In August of 2005, a pop-up ad appeared on my computer screen offering me a free, three month trial period for Typepad, a blog hosting service. I signed up with the intention of having a little fun, venting my anger at the way my life was going at the time, as well as my anger at what I considered the destructive, conservative philosophy that was then dominating the American government. Well, a funny thing happened. It had been my intention to have my cathartic fun for those three months, and then quit. Instead, I ended up composing over 350 posts, the last written just last week. But things do change, and my on going financial problems have forced me to cut as much from my budget as possible. This afternoon, I logged on to Typepad, and cancelled my account.
I won't lie. It hurt. I was surprised that I could care so much about my writings. I was also surprised at the pleasure I took in knowing that other people actually read what I wrote, and on occasion, took the time to leave comments. Those comments weren't always complimentary, and at least one was basically a threat on my life, but I enjoyed them all, anyway.
When I realized that I was so broke that saving the $8.95 a month Typepad hosting fee would actually make a difference in my life, I began looking for an alternative. And so, here I am, on my new blogging home. Blogger is free, there aren't any limits on the number of blogs I can run; and there is the potential to actually make some money through ads placed by Google. That's something I have very mixed feeling about, by the way. On one hand I detest the smothering nature of our advertising dominated culture. On the other hand, I'm desperate for cash. I just hope that if I borrow from Mary McCarthy and write of Ann Coulter that "every word out of her mouth including a, and , and the is a lie," I won't find an ad for her latest hate screed next to my thoughts on national health care. I'm in favor of single payer, for the record.
While the original New Common Sense started out as a purely political blog, in time I began to write of other things. Baseball may have been the first departure. I have a vague memory of making wrong predictions on the play-offs. Reviews of out of print books, found in thrift shops, soon followed. Then I indulged my obsession with silent movies, old technology, and 78 RPM records. When I wrote a series of articles about Floyd Landis, I had a huge up turn in visitation after being linked to Trust But Verify, a web site set up to follow Landis' fight to clear his name. When I read Landis' book, and found a sentence or two that referenced a point I had made, I couldn't help but wonder if it was a coincidence, or if he had read my words. Not bad for a college drop out and life long blue collar guy.
Typepad allowed me three blogs for my $8.95. When I cancelled The New Common Sense, I also cancelled Found Photography, a blog dedicated to old photographs, and Self Propelled, about hiking and cycling. As I've revived The New Common Sense, I've also started rebuilding the other two. They can be found at http://www.thenewfoundphotography.blogspot.com/ and http://www.selfpropelled-wjy.blogspot.com/. The New Found Photography is already up and running, while Self Propelled sits, nothing but a mast head, until I can find the time to get out and put in some miles. In addition I've started a satirical site about Hollywood, (Did I mention that I'm working as a background actor right now?) http://www.forgottenhollywoodhistory.blogspot.com/.
What can I say. I had readers at Typepad, and I hope they'll find me at Blogger. If not, I'll just have to start anew.