This is my 400th blog post. Do I win a prize?
I didn’t think so.
People always ask me what I think of this new social media age as it relates to newspapers. And I always reply that it’s tough to teach a new dog old tricks, or an old dog new tricks. Honestly, it’s just difficult to teach a dog tricks. Have you tried?
But I, on the other hand, don’t mind new tricks. This blog, for instance, is considered to be kind of a hip thing, right? I never knew what a blog was until a few years ago and I’m still not completely sure. But those in the know tell me what I do here is “blogging” and who am I to argue?
If blogging is considered new age, then I’m doing well in the digital world, I suppose. I enjoy doing the blog because it allows me to be me. Not that my columns aren’t me, or that they’re ghost-written. I would never confess to anything like that even if they were. Which they’re not. At least as far as you know.
Today, for instance, I’m lacking strong opinions. I did a Lutz Live Chat (LLC) this afternoon and those things always wear me out. Live chats are also new to me, pretty much, and something I enjoy. I like the immediate interaction with readers, believe it or not. I’m not always the Scrooge I am made out to be, although I have my moments.
Most who come to the LLC understand its content. There are moments of seriousness, but most of the time the chat is a place for levity, barbs, insults and name-calling. All in the name of fun.
The thing I enjoy most about my job, still, is writing. Blogging is, I would say, considered writing. Live chats probably not so much. The most comfortable thing I do is writing my column because that’s something I have done for years. Opinions are never far beneath the surface with me. And I have conviction to them, as any of my friends will tell you.
I was just thinking today, in fact, that I don’t admit to being wrong enough. There are, of course, potentially two reasons for that. One is that I’m at egotistical jerk, unable to admit to myself or to anyone else that something I think or say could be erroneous. Two is that I’m rarely wrong.
Opinion writing isn’t for everyone. It didn’t used to be for me. I was reluctant to face the scrutiny that columnists encounter. Basically, all I’m doing is having the same debates about sports that I’ve had with my friends for years and years. But when I put my name in print, for some reason, my opinions become ammunition and readers often feel the need to fire back. There is often heat in the kitchen.
And that’s something I don’t mind. It took me a few years to get used to slings and arrows that are so often aimed directly at me. But the more you do a job like this, the more you understand that even if a criticism sounds like a personal attack, it’s not necessarily a personal attack. Just because you disagree with me at times doesn’t mean you hate me. You might be angry with me. You might question my intelligence. But you probably don’t hate me.
At least that’s what I tell myself to get through the day. So if it’s different, please don’t enlighten me. This is the way I prefer to go about my business.
* On another note, I’m headed out to the Kansas State-Wichita State women’s basketball game this evening. Kudos to K-State for playing here. Kind of a neat idea, isn’t it? Wonder whether Bruce Weber might follow Deb Patterson’s lead at some point.
Have a great rest of your Tuesday. I’ll be back on the blog tomorrow. I have an idea about a new feature here in which I ask my Facebook friends to post questions and I’ll answer some of them on the blog. What do you think?