Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is It Worth It?

I began this blog seventeen months ago as a way of communicating my discontent with the political state of affairs in Indiana and, in particular, the domination of our state by the religious right and its endless efforts to discriminate against persons it disfavors. Advance Indiana has grown considerably from its very small beginning, and it has become quite time-consuming--perhaps too time-consuming. The personal self-satisfaction I got from saying what needed to be said and hoping someone was listening outweighed the lack of compensation for my work; however, the grief and burden imposed by this blog as of late is forcing me to reconsider whether it's worth it. I'm leaning towards the latter.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep it going AI, this blog is sometimes the only place you can get the actually TRUTH on some important matters.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down.

I enjoy reading this blog.

indyernie said...

Gary, we are listening. You made us understand from a different perspective. You have changed opinions by highlighting issues. You have reinforced resolve. You have made a difference.
If my vote counts... I vote for your blog to continue. If not, thanks for what you have done.

Anonymous said...

It's the nature of bloggers to burn out. A lot of the other politically oriented blogs have gone silent since the election too. Indyu still seems to be going strong though.

I think it goes in cycles. I blogged for three years before the term even existed, then quit. Now I've started up again, but we'll see how long. At some point you realize that you've said everything you have to say on a particular topic.

Indiana has a general lack of good blogs, so I definitely think blogger voices are needed. But you've got to have the desire to do it or it's just going through the motions.

Jen said...

If I have a vote, I say stay. I enjoy reading a moderate Republican's views, and I know I'm not alone.

That being said, I know keeping up a daily site can be taxing. But I hope you don't give it up.

Anonymous said...

Gary -

We can understand your desire to "have a life" and burning out on the blogs. Though it's a very good middle ground between the hard-left (like Jen's rantings and half-baked stories) and the Right (such as my illuminating commentary on my blog)

Anonymous said...

certified wingnuts like IndyErnie and hailstone

Hey I thought Gary banned you!

Anyway someone has to have the job of carrying to pooper-scooper after you've been around posting your crap.

Joh Padgett said...

There are not enough voices in this town with the clarity you have. You have a unique perspective that is sought out by people like me who have lamented the lack of reasonable discourse on issues in Indianapolis. I don't always see eye to eye with you 100% of the time but I bet we think alike 2/3 of the time so I for one must vote you keep at it. Besides, your blog is one of the handful of local blogs Ruth Holladay and I want to link to regularly when we get IndyRats.com launched this year.

Anonymous said...

I vote STAY. You bring up a lot of topics that normally would not see the light of day on any other blog.

If posters on boths sides of an issue can keep things civil that would help a lot I bet.

Chris Douglas said...

For what it's worth, Gary, I think you've provided an enviable service.

While I think your posts are excellent, and in many instances highly insightful for their detailed research, don't be ashamed to save keep your powder dry for when it counts. We are, after all, about to enter an important legislative season.

For my part, I've been enjoying a family vacation from which I have just returned. My internet access, mercifully, was virtually nil, and what little I achieved was rightfully begrudged, and therefore focused exclusively on business-related e-mails. I admit, I sneaked over to AI to have a quick look.

It has been clear to me in a number of situations that a discreetly posted comment here or a full blast editorial there has affected debate in other realms.

It is your independent law practice (as my financial firm) that provides an ability to speak independently. Obviously, it is appropriate to balance your time to ensure that your practice prospers. My advice is to cut back on the posts but retain your voice for those moments when the impact is required.

Lori said...

The problem isn't your blog content since the election. The problem is that the same people hijack the posts and turn them into the same mindless arguments over and over. For instance, The Chicago gay hate crime shooting turned into something about Brizzi. Various other posts with good content, turn into Carson attacks. The blog was amazing when you started it but I fear that most of the intelligent and thought provoking discussions will stay in the wings because of the remaining play ground blowhards that love nothing more that to see their insane rantings in print. Those that are left never have anything thought provoking to say any longer....just the same tedious attacks and insults. I hope that you stay and I hope that this blog goes back to its original purpose. It was by far the best source of gay and political information around.

Anonymous said...

Chris's moderation is well-advised.

