Aw Shucks – Darren Rowse Killed My Blog

by Jan Geronimo on February 18, 2009

John Everett Millais - The Vale of RestImage via Wikipedia

Darren Rowse asked in his blog, “If your blog died today, what would it be remembered for?” The following post is my reply to this morbid two-part scenario. We are now off to 2019 and I have just decided to end this blog. Here’s my obituary:

Jan of salabasngmandaluyong wrote finis to a 10-year blogging career that has been distinguished by exemplary writing and clarity of vision.

He had a wobbly start at – a prolific web author who had increasingly become self-conscious that he was living under the bridge in the blogosphere. But he had made the transition to WP and an independent web host. From then on, he had become more self-assured and found his voice, which he increasingly used to deflate the egos of web snake charmers with their pet theories on SEO and get-rich schemes. He refused to call them writers. “They’re nothing but hacks, lowly and greasy mechanics.”

His blog is studded with elegant and humorous reflections on writing, technology and contemporary issues that bedevil mankind.

He had achieved recognition by seeking anonymity and shunning the social scene. On balance, his blog put up a good fight, but it had lost on many fronts:

  • He lost to a formidable swarm of cliches he found despicable. Rocket science, breath of fresh air, and their ilk – while apparently not as popular as before – have all outlived Jan’s blog.
  • He championed the true art of writing your passion as a blogger.Thousands of new information workers who joined daily the make money online bandwagon did not hear him and those who took notice thought him quaint and a little touched in the head.
  • He had sought enlightenment and self-discovery through his web writing, but his stint as a blogger only brought him fame, modest money in the bank, and beer belly from leading a sedentary life.

Jan, however, had remained steadfast on his creative blogging philosophy he attributed to Skellie. He wrote from the heart and refused to pay heed to momentary buzz in the internet that powers hordes of traffic to a web author’s site. His blog friends found it amusing that for a forgetful guy he had Skellie’s words seared on his consciousness:

The key thing that makes it (creative blogging) so often overlooked is that it builds slowly but surely. Because you’re not following a formula people have already been conditioned to respond to, it’s going to take time for the value of what you’re doing to spread. But it will do so inexorably. And when it does, your slow rising star will overtake those of other bloggers who have been chasing peaks without building something never seen before.

Jan’s slow rising star was just starting to get noticed when he made this startling decision to quit blogging. He had rubbed elbows and drank beer with the likes of Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. He is not yet spat upon, or knifed – he’s not that famous yet. But friends see Jan as a deer caught in the headlights (sorry for this cliche Jan, this can’t be helped). He’s not comfortable with it.

Perhaps he’s made good on his empty threat to go to England to learn the fine art of gardening.

Or maybe he’s holding court in Bora Bora, teaching the natives about blogging. Or thinking up ways on how to make a comeback. Who knows?

Part 2 – An obituary for this blog as it stands today

Salabasngmandaluyong was hacked today and its author Jan decided to delete it altogether, Yatot announced in TYC. He spent all day sending messages to a handful of Jan’s friends in Facebook, Twitter and Friendster.

Readers reactions:

  1. Jojigirl – No skin off my nose. I’d be as poised as the woman in this video.
  2. Tonex – Uh – oh, I would have designed a minimalist theme for him had he stayed longer!
  3. Ann Handley: Who he? Maybe it’s just one of those random things.
  4. Jan’s sister: He’s got a blog? What’s a blog?
  5. Jan’s dog: Let him be. As James Thurber says, “Nowadays men live by noisy desperation.” He chucks the noise, let him deal with the other one.

What would people miss about this blog? Consensus: the interaction.

What has this blog achieved? Verdict: Nothing you can put a finger on, but yeah, the potentiality of this blog becoming better in the months to come.

Has it fulfilled a need or service in people’s lives? General agreement: Too early to tell.

What ground has it broken? After the huddle: Give the guy a break. He had blogged for all of two months. Seriously though, nothing. But he might have surprised us in the future had he stuck with blogging.

So, if it were your blog’s demise today – what do you think will the obituary read like?

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  • You have to update this Jan. Once in the blogging life of Jan, he stopped blogging - to focus on his FarmVille, LOL!
  • Yay. Di po totoo ang iyong bintang. LOL
  • Jan
    @Jesse: Hi, Jesse. Glad you dropped by and took a break from your busy sked. Thanks, friend. Success will be a lot sweeter and meaningful if we all make it. You, me and lots of our friends. Here's to our dream! :)
  • I couldn't find the "new comment" link so I'm replying here. Sorry.

