Friday, February 08, 2008

'til next time

BCCAdmin: There's a rumor going around that you're planning on shutting down BCC Weblog?

DG: Really, where did you hear that from?

BCCAdmin: From inside your head, actually.

DG: Yea, well I suppose you do have access to sources that are unavailable to others.

BCCAdmin: So, what's the scoop?

DG: It's not really about shutting down the blog, but I have decided to take a substantive hiatus from chess blogging. Of course, any member of the BCF can post on the blog and as long as some do, it should remain an active and vibrant place. History suggests that the total number of posts will come down when I'm not blogging; however, Bob Oresick has been posting more frequently as of late and perhaps others will join in.

BCCAdmin: Why the hiatus?

DG: After more than three years as a daily chess blogger, it just feels like it is time to move on to other things.

It's been quite a long time since I far exceeded even my most optimistic objectives for this blog (except for creating an active group of bloggers among the members of the BCF). We have readership measured in hundreds a day and thousands a month, over 200 RSS subscribers and we get linked to on an almost daily basis. We've even made a little bit of money for the Foundation through donations and ad revenue. OK, The Wonkette wouldn't be all that impressed, but I think it's a pretty solid result for a chess blog run by a middling club-level chess player without a title, star power, or a brand name. My personal goals around learning about blogging technology and the development of virtual communities, and practicing my writing skills have also been extensively addressed.

Looking back at the archives, I'm fairly happy with much of the content that I've produced over the years. I suppose I could keep on the same path indefinitely, but at this point, it feels a lot like resting on past laurels -- another Caption Contest, another witty chess reference in an article, etc., etc, etc. Been there, done that; it just seems like the right time to do something else.

BCCAdmin: You're calling it a hiatus, so how long do you think it will last?

DG: I'm shooting for forever. However, I've seen too many bloggers make grand declarations about leaving only to return after a short break. Since I can easily see this happening to me, I think it's better to call it a break and see what happens. Nevertheless, if I am able to make a clean getaway and put this project behind me, I won't be unhappy with that outcome.

BCCAdmin: You mentioned "moving on to other things." What do you plan to do with all your new found free time?

DG: Hard to say, I don't really have a new project lined up, though studying some chess wouldn't be a bad use of time. I've toyed with a few ideas over the years -- several blogging related -- but haven't really settled on anything specific. I'll mention one, only because 1) I think it is both interesting and amusing and 2) I know I'll never actually do it.

After sitting through an incredibly painful performance of Mama Mia! (actually I can't imagine a performance of this musical that couldn't be described as incredibly painful), I began to ponder whether a rock musical could be written using songs that actually had some thematic continuity and relationship to an underlying story. I suppose some might mention Tommy and there are probably others. My idea is to write a musical about one individual's complete and utter failure in work, love and life based on the songs of Gang of Four. You know, classics like "Love Is Like Anthrax", "Damaged Goods" and "Paralyzed." I actually have some scenes and transitions blocked out in my head, but as I said before, it's not really going to happen.

BCCAdmin: OK, that was kind of wierd... Let's get back to the chess blogosphere. I suppose you'll have more time to read and keep up with your favorite chess bloggers.

DG: No, just the opposite. I plan to stop reading chess blogs all together, at least for awhile.

BCCAdmin: Really, why?

DG: This was actually a tough decision, since I consider many chess bloggers to be my good friends, at least in a virtual sense. Nevertheless, I'm quite certain that if I keep reading blogs I'll have no chance whatsoever of making this hiatus permanent. How long will it be before I read a post that sparks an idea and off I'll be posting about it? Probably a day, certainly no more than a week.

So, in about a week, I'll be deleting my personal bookmarks to BCC Weblog and Bloglines. Of course, that won't stop me from going there anyway, but at least I'll make it a bit more cumbersome to do so. Perhaps in the future, I'll decide that I can return as a reader without succumbing to the temptation to post.

It's amazing how much this answer sounds like a recovering alcoholic talking!

BCCAdmin: What will become of the chess blog listings?

DG: I suppose over time they will become dated, but I suspect they'll still be the most comprehensive source of chess blogs for quite awhile. If any other blogger is interested in taking over the task of maintaining a comprehensive chess blog listing on their own site, I'd be happy to share the tricks of trade that I picked up over the years.

BCCAdmin: So what happens now?

DG: I guess I'll read and respond to comments here for the next week or so and then head back to the real world. Maybe I'll be back here in a few weeks or months or maybe not. Maybe at some point in the future I'll leave a comment on somebody's blog. Maybe I'll run into some of you at a tournament or at the BCC.

BCCAdmin: Any last thoughts?

DG: More than anything, this experience has been about the community of bloggers and readers who have traveled this path with me. I can't possibly leave without saying thanks to all of you. I really shouldn't mention names because I'll obviously miss some important ones, so if you think you should have been mentioned and weren't please don't take offense -- I meant to include you.

Thank you Don. Thanks Sancho, Pale, Pawn Sensei, GK and J'adoube. My thanks to Tempo, BDK, chessloser, Mouse and Tak. Thanks to Goran, Dennis, Michael, Mark, Brad, Tom, Sean, Robert, and Petros. Thank you Rocky, BP, Edwin, DK, Tyro, BlueEyed, Steve, Scary, CG, Sciurus, Ivan, Globular and Polly. Thanks to everyone who thought my posts were worth reading and/or commenting on. And thanks to everyone I missed.

...'til next time...

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