I started blogging back in 1999. It wasn’t really called blogging back then. It was really just emailing stuff out to people. These people, and there were a lot of them, knew that I liked TV and movies, and were always calling me to ask me about this show or that flick or whatever. And I would tell them what I thought. Then one time, one of my friends suggested that it would be handy if I were to write little mini reviews of the stuff I watched and email it out to them. I thought that was better than talking on the phone forty of fifty times a week. So I started doing that. It wasn’t long before I was getting emails from other people I knew and a lot I didn’t know asking me to put them on the subscription list for my column. Subscription List? Column? I laughed since I never really imagined anything like that. But now that I was getting all these requests, and since I was a writer after all, I decided to formalize it.
I called it the Couch Potato Chronicles. I wrote it in a Quark Xpress formatted page, designed a logo and made it look as spiffy as I could, then sent it out as a PDF. The subscription list build slowly, but I didn’t really care. It was a hobby and not a business. But over the next 10 years or so I wrote more than 450 columns. Blogging came along around Column 400, so I switched over from PDF attachments. At the pinnacle of The Couch Potato Chronicles’ success I had a core email group of 700, many of whom were forwarding it to at least a hundred people. So I was way up in the thousands. This column (link attached) started at about 800 words and would get up to as many as 2400 depending on how much time I had and how I was feeling that week.
At about column 420 or so, I started to see that the end was coming. I was getting tired of writing it. I had also become totally disenchanted with movies, having seen so many big and small budget bad ones, that I was pretty much doing only TV and sports reviews, along with the odd editorial about advertising or the entertainment industry.
It was a good run. I got a lot of compliments on my work and the highlight of it all was a one word email from Steven Spielberg (who evidently read the column), after I give his movie Artificial Intelligence a great review….it just said Thanks.
What The Couch Potato Chronicles segued into was a new blog called JM’s Journal. This had a lot more to do with advertising and marketing and included a 5 or 6 part chronicle of my advertising agency and independent career history
Our Green Directory
Around this same time, my pal Terry Lewis said he wanted to start a green services directory, so I got involved with that, designing and writing the site, which our other partner Simon Browning of SeeThrough Web put together. Needless to say, blogging was a big component of that site, which has grown to be the largest of its kind in Canada. These blogs were a bit easier to create, since mainly I would write short reviews of events that had already been blogged about and repost links. I mean, let’s face it, any given blogger only has so much to say about any give topic. Still in all we have posted more than 60 blogs.
I did about 20 posts for JM’s Journal and then sequed it again into, at Terry’s suggestion, a blog that had my company name on it. It’s called Welcome to Onwords & Upwords, which is where this post and about 48 others sit. I have also created a portfolio blog for my copywriting services and a display blog for another hobby, which is writing lyrics. This is where I send composers and music producers who want to get a feel for my writing.
Additionally I create and edit blogs for several of my clients, Fuel Aid Systems (which is just starting), Peel Scrap Metal Recycling, Rapport Design and Communications and Ink Tank Design & Communications.
So as you can see, I have been up to my ass in blogs…and as tired as I get about the need to write them, I have never really felt like I have run out of gas.
These days blogging, especially news blogging is getting a lot of bad press. These are chickens that are coming home to roost. If you’ve ever read ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’ by Ryan Holiday, you’ll get a pretty good idea about why that is.
The kind of blogging I do have very little to do with manipulating the truth, like so many of the big newsy blogs do. Mine are mainly about the things I like which are sports, music, television, advertising and marketing. These are also things I know lot about and feel comfortable expressing opinions about. They’re also a chance for me to communicate my expertise in the areas in which I am an expert, and more than a few times these have led to relationships with new clients.
Well Waddya Know!
Wow…I was pretty tired of blogging when I started this post but I seem to be much more energized about it now. Funny how that happens. Pretty much once or twice a week for me.
If you’re interested in having a peek at the blogs mentioned in this post, here are the links:
The Couch Potato Chronicles
Jim Murray’s Lyric Sampler
Peel Scrap Metal Recycling
The Amazing Fuel Aid Optimizer
I create and implement strategically focused
branding, advertising & promotion for companies
who appreciate solid creative thinking and value reasonable rates.