Basically, instead of trying to drive around 465 at full speed, get off the interstate, drive the side streets, and enjoy the scenery a little. You'll still get to your destination, and the drive will be easier, more fulfilling.

But be ready to rev it up when needed.

Even when the voice is not common with mine, it is needed. Badly.

And to the kind blogger above, who put IndyU in any category resembling "sane," please re-read it.

More of THAT we don't need.

More of AI, we need.

Anonymous said...

6:23 We need IndyU, exposing the corruption just like Advance Indiana!

Fort Wayne Democrat said...

You are a voice in the wilderness, Gary, and I hope that you keep going. It is nice to hear a moderate Republican perspective on things.

Thanks for all your work!

Anonymous said...

AI, what will Bilerico do without you? They have a dozen contributors and they still lift your post ideas, including two today. Real classy.

ellen em said...

How about just scaling down to, say, one posting every one or two days? You average three a day, I think!

Jeff Newman said...

I'm not a blogger, but I do feel your pain, Gary. I volunteered (was conscripted?) to help with the GayIndy.Org site in 2001, and when the parent org (Diversity, Inc.) pooped out I found myself pretty much holding the bag.

Since then I couldn't tell you how many hours I've put into it, much to the detriment of other more profitable and often more rewarding activities. With 3 complete re-writes, I can tell you the hours are into the thousands, and like you, I've never made one dime doing it.

You go through phases. When I feel like walking away from the whole thing, I just take a break by doing the minimum amount needed for a while. It's not like I'm going to get fired for under-performing! After the burn-out phase, I've always been glad I stayed with it.

Ironically, blogs like yours have actually made it easier for me. Much of the silly bickering on the listserv that required mom to step in and scold the children has left gayindy and found it's way on to the blog comments. I can't say I miss it!

If your commenters REALLY want you to keep doing this, the best thing they could do is grow up and start behaving like adults, and in particular cease and desist with the name-calling (not to mention the borderline slander that is often thrown out here anonymously). Can't you all disagree with Wilson (or anyone else for that matter) in a civil manner? And a few of you might want to quit being so chickenshit and at least come up with SOME kind of identity if you continue to comment here.

I hope you hang in there, Gary. A few less posts would be just fine if it keeps you from burning out :-)

Tracy Elliott said...

Perhaps I don't get to vote since I'll be leaving town soon, but I join the chorus who believe you provide a valuable resource to the community. Though some of your regular contributors are nutcases and have poor manners, your voice is clear, free of silly ideology, and very insightful.

I can only imagine the time commitment required, so I fully understand if you cannot continue, but if you're doubting the impact of that investment, it matters!

Advance Indiana said...

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the feedback.

Hoosier Pete said...

I enjoy this blog very much. I certainly understand becoming consumed by a project to the point of detriment. For what it's worth, I hope that you will continue.

You neeed to do what is best for you.But I truly enjoy your commentary and insight.

concerned said...

pls keep up the good work or if you need someone to transcribe your ideas/thoughts and put them into code, send me an email and I'll assist! (mszuka@yahoo.com)

Jay said...

Keep this site going. Once the idiots in the legislature start messing with our lives again, we're going to need every blog in this state to hold their feet to the fire.

As for being burned out, you might try turning off the comments on some posts to avoid certain nameless persons from hijacking your site for their own personal beefs.

MJ said...

I gotta chime in, even at the risk of repeating what seems to be the consensus. I think lots of considerate, thoughtful, and open minded people REALLY enjoy reading the posts on the blog. And I mean those who, like myself, may tend toward or identify with a particular political party generally but are open to reasoned debate or consideration of particular issues de novo. If I may be so presumptuous as to speak for said group, this blog is one of the best things going. The posts on this blog, that is. Sadly, while I (and I suspect others) welcome reading comments from across the spectrum from others with similar tendencies, even where opinions differ from my own, I really do not need to read another comment rehashing playground namecalling about the 7th CD race again for the rest of my life. Or similar dead horses. Unfortunately I know what you don't need is to spend more time on administration in order to monitor/edit/reveiw comments in some fashion which is what it would require.

I just hope the blog continues, at the very least with the posts that address issues where your unique perspective and voice is most welcome, even if comments go away. Perhaps if you disable the comments, those willing to email you particular insightful thoughts could help contribute to debate if you are willing to occassionally post the thoughts of others.

