Re-immersing myself at LAN with the summer mix notes helped me realize that the site is four years old this month. I’ve looked back at many of our posts to reflect on the life and times and asked myself lots of questions: Why did we do this? Why did we continue? What have we learned? Why keep doing it? What were we thinking? All relevant questions.
LAN really started as a way to talk smack during a competition. Then it became a great way to communicate with family and friends. That’s all it was intended to do; “Mom, didn’t you see that on the blog? Where you been girlfriend?!”
Along the way some other things happened. For one we learned skills to apply to our trade. We experimented with other blog concepts to understand how content gets discovered and uncovered. STL BBQ Review, which go figure, hasn’t been updated since the start of MBA school 2+ years ago, was fun. We got that site within the first 3 search results for St. Louis BBQ within weeks of having it live and it stayed there for over a year even though it wasn’t updated. I miss doing the BBQ thing.
We’ve learned not just about WordPress but really how open source or sharing information online is powering the web and changing the world. I know that sounds kooky for this site given our shenanigans but when someone from across the world sees a three word phrase in a random post and emails a question, it’s really cool. When you’re in China and the great “wall” blocks you from updating your site, it provides perspective. Sharing and the technology that enables an Elaine dancer like me to have a voice can move people. (Support Net Neutrality by the way!)
The writing, at times, has helped hone back in on our creative side. It’s never been great – I never was a good writer, but it has improved over time. It also has been therapeutic and most of you that have read the craziness here know that. When talking out loud is needed, this blog has been a good friend whether you read it or not (and I do look at the analytics).
Something happened a year ago. Well a couple of things happened. First Dad passed and we just didn’t feel our pork butt antics were worth reporting. Total bummer. Dad was an avid reader.
Secondly, I took some criticism for publicly posting certain types of content (insert craft brew picture here) in places more private than this blog. That caused me to really think what I was doing and why. It also caused me to pause and in reflecting, compromise values. I’m not doing that moving forward.
Transparency and openness is real power. Coercion for control is not.
There’s a difference between flying off the handle irresponsibly and responsibly sharing stories and content that encourage communication. I certainly have had my share of 5am wake-up calls with slight panic that the previous day’s writing may have crossed the line. I’ve removed some postings, edited others, yet left the majority of them alone. It’s the ones over the last year that I wrote and never posted out of concern over what a certain individual or individuals may gossip about that I regret removing.
I lead an interactive marketing business. If I’m not online learning, interacting, connecting, and sharing I’m not doing my job.
So will LAN be around in another 4 years? Who knows. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. all seem to be taking the place of weekend warrior bloggers like myself. Although at the rate Facebook shares private information about its users without consent, LAN may survive. We can promise to continue posting where our homes on the web are. We will share our butt pics and tips and write many more provocative postings about rubbing butts too. We may even continue to slam the Bammer faithful. It’s what we do.
War Damn Eagle!