Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And now a "word" from the editor...

If you’re one of the half-dozen or so who actually still read this blog, you’ve probably noticed a few changes over the past week or two.  Although many of them are cosmetic, I think they better express the place this blog has in the grand scheme of things.

First of all, the title.  It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since we came up with “Our Word and Welcome to It.”  As many have surmised, it’s a pun on James Thurber’s “My World and Welcome to it.”  It was originally going to be called “My Word and Welcome to It,” before I found out more than one person was going to write for it.  We’ve had writers come and go, and some who you might not have seen lately but are still here - and through it all, you’ve always been welcome to it.

About four years ago, I started a companion blog to Our Word – I called it It’s About TV!, because, well, that’s what it’s about.*  I found myself writing more and more about television and it’s relationship to American culture, but it was increasingly difficult to work these long-form pieces into the established format of Our Word.  Thus, the new blog.

*Clever, huh?

Over the years, that blog has become the dominant form of written expression for me, and it’s built up a loyal and intelligent readership.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that It’s About TV! is now the top blog in the Hadleyblog universe.  So a couple of weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that it was time to redefine where Our Word stands in that universe.  

The simplest way to look at it is like this: if you want to read what I have to say, you’re probably reading it at It’s About TV!  But what about those times when I’ve got something to say about a non-television related topic?  It does happen, though not as often as it used to.  And then there are my co-writers to consider, most of whom now write at this blog more than I do, or at least on a more consistent basis.    And so the changes began.

The blog’s name has changed to In Other Words because, literally, that’s what it represents.  They’re the words that aren’t about television, not primarily.  And they’re the words that aren’t necessarily written by me.  There will be more short posts, and links to and commentary on other pieces on the web.  Consequently, In Other Words has become a part of It’s About TV!, rather than the other way around.  I could have folded the blog completely into It's About TV!, but then it wouldn't be all about TV, would it?  If you prefer, think of TV! as the main channel, with In Other Words as a subchannel.*

*You didn’t think I’d let slide a chance to use a little TV lingo, did you?

You’ll notice this in several ways.  The layout more closely approximates that of TV!, for one thing.  I didn’t want to clone the look of the site, but I think anyone visiting both blogs will see a uniformity – a synergy, to lapse into business-speak – that shows the relationship between the two.  In the next week or two you’ll see a weekly digest appear on this site, giving you a rundown on what appeared over at TV! in the last seven days.  Hopefully, it will make you want to include that site in your regular reading as well.  Finally, In Other Words will assume a sidebar presence at It’s About TV!, so that if you only want to have one of them as a favorite, you’ll still be able to tell when a new entry appears over here.  And since the most recent posts will be listed by topic, you’ll also be able to discern whether or not they’re of any interest to you.

Someone once said it was impossible for any writer to successfully have multiple blogs.  By definition, one of them would have to suffer as the other monopolized more of the writer’s time and talent.  By keeping a good stable of writers here at In Other Words, I’m hoping to avoid that.  But it’s also important to let you know that there will be weeks when this channel will be quiet for days at a time – when there aren’t any other words besides what you see on the TV side.  When that happens, I’ll probably resort to that favorite tool of television programmers – the rerun.  Conversely, if there’s a subject of particular interest to either me or my colleagues, you may see more activity here than there.  A miniseries of posts, as it were.

Although most of these changes have been implemented, it’s not done yet by any means.  The weekly digest and the sidebar presence at It’s About TV! will happen in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll also be updating the links on this page, removing old sites, adding new ones, and expanding the list of blogs to cover additional topics.  If you’re a fellow blogger who’s listed Our Word as a link on your sidebar, a name update to In Other Words would be appreciated.

In any event, ten years is a long run for a blog.  I’ve been most fortunate to come into contact with some great people, many of whom have taken the time to write or comment.  I hope you’ll continue to make In Other Words one of the blogs you read from time to time.  And I hope you’ll invest time in It’s About TV! – in my humble opinion, it has much of the best writing I’ve done, and it’s a lot of fun to boot.  But don’t worry about this site – regardless of the name, regardless of the frequency of posting, it’s not going away any time soon.

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