While checking out Branded in the 80s, I discovered a blog meme League of Extraordinary Bloggers, on the site Cool and Collected. They’re hoping to snag some new bloggers and I’ve decided to participate.
This week’s assignment is a “state of the site.” How are things going on jenx67.com? What exciting things have happened this past year? Where do you want your site to be in a year’s time?
In January, I began Graffiti Wednesday. I was pretty faithful with this feature until July rolled around and I photographed some graffiti behind a Wal-Mart in a suburb of Oklahoma City. This graffiti really said something, which is exactly what street art is suppose to do. If it doesn’t, it’s just an edgier version of wallpaper. So, I guess I became a graffiti snob, wanting the graffiti I highlighted to reflect some political, social or religious statement. Graffiti Wednesday isn’t going away, but I will be more selective in the future with what I post.
In March, I began doing commentaries every Tuesday on KOSU, a national public radio affiliate here in Oklahoma City. This week was (I think) my 35th commentary. This is a new medium for me and I continue to work out kinks including how to write to be heard versus writing to be read. I post most of my essays here and you can find them all under the KOSU Radio label. By the way, while I’m thinking of it, I’ll be on the radio this Monday between 4 and 6 p.m. for KOSU’s fall drive.
In late June, I began participating in OG&E’s blogger program for the SmartHours program. It’s always a great experience being able to work with a big brand. The last time I did this was for Gotta Love Chevy and the Chevy Malibu. That was in 2009 (or was it 2010?), so it was nice to revisit an opportunity like that. They don’t come along very often, and I always learn so much about blogging and social media while I’m doing them.
Photos & Generations
Photography has become a big part of my blog, and in July, I launched a companion site, Photos & Generations. It’s essentially a store where you can buy prints, cards and postcards of my photography. I have not had time lately to add new sets, but I have several in the works that I’m trying to flesh out. I will be posting a fall colors collection soon.
Tweaking the Design
Throughout the year, I’ve updated the design of my site. I can’t commit to a design because I love tweaking it (probably to a fault). Hopefully, the changes haven’t been too annoying. Page load is always a concern so I sometimes feature a carousel or large photo of the day and sometimes not.
I continue to blog about Generation X, which I have done almost daily for the last four years. But, sometimes, I want to quit blogging, and I think one day maybe I will, though I can’t say when. Maybe next year or in five years or maybe tomorrow? But, I think whenever it happens it will be just like Forrest Gump when he got tired of running. I’ll just stop at mile marker 16 on Utah’s Highway 163. Do you remember what Forrest said? “I think I’ll go home now.” Later in the movie he explains it like this:
“My Mama always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on. And I think that’s what my running was all about. I had run for three years, two months, fourteen days, and sixteen hours.”
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Finally, today, I had some time to kill between a work assignment and picking the kids up from school. I decided to see what interesting things I could find to photograph over near Classen-Ten-Penn, a blighted area of Oklahoma City. That’s when I ran into Kenyata. Isn’t he adorable?
I was getting out of my jeep to shoot some pictures of a creepy haunted house when he blew by me on his scooter. He looked like a nice kid so I engaged him conversation. Here’s how it went:
ME: Hey, there, what are you doing out of school today?
KENYATA: I didn’t feel too good this morning, but I feel better now.
ME: I can see that.
KENYATA: What are you doing?
ME: I’m a blogger and I’m here to take pictures of this haunted house. Do you know what a blog is?
KENAYTA: Yes. Do you make money blogging?
ME: Ummmm. Well. Kind of. Maybe. Sometimes. It’s complicated.
KENYATA: I like your jeep.
ME: I like your scooter.
KENYATA: I like your camera.
ME: I like your face. Can I take your picture?
So, then this boy and his brother, Jeremy, give me a tour of the props outside the Haunted House while I, a perfect stranger, take pictures of them. I wonder if I’m violating some law and am going to get arrested for taking pictures of children I don’t know. Then they ask me if they can take my picture and so I pose for a picture with each of them. I don’t think twice about letting either one of them hold my Nikon. They’re pretty good photographers on the first try.
Then, they invite me to come home with them to meet their mother, and, I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t, since we’ve broken all the rules about talking to strangers. So, I walk a block with them to their house. I secretly hope I don’t get shot in a drive-by. I meet their mom and show her the pictures on my digital camera. I tell her I will print copies and send her some if she’d like. And, she’s so excited to see these pictures of her precious boys. She tells me to have a blessed day and I tell Kenyata and Jeremy goodbye.
On the walk back to my jeep, I think about all the places blogging has taken me and all the places I hope it will take me, still. And, all the places I hope Jeremy and Kenyata get to go, like college and not that awful haunted house.
Oh, the places you’ll go blogging.