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with you but your blog is both informative and well written. For those reasons, I'm a daily reader and would encourage you to continue.

Anonymous said...

I rarely agree with your viewpoints but I read this blog twice a day. I encourage you to continue. Realizing the strain of constant updates, perhaps you should consider inviting guest-bloggers in who share your views (or don't?).

Anonymous said...

Gary, you have been a breath of fresh air when one is desparately needed. Yours is the first blog I go to and your insight and perspective reassures me that there is hope for a better world because there are people with a similar outlook.

You provide a voice that print and television media do not want to be heard.

In the end, we all must decide what is right for us. Perhaps scaling back to a few less postings, even though you have always been quick to get on a hot issue fast.

Whatever the decision, I say THANK YOU for what you have done.

Andrew G Smith said...

Gary-

I understand the desire to walk away--believe me. I've been tempted to so after the rout we experienced this past November. On a personal level, I wouldn't blame you a bit if you did.

That being said, I sincerely hope you keep at it. I may not always agree with you, but you're certainly one of the most intellectually honest, interesting, and tenacious political writers out there.

Our party needs to hear what you have to say...and so does our state.

I won't burden you with any of the usual platitudes, sports metaphors, or motivational jargon. I will just say this: whatever you decide, thank you for everything you've done, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is the best of them all. It actually uses common sense. When I read Jen's postings at taking down words, one feels talked down to. Maybe it is the way she writes? Maybe it is the elite private school attitude? Anyways, I do like a little balance. If you stopped, I would try to get a balanced blog going with others. When Brizzi needs slammed, slam Brizzi. When Frank needs to hear it is wrong to take a $50K raise, slam him. When people on both sides are wrong, slam them. Maybe a balanced blog with multiple authors is the way to go? That way, you can post one or two things a week?

IndyU is only good for hearing what Marion Co. Dems are doing and mostly about police work. If you read TDW, you would think our Dem elected officials never do anything wrong. We really do need a balanced blog which will expose our elected hacks for what they are..scum!!

Anonymous said...

I discovered AI about 6 months ago and now check it a couple times a day on a near religious basis. While I don't always agree with what you say, I have consistently found your perspectives and writing to be thought-provoking and worth considering. I can certainly understand the frustrations in dealing with some of the regular posters on the site and the challenges involved in balancing the time required by AI with your professional and personal life. While from a purely selfish perspective I hope you don't decide to pack it in, I will certainly understand if you opt do so as there comes a time when we all need to attend to our own needs. Either way, many thanks for your efforts in brightening this corner of the world and making us all think a bit!

callme-ishmael said...

Mr. Welsh,

Except for your having the misfortune of being an EIU grad (ISU-85 here) I enjoy your blog, and have bookmarked it. Like you, I am a Moderate leaning towards the Right, but firmly in the middle. I enjoy your fresh perspective on items and topics I've never really considered before (Gay Rights as an example) only because that is an area of society I'm not too hip on. It's made me appreciate the personal sincerity of that issue as opposed to a radical slant to it, which is often times portrayed in the media, much to that movement's detriment.

Anyway, I understand "wondering if its worth it". To that end, might I suggest a hiatus from this blog..or perhaps less frequent Thread-starting? If only to give yourself more time and balance in your other life activities.

russell brown said...

As someone who has gotten some coverage on AI during my run for the State Senate in '06, I too have become addicted to AI. I read two blogs daily, and AI is one.

During the '06 legislative elections, you provided coverage to some Marion County races, like mine and the Barnes-Buell race and Elrod-Mahern, which got little other pre-election coverage. I felt the results as I got feedback from some of your readers who live in the district in which I was running.

You fill a void in the Indy MSM and in other Indiana based blogs. We often disagree, but I still come back to read. I for one, would miss AI as part of my daily blog fix.

Anonymous said...

Please keep this going. Scale it down if you must but I love what you bring to the table.

If you have to read and approve the readers comments before you post them, that is fine by me.

Anonymous said...

Gary - I read at least once or twice a day and I think it is worth it. Perhaps you need to post a little less often or recruit some guest bloggers on occasion to take up some of the load. I hope you stay with it.