23 June 2011

It's been 5 years!

    
It just occurred to me that it has been five years since I started blogging. In fact, my five-year blogiversary was last week. I completely stumbled into starting My Porch in the first place. After filling in my information when I was making a comment on another blog, Blogger asked me if I wanted to start my own blog. And then I just walked through the very easy steps to do so and the rest is history. 

You will notice from my inaugural post (reposted below) that my blogging interests were pretty broad when I first started. Although I always wrote about books it wasn't until late 2008 that I really started to focus on books. I did so not only because that is what interested me most, but because all of you showed up and started engaging me in a very satisfying way.

My original post is a little pompous but not entirely unrelated to how I conduct my blog five years later.

The Inaugural Post from June 14, 2006


In thinking about the kind of online discussion I wanted to initiate, I kept coming back to the idea of a place where people would engage each other. A place that would serve as an antidote to banal office conversation and the anonymous interactions that characterize most of our lives. Despite the absence of a physical location, the internet has done more to connect people with each other than anything else since television and suburban sprawl first disconnected us back in the 20th century. Sprinkled among the wasteland of post-World War II development, one can still find places like this--town squares, corner stores, and front porches--they just don't get used much anymore.

Although I may end up ranting and raving from time to time, I want My Porch to be a place where the basis for every discussion is respect. I want us to disagree and argue like mad, but to remember above all that we are neighbors and have to live with each other. (Assuming someone other than me actually reads this...)

Topics of particular interest to me that will be featured in posts to come include, politics, urban planning, travel, TV (the great and the trashy), classical music, art, books, and about a million other things.

I take my inspiration from Samuel Barber's (1910-1981) nostalgically beautiful Knoxville Summer of 1915.

"...It has become that time of evening when people sit on their porches, rocking gently and talking gently and watching the street and the standing up into their sphere of possession of the trees, of birds' hung havens, hangars. People go by; things go by..."

Based on the opening section of James Agee's A Death in the Family (which I haven't read), Barber's piece for soprano and orchestra opens in a rather peaceful, lilting way that never fails to remind me of some happy, yet undefined and fleeting moment from my childhood in small town Minnesota. A feeling rekindled during my graduate school sojourn in Ithaca, New York from 2000-2002. You know the feeling, one of those summer evenings at twilight with warm gentle breezes and crickets.

If you think I am living in a fantasy world you are partly right. It is a fantasy about living in a place where people care for other people and the world around them, and live honest, positive, engaged lives. It might actually be a great place. Let's give it a whirl.

24 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that you decided to blog. Your posts are always interesting. I love your take on art. Here's to many more years of blogging.

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  2. Congratulations on this milestone, Thomas, and applause for the very civilised sentiments you express in your post.

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  3. Congratulations! Just one question: have you read the Agee yet? Because you should :)

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  4. Happy Blogiversary! And congratulations on 5 years. It flies by, doesn't it?

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  5. Well, I think you've been entirely successful in what you set out to achieve, Thomas!

    Five years is quite a feat! I've just passed two years, actually - your post has made me realise that! - and I hope I can continue for many more years to come - and I hope the same of you!

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  6. Thomas, You know I certainly appreciate you and your blog. Cheers, Denise

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  7. Wow, happy 5 years! Love your blog and hope you keep it :) Thank you for sharing your first post, it is fantastic.

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  8. Happy Blogiversary! Congratulations on your 5 years. I loved your re-posting of your inaugural post. Your sentiments about the nature of front porches struck a chord with me, and I think you've done a fine job of attaining those heights in your blogging. =)

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  9. A very happy 5 year blogiversary! Whenever I talk to people about superior blogs, yours is always at the top of the conversation! Looking forward to more years!

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  10. that is a great milestone thomas ,love your blog and a lovely post ,all the best stu

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  11. Congratulations! And thanks for making your fantasy world a reality here!

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  12. Congratulations! I love your blog and always look forward to your posts. Keep blogging!

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  13. Although I don't comment too often, I always read your blog. You always have great variety and interesting posts.

    I recently requested the audio version of A Death in the Family; Agee from the library, but haven't picked it up yet. I hear its awesome.

    Hope u stick with blogging!

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  14. I only got to know your blog last year but am so glad I did. Congratulations on the five year blogoversary.

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  15. Congratulations! Aren't we all a little pompous when we start out, and isn't pomposity better than banality :)

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  16. All credit to you. Five years is quite an achievement. So many start out with good intentions but fade fast.

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  17. Thanks everyone. Frankly the best part about blogging is when all of you chime in (and not just with praise). Keep reading!

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  18. Congratulations on five years! You have always been an articulate, engaging, interesting fellow and I am thrilled to have your blog to continue sharing your interests and ideas. You will always be one of my favorite people in the whole world!

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  19. Five years-congratulations-I always love reading your posts

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  20. Thomas - we seem to have started blogging back in 2006 within a week of each other. I had totally forgotten my anniversary and I send you good wishes on yours!

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