearth.blogspot.com. It’s got Clark’s movie reviews, thoughts on Paris Hilton and travelogues about weekend trips. He started it last year.
Although it focuses on ordinary life, “Rick’s Time On Earth” was inspired by one of the biggest events in American history — the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Specifically, the story of Mark Bingham, a passenger on United 93 who is thought to have been one of the people who attempted to storm the cockpit to wrest control of the plane from hijackers.
Bingham’s bravery, and his openness about being gay, led Clark to come out of the closet in 2006. Clark also developed a friendship with Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, who gave Clark this advice: “Document your life on this earth.”
So that’s what he’s done, despite the fact that Clark had never read a blog. He’s had more than 1,400 visits to his blog since October, when he finally put in a counter.
“It shocks me,” Clark says of the number of people reading his posts. “I didn’t think anyone other than my friends would want to look. Actually, my friends don’t look very often. It’s mainly people I don’t know.”
Then you have blogs that evolve. For example, New Haven resident Judi Janette started writing a blog four years ago called “Escape to Elm City” at escapetoelmcity.blog-city.com. It was prompted by Janette’s move from Guilford to New Haven.
She updated “Escape to Elm City” faithfully for years, until she felt it had run out of steam. Then she created a new blog, “So Whay Sonata,” at sowhaysonata.blog-city.com. Its name is an abbreviation for her neighborhood, south of Whalley Avenue.
“Blogging gives you a freedom to write what you want and hash out your own ideas,” Janette, 44, explains. Her blog posts include everything from local politics to satire. Once, after she drove an SUV as a loaner vehicle while her car was in the shop, she posted her “TOP TEN REASONS TO DRIVE A BIG-ASS SUV.” Number seven was: “Personalized invitation to OPEC ‘Holiday Meet & Greet’ party.”
Now she’s taking her blogging in yet another direction, as an online diarist for the Web site New Haven Independent, at newhavenindependent.org. The venue may be different, but she says her writing sensibility remains unchanged. Like the time she wrote about cleaning up for Passover, for instance. That blog post hit a nerve with the public, apparently, because Janette started getting 1,000 hits a day after she wrote it. “I would get e-mails from people I know, saying, ‘Hey, you really should read this,’ and it was my post,” she laughs.
For a collegiate view of the city, there’s “Elightenment,” at andyatyale.blogspot.com, written by Yale freshman Andrew Feldman of Framingham, Mass. It’s a fresh take on the trials and tribulations of leaving home, coming to a new city and learning the rituals of a storied institution. He’s posted about attending a Master’s Tea, going to the Halloween concert at Woolsey Hall, enduring Parents’ Weekend and experiencing the annual Freshman Dinner in December.
“Some of my friends are amazed by all the Yale traditions,” says Feldman, 18. “Before I left for college, I talked with my parents about how often we’d keep in touch, and I thought it would be nice to have a record of freshman year. I’d say my most avid readers are my parents and grandparents.”
But they aren’t his only readers. Recently, Feldman struck up a conversation with a young woman in one of his classes. “She said, ‘My mom reads your blog,’” Feldman says.

Jim Shelton can be reached at (203) 789-5664 or jshelton@nhregister.com.

3 comments:

p.alan said...

Dude... Wow!!! Congrats & "I'm back". Sorry for the long silence on my part:)

Earric said...

Wow, that's really awesome that your local paper did a story like that.
Congratulations!

judi said...

Hi Rick. Jim called me, too. Great blog- I like your predictions for the year, and that gingerbread resort looks amazing. Keep up the good work.

Judi
www.sowhaysonata.blog-city.com