It's the end of an era, and I'm shutting this place down.
Well, not really; I'm just changing web addresses again, for about the third or fourth time now, but writing that doesn't allow me to lead off with "It's the end of an era," which for any writer is always fun. Really, I'm just making a change that I probably should have made three years ago. For those of you that don't want to read a thousand words, you can go there now; for the rest of you, allow me to explain, and allow me to meander down memory lane as I do.
Eight years ago, I got my start as a writer when my college newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, let me have a job as an opinions-page sports columnist. Until then, I was in a category that, thanks to the blog/social media revolution, doesn't exist any more: someone who could write, but just didn't, not very much.
I wrote a bunch of columns there. Some of them were good and some of them were okay and some of them haven't aged very well at all. One of them even won me a regional "Best Sports Column" award. I still have a letter somewhere from the University of Minnesota journalism school, congratulating me for that. They spelled my name wrong.
As that year ended and I graduated and was going onto graduate school, I wanted to keep writing. I did what everyone was doing at the time: I started a blog. It had a stupid name, because that's what blogs did back then. At first it was on LiveJournal, because I had friends who had LiveJournal accounts. Soon I ported everything over here to Blogger. And for awhile, I got very serious about blogging.
Starting in the spring of 2006, I wrote at least one post every day. At the beginning of 2007, I started writing more than one post per day. And starting later that year, I started pounding out more than 100 posts per month. I wrote about everything I could think of and a lot of stuff I knew nothing about, and for awhile I was my very own online, poorly-sourced, erratically-edited newspaper.
It was fun, but not all that good, and definitely not sustainable.
Back then, this was a sports blog, a real live site that could theoretically even exist outside its sole author. Now, though - it's really just a personal site. Most weeks, I put up a link to my Twinkie Town column on Monday. Saturday, I post the weekend links that I send to RandBall. The writing, it lives elsewhere. Every so often, I'm moved to write about something that doesn't fit either place - mostly cricket, these days - but ultimately I'm just using this site for self-promotion.
I'd always wanted to try to build my own WordPress-enabled site, and as a tech guy, it was starting to reflect badly on me that I hadn't done so. And this time, when I went to pick a name, I decided to stay sensible. It would be a personal site, so I might as well go self-centered with the name.
And so, we now launch JonMarthaler.com.
(You can tell that this is supposed to be important, because I put it in a one-sentence paragraph. Don't tell me that I haven't learned anything about sportswriting.)
- The content will be the same, which is to say that it'll continue to be mostly links to other things that I've written.
- The site looks pretty much the same, which is to say boring. It turned out to require a surprising amount of handwritten CSS to keep it looking boring.
- If you're a person that reads this site via RSS, the new feed is right here.
- If you're the kind of person that likes sharing stuff on social networks, the new site has got those fun Like and +1 and Tweet buttons built right in. My goal is to someday get someone to click on one of these buttons.
- Comments are open now. For those of you who commented on Star Tribune blogs in the days before you had to be registered to comment, that's exactly what it's like over there now. I plan to be horrified by the amount of comment spam I get.
Once again: JonMarthaler.com.