I've received a few comments and an occasional e-mail wondering whether this website is being retired. I considered it, but I'm now rededicating efforts to keep the "lightly opinionated" site going.
Where has it been? Well, I've got to blame someone or something other than myself, so I'm going to blame Facebook. This social media whirl that we're on has a lot of pluses and minuses, but it does tend to add to the volume of our public debate. I just finished the thought-provoking book Digital Vertigo, an effort by author Andrew Keen to examine just how valuable it is to know everyone's thoughts and opinions on what amounts to a 24/7 cycle.
It seems that every minute spent on Facebook -- and on Twitter, to a lesser extent -- results in more opinions, more updates, more comments than we'd face in an entire day of old-time, mainstream media. Could more actually have become worth less? Is the constant buzz of social media updates getting in our way of thinking, considering and mulling over our opinions?
Facebook is a great venue for keeping up with old friends, but it too often has turned into an echo chamber of political talking points and shouted opinions that may or may not lead to constructive thought.
As for this blog, it started to feel like just additional noise. Sometimes, it's best to just turn off the microphone and listen and learn. And that's what I've been doing over the past few weeks.
What I've learned over these weeks is that there sure is a lot of high volume opinionating, and maybe there is a need for moderate thinking. Maybe there is a need for occasional thoughts from someone who's non-aligned politically and philosophically. When I originally described this site as "lightly opinionated" it made sense to make it both fact-based with occasional analysis or interpretation, more as a strategy for clarity than as a desire to win over people too my point of view. (In fact, sometimes my own point of view changes, and because I'm not running for office, I can ignore any accusations of "flip-flopping.")
So the blog has started up again. You can call it new-form journalism with conventional journalism goals. I come from an era very different from the online world of today. Notice the headline doesn't have the standard key words that could increase page views -- "sex," "porno" "lying Republicans" "big government socialists" or anything like that.
It's low-decibel journalism of an independent sort. And by the way, thank you to all those who encouraged me to start back up.