I'm not sure if I'll be able to write this weeks Commentary. We are hooking up the camper Friday morning to head up to South Carolina. I am scheduled to take part in a large shooting competition, Cowboy Action Shooting. If the camp ground has internet I'll see about getting something put together for y'all (I'm slipping in to my Redneck to get in to character).
I will also be spending part of the weekend contemplating leaving Newsvine.
Why is it that when something good, simple to use, easy to maneuver, and readily available comes along it can't just be left alone? Why, in the supposed name of "improvement", do those who run these web sites feel the need to constantly develop them until it gets to the point one needs a PHD to begin to understand them? I liken it to those idiotic Smartphones and I-Phones. Cell phones started out as a great technological advance, not much harder to utilize than a regular land line. Then came voice mail. Then of course we had to add a camera so politicians and teenagers alike could ruin their lives taking naked pictures of themselves an sending them to the far reaches of the Earth. Then, for the directionally impaired, let's toss navigation and GPS in to that nifty little package! Then along came the "App". We have "apps" for anything from checkers to restaurant menus to guessing the size of the male sexual appendage (Yes, I refer to the Chubby Checker). The only think my wifes phone can't do...YET...is make a margarita.
Back on track...when I first started writing for The Vine life was simple. You wrote you article, gave yourself the first "like", and let people find you through key word searches. People DID find me. Soon I was rolling. I had several friends, many people read my work and they liked it and they came back. Comments were posted, some simply acknowledging good writing (which I greatly appreciated!), others from people with polar opposite views that have led to some wonderful, often very spirited debate. I love writing. I have been doing it since I was 13 years old and was first published at the age of 19. Newsvine gave me an outlet I needed. You see, I could always write. It was the gift I was born with. What I lacked was the confidence to try and make a living at it! Sadly it was almost everyone closest to me, the people that were supposed to encourage me, that worked hard to steer me away from it. Some of you know the words in those conversations..."It'll never amount to anything!"..."You need to get your head out of the clouds and get a real job!"..."Quit wasting your time!". In my early years there was one person alone who encouraged me. She would not allow me to let it go so easily. It was just enough for me to not forget that dream but merely put it on a back burner. Later in life came Sarah, and she picked up with perfect continuity where Kelly left off and, with that continued support, I have really begun to unleash my words.
Again back on track...sorry...but you'll see it is relevant. So, I spent a few years just getting words on paper, practicing if you will. When I decided it was time to begin sharing my work publicly I made the fortuitous discovery of Newsvine. I found a wonderful audience or receptive people. Each time someone read my article and gave me feedback it helped me grow.
Now that has become all but impossible.
When Newsvine changed things people did not stop reading my work. No, those "improvements" have made it nearly impossible to even find my work. It turns out that if you don't join a "Nation" you are pretty much an independent and your work gets buried. My own wife had to spend a half hour searching to find the article I'd just authored the day before yesterday!
So I don't know. I am going to start looking for another outlet for my work. I will miss The Vine, that's for certain. I've met some fine, intelligent people here. I've had some amazing, stimulating debates. I want my work to be read though, without jumping through this hoop and that.
I have a weekend of hard thought ahead of me.
In between targets!