Blogmeister Jeff Bunch and I had an hour-long discussion about the Spokesman-Review blogosphere Friday afternoon. Jeff traveled to Coeur d'Alene to pick my brain re: the things we've done to make HBO a success during its nearly 3 1/2 years in North Idaho. I gave him a brief history re: how I was able to survive the first year simply because I pledged to keep at it at least that long. Often, I was convinced that I would quit when I reached the end of the year because blogging was so difficult at first. It's hard to keep going if you're not growing the blog. It's also time-consuming. Many times I asked myself if the effort was worth the small amount of page-views in those early days. Cis Gors, as you may know by now, goaded me into staying the course every time I felt like quitting.
I believe this blog has grown to the point it is now by offering regular topics throughout the day, by interacting with other bloggers and commenters, by interacting between the blog and my newspaper work, and by trying new things and discarding ones that don't work. I'm thrilled that so many of you in the North Idaho blogosphere check in regularly here and have celebrated blogiversaries. I don't know if there are too many other blogging communities like the one we've built here.
Ryan Pitts and Gina Boysun of our online team are receiving training as we speak to build a new and improved online system for bloggers. I asked Blogmeister Jeff to make sure that the new software has a coupla things you've been scuh-reaming about: a preview button and a search engine. Also, Jeff announced his intention to arm me with a video software and equipment, so I can do some live blogging with video during the City Council elections this fall -- and, who knows, mebbe from the North Idaho Fair. It might be a hoot to spend a full day out there, blogging and interacting. I've become a bit to office bound again.
On Friday, Betsy Russell and I talked on the phone about working closer together to promote each other's blogs. She doesn't want to add a comment feature to her blog b/c it triggers more interaction, as well as headaches. So we decided that I would post more of her material out front and she would point her readers to visit Huckleberries if they wanted to comment on a story. I also told her that I would like to interact more with bloggers in other parts of the state and incorporate that into what we have here. We'll be test-driving this approach for the rest of the summer.
Your suggestions are always welcome re: how we can improve Huckleberries Online. Anyone involved in blogging knows that you can't stay static. We've come a long ways. We have many challenges ahead. That's why the blogosphere remains interesting and my job challenging. Thanks for being part of the adventure.