A Blogiversary and Some FAQs
On the occasion of my first blogiversary, I thought I would answer a few blogging FAQs (or at least some that you might like answered).
Q: When did you first hear about blogging?
A: Until Hurricane Katrina, I had never heard of blogging. But in the aftermath of the storm, I began reading blogs containing first-hand accounts from people in affected areas of the Gulf Coast and was hooked. I couldn’t believe how quickly and efficiently one could leap via links to so many different places, people and perspectives. I discovered several bloggers who were members of my particular denomination, the Church of Christ, as well as fellow Harding University alumni.
I was mostly relieved. I found others were asking some of the same questions I was as well as thinking some of the same thoughts. Maybe I wasn’t so crazy after all. One thing was for sure–I was not alone.
Q: Why did you start blogging?
For my entire career, I’ve written as part of my work (I’ve published over 20 articles in various professional journals and websites). Still, I wanted to do something different and write stories that would make people laugh and maybe think a little. I hesitated at first because I figured that what people really wanted was fiction, and I just didn’t seem to have the imagination for that.
Then I started to realize that interesting events were occuring all around me all the time. One day I woke up and said, “Hey I can do that too!” I figured that if I just kept my eyes open and start writing about what I saw, the stories would come. And they did.
Q: Why did you pick the name “Ocular Fusion?”
A: When the eyes work together, they take the light emanating from objects and send it along two separate tracts of the visual pathway, terminating in the visual processing center of the brain where the images are “fused” into a single percept. My writing is a reflection of a similar process; observing the events occuring around me and just trying to take these disparate images and find meaning in them and make some sense of it all–“just looking around and trying to put it all together.”
Q: Why do you keep blogging?
A: The short answer is that it’s cheaper than therapy! The longer answer is that I enjoy the discipline of writing regularly and the accountability of having others read my work. It keeps my mind sharp, and I find that it helps bring a certain fitness to many other areas of my life as well. Posting several times a week is like a 5-mile run for the brain.
I am hardly a finished product. Writing, as well as reading the thoughts of others, are important parts of my ongoing intellectual and spiritual growth.
Q: Why do you try to joke around so much? I mean, some of your stuff is pretty lame.
A: You’re right, it is, sorry about that. But for a good part of my life, I took things way too seriously and I’m just trying to make up for lost time. I believe people are more likely to take the serious things that you do have to say more seriously–if they first see that you know how to laugh at yourself.
Q: Why do you post pictures of your family on your site but none of yourself?
A: If you knew what I looked like, you wouldn’t have asked that question! Bottom line, they’re all good looking, and I’m not.
Q: Will you ever reveal your “true identity?”
A: Maybe some day. Most of you know who I am anyway. And if you do, then you know that I’m no big deal.
Q: Why don’t you blog more about politics and other controversial, “edgy” topics?
A: I realize I could probably create a lot more traffic for my blog by leaning more toward controversy in politics, current affairs, and religion, but that’s just not what I care to do right now. I’m having fun keeping it on the light side. Besides, there are many people who are far more expert than I am in those topics and plenty of places to go to if you’re into those areas.
I’ve also noticed that it’s extremely difficult (but certainly not impossible) to deal with hot button issues and not have the discussion devolve into a snark-fest. There’s more than enough sarcasm and incivility in the blogosphere and society in general right now. I’m hoping my place can be a hangout for those who need a break from all that and who may be looking for a little light and some fresh air.
Believe me, I have the tools to get more edgy, sarcastic and controversial if I wanted to. I just don’t think it would be good for my soul or my blood pressure. It’s really more about protecting myself from myself.
Q: Have you met some interesting people blogging?
A: Absolutely! In fact, I think that’s what I’ve enjoyed the most–making new “virtual” friends. I even hope to meet some of you in person someday (I hope that won’t spoil it for you!)
I know that several of you are regulars but haven’t left a comment or introduced yourselves yet. That’s okay–feel free to “lurk” as they say. But I must admit, I am curious as to who some of you are…
Q: Have you ever thought about quitting and moving on to something else?
A: Many times. But each time I do, something interesting or funny happens, and I find myself back at the keyboard again.
Q: Do you think you’ve accomplished anything significant by blogging?
