Tuesday March 12, 2013
Does anybody else remember November 2005? That’s when Rick started Stuck on the Palmetto. It was a blog in the old-school sense: updated a bunch of times a day, with one guy’s opinion about just about damn near anything that happened in South Florida (That’s what Broward folks call the greater Miami metro region). It got New Times “Best of” both years of its existence, and generally was the go-to thing. I was blogging this whole time, but the thing that was always impressive about Rick was his sheer consistency. He was always there, doing it, day in and day out. Always with the same point of view and mildly sardonic tone. Things went south at the end of 2007 — Rick had a way of pissing people off (he pissed me off All. The. Time.) and occasionally it got a little personal, and after one particular kerfuffle Rick yanked the blog down.
You can still read portions of Stuck on the Palmetto on Archive.org and once in awhile I’ll poke around there; it’s worth it. (No, the Archive doesn’t have the posts from the final days.)
Anyway, a few months after SotP shut down, Rick started South Florida Daily Blog. I still have no idea why he named it that. But he’s been going ever since, every damned day. 11,000+ posts by his own count (do the math, people: that’s 6 posts a day, day-in-day-out).
About a month ago came a nasty fight with another local blogger. I only ever read the two posts pertaining to that, but my impression is that Rick came out of that looking pretty good. The other guy was basically saying, “I don’t like what you wrote. Apologize, or I’ll write the nastiest post I can, with as much dirt as I’m capable of digging up.” I’ve had my share of fights with Rick, and I’ve often found him to be startlingly small-minded, but I think it speaks well to his integrity that he didn’t let himself be bullied by this. (Also, I would encourage people to note the difference between “anonymous” and “pseudonymous.”) But anyway, shit takes a toll.
Call it burnout, call it frustration, call it a desire to regain some of the health that I’ve lost somewhere along the way as I’ve spent countless hours hunched over a keyboard writing Sifts, Coolers, and other posts that total over 11,000 in number…but I think it’s time to move forward. I’ve expressed my frustration at how blogging has evolved from being one of the primary outlets for thought and discussion to just one of many platforms to get words out. Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook have become distractions to the blogosphere that have pulled readers and any comments they may leave away from the traditional blogs. I’ve watched my stats slowly taper off over the last couple years to a point where, on some weekends, I can barely justify the effort.
Amen to that. But I’m not too worried. Rick had another blog before SotP. I bet he takes a couple of months off and starts writing. Maybe it’ll be another blog, just one where he writes without this crazy hectic schedule. But if I were an editor at the Herald, I’d be in touch with Rick and offering him a column or something.
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