Friday, March 02, 2007

My two years in the blogosphere

I am now embarking on my third year as a blogger. In the past two years I have published 127 posts, probably with enough total wordage to fill a small book. When I began blogging, I was concerned whether anyone would ever find and read the stuff that I would be writing. To my surprise, countless readers have appeared, often responding with comments. They have revived the spirit of a burned-out, geriatric, retired journalist.

Some of my experiences in the blogosphere have been extraordinary and wholly unanticipated. For example, I wrote a piece about having been in the same college economics class with Alan Greenspan 60 years ago. In the piece, I casually praised our professor as a stimulating lecturer.

I received a comment, which I published, from a man who had also been the professor's student. He had a different recollection. He remembered the professor as a windbag and a bore. Within days came a stinging response from another reader of my blog--the professor's grandson, who aggressively came to his deceased grandfather's defense and blasted the critic.

Another interesting experience resulted from a piece about a Soviet air force colonel who had defected to the U.S. after World War II and had eventually become a writer for Newsweek magazine. In the late 1950s, we became friends during a Pentagon press junket to visit U.S. military bases in Europe.

I was amazed to receive e-mail messages from his son and daughter. Their father had died while they were young, and they were eager to learn more about him. I had a lengthy and enjoyable phone conversation with the daughter, reminiscing about her father.

Then there was the appearance of a second cousin I didn't know existed. Out of curiosity, he had typed his mother's uncommon maiden name into Google. He was eventually directed to my blog. My maternal grandmother bore the same maiden name and it showed up in one of my family memoirs.

It turned out that my maternal grandmother and the stranger's maternal grandfather were siblings. To bolster this new family connection, the man's maternal grandmother, whom I had known as a child, was the midwife who delivered me.

And then there was the case of a World War II pilot who had been stationed in India. He Googled the name of an obscure village where he had been stationed and also wound up on my blog. I had spent three months at the same base, and had recorded my experiences there in another memoir.

This blog has essentially been divided into two sections. I identify one group of postings as "Memoirs." In these autobiographical sketches, I recall my life experiences as a war veteran, working journalist, and as a first-generation American who grew up in an immigrant family in New York City.

To my distress, my short-term memory is increasingly failing. But for reasons that I cannot fathom, I have been able to dredge up detailed bits of minutiae and trivia of my life which provide raw material for this blog. Thus the blog has apparently been functioning as a psychological stimulus for me.

I once started out to write a full-length autobiography, but never got much beyond my high school days. My hope is that these collected blog postings labeled "Memoirs" will be a record for my three grandsons and provide the kind of personal family history that wasn't left behind by my own grandfathers, neither of whom I ever knew.

The second section of my blog is basically composed of editorials in which I express my opinions about current events. I have not been bashful about my opinions, and I have been happy to learn that the majority of my readers seem to agree with my political views. Of course, I also hear from dissidents.

I publish their critical comments and have provoked some stimulating Internet debate on important issues of the day. What could be a better reward for two years of blogging?

8 Comments:

Blogger Ivan said...

Hello MOrt:

Another great story. Yes, you have many readers. --- Have a good weekend.

Friday, March 02, 2007 5:50:00 PM  
Anonymous claude said...

Mort, first of all, happy blogaversary! Two years in the life of a blog is a milestone.
Recently, my daughter told me that at least with my blogs, I was leaving something behind. We are leaving something behind, that is, if the blog is kept going.
But there is also a way of saving the blog to a cdrom, which is something that I have done and will do again in six months or so.
I am sure that if you don't know how to do it, someone can do it for you. Actually, this gives me an idea for a post and I will describe the process on my blog maybe tomorrow or the day after.
Have a nice weekend

Saturday, March 03, 2007 2:42:00 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Congratulations on this anniversary! I continue to so enjoy what you write, all the subjects upon which you share a word or two.

Blogging is wonderful stimulation for the memory as you have discerned, so don't stop now! An additional benefit for the short term memory is having the visual stimuli that you can read in your previous posts with their comments.

Saturday, March 03, 2007 5:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Chancy said...

Mort, may I add my congratulations on your two year anniversary. You are always thought provoking and interesting.

Keep up the good work.

Saturday, March 03, 2007 7:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Theo said...

Mort, it is simply because you are a great writer that we all love to read your blog.

Monday, March 05, 2007 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

You have expressed the "blogging experience" so well. I, too, look back and enjoy the input from the commentators.
I am so glad that you are not a "wishy-washy" writer. We need strong voices and opinions. I think the early Bush days were very scarey...when it seemed like everyone was scared to death to give an opinion that was counter to that administrations. I'm still in awe that he was elected to a 2nd term and fear it will take us years to come out from under where he has buried us.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Mort,

It is always a pleasure to read your memoir blog entries. Happy 2nd anniversary of your blog. Long may you keep writing!

Kind regards,

Peggy

Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Leon said...

Happy Blogiversary Mort. Blogging is an interesting and fulfilling hobby. You have done what some others fail to do - you stuck with it and built up a readership. I also think "Octogenarian is now 2 years old" has a nice humourous ring to it. Cheers.

Sunday, March 11, 2007 11:37:00 AM  

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