    I was a bit confused about this post. I thought that you actually deleted your blog altogether. 'Grats on the new domain name. It's been a long time since I've read one of your posts. You know, the cliche, I'm too busy.
  • Hi Tonex, thanks a lot for visiting again. I've been busy too. Yay. Di na
    rin pala ako nakalaw sa bahay mo. :)
  • Jesse
    Jan, as early as now, you are already making your name here in the blog sphere. I don't think that the self-hosted WP would be necessary to have your voice heard in more parts of the internetS. You already have this great dictionary of thoughts and insights that I believe is a catalyst to your blogging success.

    By the way, you'll get your self-hosted WP blog soon. I assure you that.

    More power to you!

    (Wow, Nice blog design you have there)
  • Jan
    @joji: hahaha. lemon grass will do. And of course you can always pay your last respects to an urn. Would have preferred this blog remains to be just wrapped in banig, but I guess our friends from the Western hemisphere will be puzzled. :) So there.
  • jojigirl
    Sustagen! My goodness! This avant-garde blog euthanized by Jan himself! And I heard it too late, I missed the cremation of the blog's microfiche the reason for that histrionics at the airport. It took me a while to look for laurels and in desperation, I brought with me lemon grass instead. I was cooking when I heard the news,you know. And they were so rude at the airport, waaaaaaah!
  • Jan
    @Diane: There's the challenge for us, the people who are living off the land. My sister at least knows how chat works. She uses it to talk with her kids who work abroad. But to chat up with strangers on the net? No way, she'd rather talk to her plants. Or let loose a rant to shame the dogs for messing with her garden. :)
  • Ordinary Housewife
    So funny! What blogger can't identify with at least a few of these points? I like "Jan's sister."

    A small group of my very close friends were together a few months ago and one of them said, "Do you guys read Diane's blog? I read it all the time, it's great." Another woman said, "I don't know how that works." I started to explain that you don't have to know how it works, you just go to the web address and read it. Then she said, "What's a blog?" :-) It's interesting to me how the human race can be all over the board as far as technology. We have people who are ultra tech savvy and then people who are living off the land and have no computer at all.
  • Jan
    @Ms. Earth: It fascinated me when I read it on Darren's blog. I have something else to write but I preempted it with this one. Well, at least, it did not come off as too morbid. :)Thanks.

    @Yatot: Exactly. Too young to die, this blog. So many possibilities for us. Do you dream of blogging in exotic places, er countries? I do. Hahaha. Dreaming is cheap,but living without something to strive for is tragic. Oh, from morbid to drama. hahaha.

    @Dee: The reference to brilliance is a goal. But so is the fine sense of community or friendships. Darn, I forgot to put that it. :)

    Darren is not a snake charmer. He stresses hard work and old world virtues. And what stamina. How can one even begin to think of outflanking the guy? hahaha. Nice compliment though. You pull out all stops on that one. :) Thanks.
  • Dee
    Oh gosh! I was smiling and laughing the entire time I was reading this. Really funny and witty, Jan. You can make such a morbid scenario really funny.

    And I agree about the 'beer belly" thing. That's what I was thinking these past days. It's really so sedentary I've started to get up and work out.

    Now, about the the subject of this post, I'd hate for this blog to die. It's got so much potential. It just mustn't die, hehe. But just for the purpose of this discussion, I would agree with some of your thoughts there (which is this blog being brilliant and all) but I'd make the ending different. I'd say: 'sa labas ng mandaluyong, the blog that outranked Darren Rowse's ...' something to that effect. :D
  • yatot
    no, no, no!!! this blog will not die anytime soon... not even in ten years or so... this is a lifetime blog! and besides, it's still too young to die... hehhee
  • earthlingorgeous
    This is an awesome obit I think this blog should not die yet. I have thought of dying for real lol but never thought of my obit yet. Hmmmm... you gave me some ideas to write about. Hahahaha.

  • Jan
    @Kathleen: Darren's scenario tickled my ghoulish bones apparently. Me too - I don't even have a clue even on the small matter of what I'm supposed to be posting next. I was just reading Darren last night and then I wrote him a comment I'd be posting my reply on my blog. That part at least is done.

    I'm sure whatever horrors those maybe you can tame on your wonderful pages.

    You're right, I have made myself perfectly clear here in my post. No wriggle room there at all. hahaha
  • kathleenmaher
    Jan, you--and your blog--are way too young to die! Your fantastic obituary (fantastic in both meanings) offers us a clear look at what's important to you, what you like, and what bores and/or frustrates you.
    It's also funny. But, old as I am, if asked, where do you suppose you'll be in ten years? (a notorious job interview question to which my answer was never, "working here harder than humanly possible"), the truth would be--no clue. And please, spare me even the littlest hint.

    Next week worries me too much to fathom the horrors a decade hence. Thus, more power to you, and to Sa Labas ng Mandaluyong!
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