As I write this blog post I take note it is posting #700 for the Sportsman’s Blog. A nice milestone, I guess…but the fact is for a blog that’s been around since the fall of 2004 it’s not an outstanding achievement—especially when you figure it only equates to about one blog entry every 3 days or so.
Still, it is what it is. More than anything else, it gives me a reason to pause and reflect about where blogging is going—both for me personally, but also in my little area of the blogosphere.
I gotta say…since I began blogging we, as a blogging community, sure have come a long way. In those early years we seemed to lack any legitimate recognition in the media or journalism worlds. Wow, has that changed…and I dare acknowledge in a very positive way.
Now, this has nothing to do with outdoors blogging per se, but it helps to illustrate what blogging means to the world we live in. You likely don’t know this about me, but I am a big Civil War history buff. I read about the Civil War and watch just about any video or TV special I can on the topic. Why? Mostly because it draws me to an era where I can be constantly inspired by examples of bravery and perseverance you just don’t see much these days. Soldiers back in the mid-19th Century were a special breed sacrificing everything they had to fight for a cause dear to them.
Okay, enough on that. But because I have a passionate interest in the Civil War I follow a handful of blogs that cover the subject. Now, in case you didn’t know it, we are just days away from the sesquicentennial anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Indeed, on April 12, 2011, this date will mark the 150th anniversary of when the Civil War all began at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. A significant event in our country’s history.
One such blog I read is called Civil War Memory written by Kevin Levin, who happens to be a Civil War historian and a high school history teacher. Kevin writes a great blog on the topic, but that’s not why I mentioned him today. You see, just a few days ago Kevin received an e-mail from the Library of Congress asking permission to permanently archive his blog site. That’s right…here’s what the LOC told him:
The United States Library of Congress has selected your website for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War Sesquicentennial. The Library of Congress preserves the Nation’s cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library’s traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including websites.
Wow. What an honor. Now think about it…many of the jottings we blog about pertaining to the outdoors doesn’t have the same historical significance, yet they are equally as important in their own way. As Kevin relates his thoughts and perceptions about topics pertaining to the Civil War, so, too, do we relate our feelings about matters dealing with hunting, fishing. etc. From a purely historical perspective, each of our blog entries serves as a “snapshot,” so to speak, of where we are in the evolving history of the outdoors recreational community.
Obviously the LOC doesn’t want to permanently archive our postings, but chances are quite good that once something appears on the Internet it won’t go away anytime soon. Take, for instance, using the Waybackmachine.org site where I could still access how my blog looked and read from November 2004. Sort of scary, but just goes to prove that each of our blogs has the potential for some permanency.
The point I’m trying to make is what we write about as bloggers—no matter what the topic—can have value long beyond the immediate moment. It may not have the same historical significance worthy of being gathered and stored in the LOC, but that doesn’t mean the content we develop in our blogging efforts is any less important for our given subject matter.
Seriously, I can see researchers years from now looking back at how many of us outdoor bloggers were feeling about important topics of our time—topics like protection of wolves, dealing with Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, struggle for protecting gun rights and on and on.
In many ways those of us who blog write from the heart and deal with topics that are currently weighing heavy on our minds. I can only imagine a generation or two from now people will be able to look back and still find these important blog musings. Frankly, I’d be surprised given the power of the Internet if this was not possible.
With that in mind, I continue to post blog entries no matter if it was my first one or my 700th realizing first and foremost blogging is fun, blogging as a communication medium continues to grow and how the act of blogging can have enduring communication value beyond what you and I may realize at this immediate moment in time.
©2011 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.