Thursday, August 26, 2010

Once Again Back It’s the Incredible

I always loved Public Enemy. I think I need more semi-obscure song lyrics as post titles. Other than that—and the new furniture—not a whole lot is going to change with this incarnation of the eddy, at least not on the surface.

As for the subsurface…when I started this blog a couple of years ago, I’m not sure what I wanted out of it. I just liked reading other fly fishing (and non fly fishing) blogs and I thought: “hey, that might be fun.” As I went along it got to be about websites hits and page counts and a bunch of stuff that I now realize was something of a waste of my own time and energy.

One of my favorite web writers--Kyle Whelliston of the Mid Majority—has made me think a lot about why people get into blogs and writing in general. Kyle writes for two reasons that I can tell: he loves his subject (mid major college hoops) and he loves to write about it. Those are the underlying purposes I want for this blog. I don’t plan to replicate the dedication and single mindedness that Kyle dedicates to his task. But I do now have a simple mission statement: I want to write well in regards to something that I am passionate about. Hopefully you already know what that something is.

Over the last couple of years I have also come to admire the writing of Joe Posnanski. Actually, admire is probably not a strong enough word. I aspire to write as well as Joe. I don’t want to write like Joe—I want my own voice—but I want to write as well as he does. And I do subscribe to Joe’s own blog motto: curiously long posts. Joe’s long posts allow him to spread out and address a subject in a way that is unique and complex and much more interesting than your average USA Today article. I plan to take a similar approach when that feels like the right way to go.

As for the previous features that were common to this blog, I am picking and choosing what I like, and I am not sure about everything. I am not sure how I am going to treat my own fishing trips, because I am working on a separate project that is related to writing about my own time spent on the water, and I am not enough of a narcissist to spend all my time writing about myself (at least I hope I am not). So posts about my own days on the stream may be limited to photos and a few words, I think. Most people just like to look at the pictures anyway, right?

I will still be covering conservation issues (though not comprehensively) and other fishing-related news items that I think apply to my corner of the fly fishing world (or other corners of interest). I will still be pimping bands and books that I enjoy, mostly because I enjoy music and books and its my blog. And I may dust off the concept of eddy conversations that started well but then fizzed out emphatically due to my own laziness.

I am not sure about resurrecting the semi-regular collection of fishing reports. Seems like folks who want to know what the latest report says can go through the effort of clicking a couple of times and maybe typing some words into Google. Fishing reports do generate hits, but I am not all that worried about the hits this blog gets anymore.

I will be continuing the links, which I have always enjoyed, but they may be more sporadic. I want to take more time and address issues rather than just always pointing to them—though I will be doing my fair share of pointing, I am sure.

The only other thing to count on is consistent change. I am treating this as an experiment. I want to try a bunch of stuff with this blog, throw it at the wall so to speak, and find out what sticks. I am just not sure what I will be throwing yet.

The Trout Underground (still the gold standard for all fly fishing blogs*) was polling readers recently about the future of publishing. I find myself thinking about the future as well. I think books have already boarded the digital freight train to the future. The advent of mobile devices like the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, and the ever-changing smartphone are signaling the rise of new kinds of books and magazines and other mediums that we haven’t even considered yet. I don’t know what exactly the content for these digital devices will look like two or three years from now (it might look something like this—except better), but I think it will be full of multimedia and interactivity and collaboration.

*Hi, Tom. You can re-link to me if you want. Or not. I am cool with whatever.

So I may use the eddy to try my hand at some of that stuff. Or maybe I won’t. I am just not sure. If this were a fishing trip, you could say that I don’t know exactly where I will be fishing tomorrow, or what flies I will be using, but I do know that I will be fishing. So its definitely worth looking forward to.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, welcome back! And thanks for the compliment. I'll get the link back up, but these days, I don't think those are worth all that much.

    As for publishing, I wonder if digital "ebook" publishing won't ultimately mush together magazines, novellas, essays and multimedia, perhaps eliminating the distinctions between what used to be called a printed non-fiction book and a New Yorker essay.

    Just a thought.

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  2. Hey Tom. I think you are right that digital media will eventually change the way that all these media are designed and their will be some cross-polinatio so to speak. Once people with money (i.e., the big media companies) start designing magazines with things like the kindle or the iPad in mind rather than a paper magazine, things will really begin to change.

    Its interesting to consider what a truly digital fly fishing magazine with some real financial backing might look like. Although it still might not beat "Catch" for quality of photos and videos.

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