Thursday, February 22, 2007

Three years of blogging (a ramble)

Three years actually a fairly big number if you float around the blogosphere a bit. Bane got me thinking on this, most blogs seem to have a finite life span. Many of the blogs that have burned bright eventually fade and the author puts up a post about having nothing more to say and falls out of the cyber landscape. 3 years is actually a heck of a long time for a milblogger, many of us get home from the front and our story is done.

Look at the links on my sidebar toward the bottom right above the visitor location map, I have a spot called "Milbloggers that fell off the face of the earth". The list used to be bigger but when the blogs gets taken over by spammers, I usually take them off. My advice to bloggers? Don't ever shut down your blog, keep it but don't let anyone take your address in cyberspace. A while back ago, there was someone who searched out the milbloggers who shut down and started blogging in their name. Empty your template, take off all of your personal information if you want, just don't click on the button that says "Delete Blog", who knows, maybe someday you want to do a post letting us know what happens after you ride off into the sunset.

One of the bigger names in the milblog circle gave an interview saying that he was looking forward to the day when he could finally close the door on his blog. I've had days and months like that, when blogging becomes a chore or even worse a job that people are expecting you to do. That's no way to survive, you should only blog because you want to do it. Or to meet people.. Or if someone pays you to do it. Or to pick up gals or guys. Or feel like telling a story. Blogging isn't for everyone.

Have you seen the bloggers who quit because the troll gang came around and decided that it was this persons turn to take on their wrath? You need to grow some thick skin to stay in this business. I've had my share of trolls and unlike some people who like to crush them and suck their bones. I usually laugh, my life stopped being centered around my blog a long time ago, I am Doc in the Box but if you know me, it takes an awful much to get a rise out of me. I can live with all but a few of them and those I take great relish in banning. Then telling all of my blogging buddies their trollish IP addresses and telling them how to ban them too. Do you know what a blacklist is?

Who do I consider trolls? People who call me a baby killer (one of my favorite things to do is practicing at making babies and have not killed a single one), banned, call me a Nazi of any sort (come on, I'm half Thai, you need to be white to do that), banned, be rude and inconsiderate and call me names that do not apply? (I don't mind people calling me names but at least use names that apply to me) Banned. Go around all of the milblogs and paste some dumb spam comment? (again that Nazi dude and the occasional spam add) Banned.

I welcome arguments and disagreements of all sorts, not that I get many of them. I'm not blogging to rock any boats, I'm just telling a story and put my thoughts into writing, them being my thoughts, I like to think their right but if I'm wrong about my facts, wack me for being a dork.

I have regular readers from both sides of the red and blue, where else in the blogosphere can you find links to gun nuts right next to the blog of a peacenik? There are plenty of people out there who are turning that line into a fortified wall, I'm just not one of them. I do have political thoughts about everything on the news but you won't find them here, there are rules pertaining to politics and the military and taking those values into a public forum. We're paid to follow orders and I like to believe I follow the rules, plus as far as names of milbloggers getting their real names thrown around, CB and me seem to have that market cornered. People who follow these circles see Doc in the Box and instantly think, Sean Dustman. My War = Colby Buzzell. Big brother doesn't bother me because I'm playing by the same rules I've used since I started.

But when someone comes here spouting poison and frothing at the mouth, I'm all for putting them down like the animal they are (I didn't say dog because I happen have a great fondness for dogs) I'm fine with someone who doesn't agree with something I've blogged about or what I'm doing, I still get grief about the post I did on the TLC show about the kid with the facial growth and the half lady. Oh well, it's still up there and I didn't ban anyone for them. Go ahead, tell me to go jump in a lake (oh no, not the briar patch!), call me a slacker or RAMF (which I was for much of the time) fine, just don't be rude about it.

My trick to surviving here? I don't take anything personally, this isn't my life, I have a very happy life away from this computer. I blog about what I want to, when I want to, there are no schedules. I love hearing from people who's lives I have changed, I've got emails from people who've found Soldiers Angels through me and set them on their path to supporting the troops. I do have a donation button on the side bar to help fund my trip (because even though I'm happy with my real life, I sure am poor) but I'm not blogging for that.

The real treasures from writing this blog can't be counted in cash. Every keystroke has paid me back a thousand fold, the girl of my dreams found me here using Webcrawler to look for military pen pals and agreed to be my wife, I've met and made friends from all over the world in all walks of life and by living one of the greatest stories that's going on right now, it's helped me develop a very critical eye about world events and look at both sides of the story and eventually you realize there is no correct answer. Everything will happen and eventually just become history for the bookish people to take apart at a later date. The only way an individual is going to make the world better place is to try to do good today and be honest and to talk as many people around you into doing the same. I sleep easy at night knowing that I do that.

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