Removing the Veil

I’ve been running this little blog for just over 2 years now, first at blogspot, and now here. In those two years I’ve learned a lot, perhaps more about the act of blogging, politics and blogging politics than I ever hoped to know. To be sure, when I started on this little endeavor, I never thought that my voice would be heard over the ever-expanding universe that is the blogoshpere.

Thanks to the help of several more connected bloggers in the world of politics and writers I’ve had the fortune to meet over this time, I feel I’ve cultivated something here that is outgrowing my old ideas of what role this space would serve.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a big head about anything. I’m painfully aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I’m reminded nearly every day. Still, the reach of this blog has far exceeded any expectations that I held two years ago.

To that end, I’ve decided to make some minor changes here. First and foremost to me is my decision to use my real name on every post. You’ll notice just below the title that the author no longer says “vibinc”, but my actual name, Steve Ross.

Even though I “outed” myself months ago, new readers may or may not have read that post, or the About page located on the right of the content area. Using my real name will hopefully dispel any of the “Anonymous” charges that have been tossed around over the past several months. In short, how can I expect anyone else to personally own their words when I am cloaked under the veil of a moniker, even if I have already introduced myself.

Secondly, despite my heavy travel schedule (I’ll be crisscrossing the country to 5 cities over the next 4 weeks) I intend to sharpen my focus on Memphis politics. In the next month the SCDP will be selecting new leadership. I think it’s important that people be acquainted with the people who seek those leadership positions. So far I’ve been able to contact two of the five seeking the SCDP chair, and hope to reach the others soon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get these profiles out before the Ward and Precinct meeting on March 7th.

I’m also working on the look and feel of the site. Making things pretty is not necessarily a strength of mine. Making them work is. While I tend toward more utilitarian design, I know that this space can often look cluttered and difficult to read. Hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll be able to strike a balance between removing the clutter, but staying true to my utilitarian nature in a way that is more pleasing to the eye.

Even though I’ve been resistant to “monetizing” anything in connection to this space, I have been urged to do so by, well, a lot of people. The inclusion of ads on the side is not something I take lightly. In many ways I see the “monetizing” of editorial space, which this blog largely is, a corrupting influence that can call into question the motives and motivation of the writer. Still, I put a lot of time and work into this site, and if I can just get the hosting and other expenses paid every year, even though that doesn’t amount to much, it will make it easier for me to dedicate myself even more to writing, which is something that would make me very happy.

Luckily, I’m not big enough, or so inclined to go out soliciting ads, and there are plenty of services that will do that for you, so if you see something that interests you, go for it. Hopefully it will allow me to do more things with this space than rattle off a couple thousand words a day.

Finally I want to thank the readers of this blog for valuing my perspective and hope that we can build a greater dialogue in the future. This space is not a meant to be a one-way street. I hope that all of you will take advantage of the medium and help foster a dialogue. Ultimately, that’s what this whole blogging thing is all about.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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