“When y’all was asking permission, I just stepped up and took it.” -Mos Def
Greetings loyal readers. Another week is upon us, and now I am typing for the people once more. This evening, I’d prefer to take a break from the news, and just do something that is a bit more on the expository side. It is apparent from the title of this post, that I am referring to this blog. With the four year anniversary of Polite On Society approaching the middle of this month (May 17th to be exact) I am in a moment of reflection. I started this space 4 years ago as a place to house some of my musings that I did not want to disappear into that digital ether that is otherwise known as a Facebook timeline.
It takes a certain amount of gumption to say that you are worth having a platform. Some would even argue it borders on narcissism. I will leave the psychological analyses to greater minds- that is a bit above my pay grade. In any event, it takes a belief in yourself that is almost unwavering to think that you should be heard in a broader context. The odd thing of it is, often you have to do that first, and then the co-sign will follow. I have no doubt that it was the fact that I decided to put myself out there, without permission that has led to other things. To use a sports metaphor, (It’s b-ball season, what do you expect?) blogging is like getting your own pick-up game started as opposed to waiting to get called off the bench.
As a person who has made a certain amount of inroads into the blogosphere, I have also incidentally developed a good number of contacts with trained journalists. This has helped me immensely. Even though I have had this happen, I still refer to myself as a blogger. I make no pretenses about being a journalist, and have grown to accept the term blogger as a label. Thing is, there was a brief moment when I did not feel this way, and wanted “out” of the term, and to not be affiliated with the stigma that it comes with. Who wants to be likened to a group of folks hiding behind a keyboard, sniping at celebrities and politicians from the safety of their living room?
The people that I have connected with have referred to my writing as thorough, accessible, informative and enjoyable. Had I waited for someone to co-sign me, would they have even had the chance to see my words in print? Who knows? I can say this much: I feel empowered by doing this. In my opinion it is far better to have my own little corner of the web, then to wait for some unspecified time of wider acceptance. Tomorrow, as some can see, never comes for more and more people.
Building this platform has been tough, but it has been a great deal of fun as well. I think to myself, what if I had tried to gone the traditional route? Would the things that happened to me, have played themselves out the way they did? Yes, there are people out there that don’t respect bloggers, and never will. That is just fine. You can’t change everyone’s minds. However, by not claiming what I am.. and trying to run away from it, would be worse. There are credibility issues in mainstream media that are arguably worse (like those allegedly “dark skinned” suspects we all heard about in the first reports on the Boston bombing case) #NotLettingItSlide
As Brandon Melendez opines in his latest entry over at his web magazine Eat Your Serial, “Blogging is powerful, blogging is viable, and blogging is important because it isn’t as exclusive as before.” As time goes on, this will become the case even more so.
As far as that professional identity crisis I was referring to earlier, I have resolved it. I may not be a journalist, but I am definitely a blogger. See you all around the Blogosphere.
Marc W. Polite
Started as a blogger now… I’m still here