I've posted a lot since then. Blogging has taught me a lot and introduced me to neat people. If some folks are to be believed, the blog has added a bit of value to the world. As I think back on this last year, the biggest single focus was the Alaska Redistricting Board. There's a tab above that gets you to an overview of my posts on the board. But there was a lot more.
What surprises me most is the wide range of topics I've posted about - which is brought home when I look at the search terms people use to get here. Here's a March 2012 post on search terms people used to get here as an example. And for most of them, I actually have what they are looking for.
So far I haven't mentioned another highlight here. I'm still examining my reluctance to share things like this. In some cultures you don't brag about your children lest you attract evil eye. I also have an aversion to competitive contests - the choosing of 'best' and how that is defined are complicated and imperfect processes. That's the closest I can get to explaining why I haven't mentioned the two Alaska Press Club Awards I received in April.
I got third best Current Events/News Blog. The Anchorage Daily News' Iditarod Live: The Sled Blog written by Kyle Hopkins, Scott Levin, Mike Campbell, Beth Bragg, David Hulen, and Bob Hallinen was first and Scott Woodham's The Concerned - Current Issues of Alaska at the Alaska Dispatch was second. The judge, Ellyn Angelotti, wrote:
The "What Do I Know?" blog provides in-depth information about current events complete with direct copies of memos and email. It also boasts active personal engagement in the comments section.I got second Best Commentary Blog. First went to Craig Medred's Alaska Life at the Alaska Dispatch. The judge in this category, Abraham Hyatt, wrote:
"Aufrecht's posts are a reminder of the journalistic freedom and fun that blogging allows. Jumping from topic to topic, he successfully treads that delicate line in blogging between ego fulfillment and serious insight."You can read all the press awards yourself here. The list goes on for 31 pages (only 22 for the one without comments.)
I'm sure that most Alaskan bloggers didn't even know there were categories for bloggers. I only learned last year when I accidentally ran into the Press Club conference at UAA.
I wasn't sure how a blog would be judged. I had to pick about ten posts for each category. But that hardly gives a sense of a blog. Plus it was hard to separate news posts from commentary posts. And it's hard to say the blog is one or the other. Having Outsiders judge is good because it minimizes bias based on who you know - a big problem in a state where everyone knows everyone. But it also means that they are looking at posts without any context of the state and the media coverage here.
Anniversaries stimulate reflection and I've decided it's time to review how I've got the blog set up. At the beginning, when I knew nothing and things were less complicated, I was constantly making changes. But I've grown into a routine and leaving the basic platform alone is easier. But I know I want to add a tab on top that will focus on the why's and wherefore's of the blog to make it a little easier for people trying to navigate. But I'd rather spend more time blogging than monitoring all the new gizmos available to spiff up the blog.
When I started, I purposely left my identity vague. I wanted people to read my posts without being colored by what I looked like or by how I was labeled. If they wanted to know about me, they could read the posts. Over time a lot is revealed. I'm still vaguely identified, but I don't hide who I am when i talk to people or when it's relevant to the post - like this one - and I've been identified publicly on other blogs.
Finally my appreciation goes out to all of you who read this blog and especially to those of you who take time to comment or email. And those who point people my way. Google has made this more than a private notebook and the Immoral Minority and Progressive Alaska have sent quite a few readers this way too. Thanks to you all.