The End of an Era

I had myself an entirely self-indulgent, lazy Friday evening and Saturday morning, so I came to yesterday’s bloggy bombshell well behind the Internet info-curve.

Dan Rubin writes:

Tie a toe-tag on Blinq. I’m getting ready to start another assignment here at the Inquirer.

For those of you who have checked in regularly – hi, Mom and Citizen Mom – you are the reason I’ve kept such odd hours, failed to maintain any firewall between my work time and family time, and know what’s up with Terrell Owens. (Not so much since hugging it out with Donovan McNabb at a Super Bowl party in Miami.)

What I’m moving on to is the metro desk, taking a crack at being a local columnist. Talk about your old media.

I am more saddened by such news than seems appropriate, considering I’m just a random reader among thousands of same.

But I followed Blinq even before I knew its official name. In the spring of 2005, then-editor of the Inky, Amanda Bennett, gave a lecture at the college that was my then-employer. And the chance to attend such events is one of the perks of working for a college, so I juggled my workload to have that part of the afternoon free to plant my butt in a lecture-hall chair.

Bennett was talking about the influence of new media on the newspaper business—and more specifically, about the blogosphere. It was in this speech that she estimated the existence of 150 Philadelphia-centered blogs, and it was that stray number that led me to rename my own marginal and oft-neglected blog Area 151.

Bennett also explained how the Inky would soon be dispatching one of its reporters to the online beat, blogging full-time—an experieiment in reporting on new and old media through the new media. Sounded entirely interesting to me, so I kept my eyes peeled. I found Blinq about as soon as it went live and kept it in my Bloglines feeds ever since.

Many’s the time when I’d save a post for a day or two, hoping to follow up and respond to it here. I’d rarely do so, because he’s a an actual writer and I’m a bit of a hack, and I could never think of a response that added value. And Rubin sure as shit didn’t need any traffic directed his way from me: he was doing fine on his own.

I think I was lucky enough to get quoted twice in Blinq—oddly enough, in two consecutive posts, here and here. I’m foolishly proud to have said something worth quoting. I’m less proud that the first of those quotes reproduces the kind of spelling error that inevitably happens when you’re trying to do a quick post after a late night ballgame (and all the beers consumed during said ballgame).

So what all of this adds up to, I guess, is the way that Blinq has been woven into the fabric of my awareness of the whole glorious richness of the Philly blogging community. Blinq, Philly Future, even this Metroblogging experiment that’s 18 months old—all of those things came into my life in a few-month span back in the spring of 2005. And I’m truly sorry to see this one thread come to a sort of an end.

Best of luck to ya, Mr. Rubin. Let me know if all those promises of taking you out for beers come to pass. I’d be honored to lift my glass with the rest of the gang.

1 Comment so far

  1. Marisa (unregistered) on February 10th, 2007 @ 11:14 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe that Blinq is no more! What a loss for the Philadelphia blogworld.

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