Tuesday, November 16, 2010
After almost 3 years of publishing Rudi Stettner and Magdeburger Joe, I am as enthusiastic as ever about writing, both on my own sites and elsewhere. The growth of Rudistettner.com and Magdeburgerjoe.com has been limited by my choice of names that sound more like personal blogs than like news sites. Additionally, I am not able to generate by myself the quantity and quality needed to pull in a larger readership.
I am in the process of creating a site that will have a name that will sound like and will in fact be a news and commentary site. In addition to my own articles, I will introduce my readership to news and opinions that I feel deserve more attention. I will NOT lift articles, but will introduce them and link over to them. I want to get paid for what I write, and I will assist others in doing so as well.
I am starting off on a shoestring budget, learning and making plenty of mistakes as I go along. I hope to grow by redesigning my site and getting more band width on an "as needed" basis. There is a lot to learn. I am not a technical person, but I have been forced to address technical questions as I get this new project off the ground.
Every site owner has his or her own priorities. My new site will be a mix of the popular, mainstream topics and some of my private interests, ranging from the serious to the frivolous. I like Quebec rock music, endangered languages and crazy looking exotic animals. I also worry about persecuted religious groups such as Coptic Christians and the Mandaeans. I could not care less about which drunken starlet barfed in the back of her limo or broke up withhis or her significant other. It's a big world out there. I have my priorities, and so will my new site. There are times when I like to be recklessly indifferent to popular tastes. On my own web site I will be free to be "offbeat" whenever I choose.
If there is one thing I learned from my communist days, it is that there is no such thing as "straight news, because the choice of news is itself a political statement. I try to be straight forward about my own biases, so readers can weigh my bias in evaluating my articles.
I don't even pretend to be open minded. My opinions have shifted at times with glacial slowness. Part of what has on rare occasion shifted my world view is getting trounced in debate and in personal experience. There is a constant tension and dialogue in my life between what I believe and what I see. This tension is what drives my writing.
I have a name picked out for my new site, as well as a url. The only reason I am not revealing either one is because the site is still under construction. By the end of the week, I hope to have the site up and running with graphics that are not laughably awful.I am looking forward to this new chapter in my professional life.
The ability of every human being to publish words that can be heard around the world is profoundly revolutionary. I have gotten hits from Kigali to Hanoi, from Santiago de Chile to China. Who could have imagined such a thing when I was a child? Like millions of people, I see a collective vision of the world that is projected into my living room that is distorted at best, and quite possibly harmful. In our time, I have the possibility to raise my voice in dissent. And that what I am doing.
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