i met common ills community member betty online a month ago. she was thinking of do a blog and was asking for input and sounding borads. c.i., the gang at 3rd estate sunday review and myself have spent time reading over test entries as she worked to develop a character for her upcoming blog which will be a humorous look at a number of issues.
if i sound vague, it's because the blog goes live friday and until then we're all supposed to keep it under wraps. however, i did ask betty if she'd agree to answer a few questions. during all night sessions with the 3rd estate sunday review we've all gotten to know each other and i consider betty not just a some 1 who's blog i'm looking forward to but also a friend.
she graciously agreed to talk to me before the blog goes live. you can see this as a circle jerk, the way bill keller of the new york times would, or you can see as 1 common ills community member helping out another.
me: so here's what we know: you'll blog at least twice a week.
betty: yes, hopefully more often, but at least twice a week.
and i know which 2 days.
yes, you do.
but going into that might spoil the fun of the 1st visit. at my site, i've written about how i had to figure out what my voice was and i thought you might want to discuss your own process.
well i was wanting to blog because i do agree that more voices are needed.
you turn on the sunday chat & chews and it's the same people week after week.
exactly. and i can complain that people with my views aren't heard enough and that's important to make the point but what else am i doing, you know? so i wanted to blog and get another voice out there. and then i had problems with how did i want to write?
because you feel like you are already up to your neck in reality.
right. i've got kids, i work, and doing this blog will require some real juggling. the last thing i wanted to do was sit in front of a computer screen, exhausted, trying to figure out what to say and how to say it. i like to laugh so i was looking for something that would amuse me enough that if i missed a day or 2 of blogging, i would want to come back to it because it interested me.
so i created what i think is an interesting way into looking at things and i hope it's funny as well.
so it will be a parody and kind of like writing a novel.
did you ever try to write a novel?
oh yeah. after waiting to exhale and other books, i'd look at my friends and think, "we have interesting stories too. we could fill out a book."
i got two chapters and then things just got out of control. maybe i'll go back to it someday but most likely i won't. but i did want something creative that would hopefully be humorous .
without revealing too many secrets, in your 1st entry, you are 'bettina.'
right. there's a backstory that the reader won't know at 1st, so you'll have to be patient for it to unfold. bettina is basically some 1 who is not herself and as the blog unfolds, you discover more and more about bettina. and about what happened before you met her and why you're meeting her now.
i hope that it's involving and that it hooks you. but i bet every 1 hopes that.
with me, i was worried a lot about day 2. i knew what i wanted to write on day 1 but was worried what i would write about after that 1st day. and when you were talking about having similar fears, i really identified with that.
well, i talked to a lot of people because i was worried. and what jim of 3rd estate sundy review told me was the common ills has the community thing down pat. c.i. starts out each moring with what's in the new york times. on thursdays, it's time to spotlight on independent media. on sunday's it's time to go around the globe. the 1st post after mid-day is democracy now and a look at what people are writing about around the net.
and since the common ills is a resource/review, c.i. has a pretty firm grip on what the common ills is. but jim said that there are saturdays when they're pulling together like crazy and have no idea what their final sunday edition will be like when it posts. and you laid out your topics in your title so you've got a framework. ava of the 3rd estate sunday review talked to me openly about the struggle with each sunday's edition. and she really advised me to figure out what i wanted to say and how to approach the topics ahead of time because it would cut down on a lot of problems that might arise early on.
and that's really feedback that i got back from a lot of people and from what you said and what you blogged about finding your voice. and i hope that i've created a persona that will allow me to have something to say and be interested enough to keep writing.
do you worry you might stop?
yeah, with young children and a job i do worry about finding the time. which is why i've set 2 posts a week as what i will be doing and anything additional will just be an extra. but i don't want to set the bar so high that i get sick of it and it becomes a chore.
it was really interesting to watch you through various drafts and try outs go through this phase where originally you were basically writing op-eds that were very head on and then slowly you started creating the character for yourself and using it to say things.
well thank you. i hope we aren't overhyping it. it's a milder kind of humor.
i think it's very funny and you're coming at it in a very interesting time.
when the issue of where are the female bloggers? yeah, that probably prodded me at times of doubt. and there's also the fact that i'm african-american. but i liked your point that women are out there and that if you're not seeing them it may say more about you that it does about women.
exactly. because if you're just going to the same voices, it's really not all that different from what corporate media does.
and if corpoarte media were doing their job and being less naive and also working to highlight all view points, i doubt i would be blogging.
well betty i'm glad to have you on board blogging and when your blog goes live, i will be providing a permanent link to i and hopefully a post on it.
so that's an interview with betty and hopefully it cause you to wonder about her blog and to visit. i think betty's going to be a powerful voice for the community.