To Blog or Not to Blog

To blog or not to blog.  That is the question and as of this writing I’m still formulating an answer.

I started this blog in late December 2005 about one year after I left employment at WREG.  At the time my wife asked me why I was bothering to write on a blog and more importantly, was I going to make any money doing this.  I never intended to do this for pay and as to the “why”, I was inspired by my good friend and former co-worker Jamey Tucker who was blogging from his home in Southaven.  I was writing posts sometimes every day or at least every other day during the week.  I wasn’t sure if anybody would bother reading what I wrote but there were some folks who checked in on a regular basis.  I tried to keep the focus on the local electronic media and tried to answer a few questions from those who just had questions about the behind the scenes activities at the local stations.  It was kind of like reporting and I even managed to break a few stories along the way.   It was generally fun even when I had some ner’-do-wells who would respond with hate-filled diatribes which usually questioned my ancestral lineage or suggested that I do something which I still think is physically impossible unless one is something of a contortionist.

The truth is, blogging takes work to keep it interesting and for about the last nine months,  it seems the well has started to run dry.  This coupled with a bad economy which means I have to work twice as hard to find work for my video company means I have less time to blog.  I’ve talked to a couple of friends as I discussed possibly pulling the plug on this blog and there seemed to be several schools of thought.  (One): Just post a blog when thnere is something interesting going on or (Two):  Just shut it down and do it quickly or (Three) Suck it up and try to write something interesting.   It doesn’t help that my circle of acquaintances and sources seems to be dwindling as people move on or have gotten laid off or have been told NOT to communicate with me.  So, there is my dilemma and where I go from here I’m not sure.  I’ll keep you posted but I can tell you that a decision will be coming in the next week or so.

On to other stuff.  I had someone ask me if anything exciting happened over the holidays and I can tell you it was pretty much run-of-the-mill except for a little excitement of having engine problems while flying my mother-in-law to Nashville and being forced to land in Jackson, TN.  This was just before Christmas and the plane is still parked in Jackson, much to my chagrin.  And my wife and I traveled to Nashville to see Vanderbilt win its first bowl game in her life time.  Oh, and I stopped by WREG this past week for the first time since I left back in December 2004.  I only got as far as the lobby but that’s as far as my business needed to take me.  I was asked if I wanted a tour of the facilities.  I declined.

One final note, my heart-felt sympathies go out to the family of Scott Sutherland, chief photographer at WREG.  His father passed away December 29 after battling cancer.  I didn’t find out until well after the fact and missed the services.  I can appreciate what Scott is going through in that it was three years ago this month that my father died of cancer.  There are still times I wish I could talk to my father just to ask him a question or his advice on an issue.  So keep Scott and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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24 Comments on “To Blog or Not to Blog”

  1. Willie Says:

    My vote: Keep the blog open, but write only when there’s something to write about. As soon as you shut it down, you’ll find something you’re dying to share, or someone will send you a morsel that needs to be shared!

  2. JoeLarkins#535Fan Says:

    I vote don’t shut it down. I have never posted on here before but when I found out you had a blog I bookmarked it and have checked in on it every day just to see if there is anything interesting going on.

    It would stink to lose one of my all time favorite news guys.

    You do a great job on here Joe and I appreciate it a lot.

    As the above mentioned, just blog when you feel like it.

    Take care!

  3. jim johnson Says:

    joe, hook up with mediaverse.

  4. Joe G. Says:

    Keep the blog open. You’re in my RSS feed, and you’ll pop up when you have something to say. And when you do, I’ll read it. Like I did just now.

  5. Lead pipe Says:

    I agree… no need to “scuttle the ship” And, with this new fangled internet, you still have readers all over the world!

  6. Former Fox 13'er Says:

    I agree, keep it open. As someone who has moved out of Memphis, it’s nice to hear what’s ‘going on’, without having wade through the blogger’s personal agenda. Sure, other blogs can be entertaining, but hearing the happenings from a regular Joe (no pun intended) is a nice option to have.

  7. The GM Says:

    Blog for yourself, not the reader. If you spend time trying to think what is interesting, whatever you write will be forced. If you use it as an outlet for your thoughts, interest will germinate naturally.

    I enjoy checking-in. Keep it going if that is what you want to do.

    The GM

  8. the tall tv guy Says:

    I agree with the others, keep it going. There’s a group of us who enjoy reading your comments and observations.

