OK, now that I'm on Facebook more, AND SacramentoPress.com, bloggingthegrid has less pull for me. If that was possible. I just don't find myself posting much. Then again, my life is moving much more online. Like everyone's.
Case in point: I was hired last week as managing editor of SacramentoPress.com, a terrific new reader-generated website dedicated to news of...The Grid! Yes, this is basically a much-expanded and much better version of the idea I had a year ago that kinda sorta (but not really) became bloggingthegrid.blogspot.com.
And it's already getting attention: The Sacramento Business Journal's new edition features a great story by Melanie Turner about the site. Read it here.
So what does it mean for Blogging the Grid? Frankly, I don't know. As managing editor of SacramentoPress.com, I will have my hands full, and I want to keep that beast growing. On the other hand, this is ME. Perhaps I'll focus more on me and less journalistic stuff. I don't know. It's not like (I am always aware of this) anyone really needs MORE to read, right?
Which reminds me. I've come perilously close to cancelling my Bee subscription, for the simple fact that I spend more time hauling the thing around - its supposed advantage - than actually reading it. Get the paper off the porch, pull out the ads and Sports and toss 'em in the recycling (which then needs to be taken out, twice), then half-reading what's left, mostly Our Region because I've already heard most of the news in the A section and can rarely find much to read in whatever they're calling Scene now (Outbound excepted) and...what's left, I can read online.
And it's money out of my pocket besides.
On the other hand...it's The Bee. Obviously, it has been in my life forever (though I actually delivered The Union), and there are stories worth reading in there. But again, there's online.
Online is it, basically. Right? Which brings me to SacramentoPress.com. It is NOT The Bee, it's a different beast. As I said in the Biz Journal story, we're not entirely sure what it is, or will be.
But what's amazing about it - what absolutely suffused the Xmas party Ben and Geoff and Nicholas put on at Tuli on Wednesday night - is the energy. The enthusiasm. First of all, imagine The Bee treating its writers and editors to a night like that. Never happen. But far more importantly, people around the very long table were EXCITED, idealistic, full of ideas and enthusiasm for the project. Compare that to the Bee's newsroom, which a friend recently compared to a "death watch."
As I've said before, I'm not gloating, and if The Bee goes down, we lose what little center is left to our news and information culture in this town. But perhaps that's what is causing the angst: The inclination to hold onto a center. And perhaps Yeats isn't right, in his classic poem: perhaps "mere ancharcy" will NOT be "loosed upon the world." Perhaps we're just moving into a whole new phase - certainly, we are - and it could actually be BETTER than what we've had.
Just different. And trying to keep things the way they've been, or rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking ship, simply isn't going to work, and causes more angst than it creates positive energy.
And that's one reason I signed on with SacramentoPress.com. The energy is there, and more is flowing into it every day. And I've always liked to be where the energy is flowing FORWARD.
Yes, I still write for The Bee on occasion, and I hope that voicing this won't endanger that. There's still a lot in the paper, and the staff, at least what remains of it, is still the best news "team" (as the TV folk say) in our area. Ben and Geoff at the SacPress are BIG fans of the Bee, daily readers. But they do it online, and that's where I do it, too. Which poses big problems for The Bee, in terms of cash flow. But canceling The Bee is going to make my day quite a bit less cluttered.
And sometimes big changes boil down to simple things like that.