A: Most likely not. I’m often struck by the basic hubris involved in daring to write and imagining that someone might be interested in what you to say. It is definitely, in some respects, an exercise in vanity. But then again, maybe, just maybe, someone has been blessed by something I’ve written. So maybe it’s also an exercise in faith.
Q: What’s the favorite post you’ve written?
A: That’s tough. Of course, I have the bad habit of believing that everything I write is good! I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I do know that “The Heartbreak of Presbyopia” still makes me laugh when I read it.
Q: Will you write a book someday?
A: Maybe. Who knows? Right now, I can barely do this and manage everything else. Someday, when “I have a little more time,” perhaps I’ll take a stab at it.
Q: Will you be blogging a year from now?
A: I may not be alive a year from now. It’s one day at a time. Honestly, I have a hard time believing that I actually kept this up for a year. But I’m glad I have, and I’m glad that many of you have stuck with me. You honor me with your presence.
“The Heartbreak of Presbyopia” was a funny one for me too. Probably because I feel your pain.
Congratulations on your first blogiversary!
[[There’s more than enough sarcasm and incivility in the blogosphere and society in general right now. ]]
Yup. It’s kind of nice to find the occasional online oasis. (Although if you wanted to add more soccer posts… Well, I’d be okay with that.)
Happy Anniversary, BlogFriend!
Good for you and the year of blog writing. I’ve enjoyed visiting with you and seeing what you’ve got to say.
BTW, your interviewer asked really good questions. S/he must be very, very bright.
O.K. Now blow out the candle on your virtual cake…
Sorry I missed his; I was in New Orleans. I’m sure that’s used as an excuse for a lot of things.
GKB must be a proud daddy. If it goes to his head, it will explode. It is weird that we are celebrating so close together.
I enjoy your blog. Same time next year.
Mike the Eyeguy
Is it true that “what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans?” 🙂
To all, thanks for the well wishes. Laurie, I would write more about soccer, but I’m afraid I would alienate most everyone else!
Yeah, so you’d alienate everybody else. And…? Your son would probably read it. And I would, too. So that’s, y’know, two. And wouldn’t writing about topics that bore people after a full year of writing of things of interest be controversial? So there you go.
And I’m sure you’ve read that the Beckham to MLS rumors are still swirling. He’s been cut from the England team and pretty much benched at Real Madrid. Rumor has it MLS is offering $100 million for a move to LA or NYC. RM keeps saying they’re close to re-signing him and then it doesn’t happen. I think he was made to play in the US!
Mike the Eyeguy
Having Beckham and/or Zidane would be an incredible boon to MLS. Neither has quite the spring in their step that they once had, but moving to MLS would likely give them a little extra time to to ply their trade, sort of like a star outfielder moving to designated hitter.
Hey you’ll appreciate this: I stood a few feet away from Shaun Alexander on Saturday. The Seahawks had the week off apparently and I practically ran into him at the Paul “Bear” Bryant Museum on game day in Tuscaloosa. I’ll write more about it later.
Oh, I LOVE Shaun Alexander. Not just a great football player, a truly decent human being. And the Hawks completely fell apart without him last week. How did he look? Is he limping? On crutches? We NEED him back by Sunday!
Shaun is definitely worthy of having you devote an entire blog post to him
Mike the Eyeguy
He wasn’t limping, nor was he on crutches. He was smiling, laughing and waving–typical Shaun.
Happy anniversary….I like your interview, most of your answers could have been mine as well.
I’m glad you have stuck around, but will easily pass by your post on bloglines if it concerns soccer….but that is OK, most people don’t care about my tennis or NASCAR post either!
Mike the Eyeguy
Oh please, Donna, give “The Beautiful Game” a chance! I know that it doesn’t have the sound and fury of NASCAR, but it’s like ballet and opera–sometimes you just need a guide.
I’ll strike a deal with you. If Grissom comes down Cullman way this spring to play your beloved Bearcats, you can be my guest. I’ll pay your admission, buy you a hotdog even, and explain to you the ins and outs of the ballet that is soccer and my passionate love affair with The Beautiful Game. If you aren’t a convert by the time I’m done waxing eloquently, then I promise to buy a sticker with the NASCAR driver number of your choice and place it on the back windshield of my Audi A4.
Let me know if you’re interested in taking the “Eyeguy Challenge.” You have nothing to lose and everything, including an appreciation for the world’s sport of choice, to gain.
Happy, Happy, Happy.
Mike the Eyeguy
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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