    Sorry to hear about your engine trouble. I was a student pilot in high school. A classmate from ground school tried to fly into Memphis one winter morning, got ice on one of the flying club planes, crashed just short of the runway and was killed. Shook me up enough that I stopped flying. Thought about it again later but the ATC strike gave me doubts about the system. Oh, well, I’ll keep pushing a pencil and looking at a monitor for another 15 – 20 years and that will do it.

    You’re right, after you lose a parent, there are times you would like to have another conversation with them.

    In this economy, we all seem to be working harder and putting in longer hours. Hang in there!

  9. Doug J. Says:

    You kinda have to keep doing this… It’s the only outlet I have since I’m too lazy to start a blog…

  10. Kelly Says:

    This is my first post here and I only know Mr. Larkins from the TV. I would hate to lose this blog. Although I will understand if you shut it down, I hope you can find a way to keep it going

  11. Chris in Brasil Says:

    Joe, please don’t shut the blog down. I agree with the others. I enjoy your posts when you have time. I like the inside scoop of many of the stories. You give a completely different angle to stories than others. And besides, next time I’m in Memphis, how will I get in touch with you for coffee?

  12. Richard Says:

    I also vote that you blog only when you feel like it! I blog every so often on Myspace and if I don’t post one in a while, my “faithfull” readers (LOL!!) send me messages as to why this old country redneck conservative isn’t posting any of his thoughts!

    Just write what you feel like when you feel like!

  13. Jack C Says:

    Say it aint so Joe, please do not shut down the blog. How the heck else would I have heard about your plane being grounded in Jackson!! We just talked on the phone last week and you did not say a word! I need your blog, otherwise I may miss out on some of those great life moments.

  14. Pam Crittendon Roberson Says:

    Don’t go, Joe! Write when the mood hits you, but don’t shut it down! As I’ve told you, I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to new posts (as well as comments from some of my former coworkers).

    Maybe those of us regular readers could send you blog topics, or ask your opinions on things. The posts don’t have to be long… just thinkin’ aloud…


  15. ALAMO FUNRO Says:

    Don’t forget your wife has connected this blog to income. If she sees income decreasing and blog time increasing. Well, all of us married folks know what must be done. ( You can’t blog with two broken arms )

  16. The GM Says:

    This is beginning to sound like the Burger King commercial where they took the Whopper off the menu and the customers revolted.

    If you just need a little love, Joe. We love ya. If you want some cash . . . well, it’s tough all over.

    The GM

  17. Pickey Says:

    Joe – please don’t gooooo.

  18. Tiger Fan Says:

    Hmmmm, so many folks who want you to go to the trouble of keeping this blog updated. here’s an idea: put a paypal “tip jar” on the sidebar so we can drop a buck in every now and then to show our appreciation.
    should be easy enough to do and nobody’d have to pay more than they want. Frequent readers might drop in a five (payable by credit card) every few weeks or so.
    that’d be our way to encourage you to keep it going and you’d be motivated to write more often.
    My 2-cents.

  19. joelarkins Says:

    Okay, okay, I’ll keep going at it for a while. I’m flattered that so many took time to respond both on and off the blog and some responded more than once. Kind of like voting in Memphis….if one vote is good, two might be better. So, you guys will have me to kick around for a while longer.

  20. JD Says:

    I have to go along with the GM, Joe. Do the blog if you are still interested in it. Do the blog if it amuses you to do so. I have to admit that it would be a sad thing if your blog shut down. It would be missed.

    Besides……..How would one send you information regarding long time Memphis Televison personality Trent Wood? Or historical tidbit on Paul “Bubba” Barnett? Or how about the famous Disc Jockey, Paul Berlin? Or Howard DeMere from KDKA?

    Wouldn’t you miss being told you do a good job on Channel 5?

  21. joelarkins Says:

    JD, you have a point, ……but the way you part your hair covers it. (rimshot)
    Seriously, thanks for checking in.

  22. I am on the wagon of keeping it going Joe. From one that has to daily blog on our site here in Virginia, I know all too well how hard it is to find new content or discussion, but I generally pull it out of my…..”trunk”, we’ll say. My wife used to call that “story on a stick.”

    Changing gears a second, there must be something about that KMKL (Jackson, TN) airport. On December 23, 1985 I met Doug Viar there to pickup a 3/4 inch tape and fly it to Dewitt Spain for a cab to pickup then take on the WREG. This was before the days of sat trucks and several years before I worked on air at 3. I don’t remember the story I was hauling, but I do remember everything else.

    My friend and his then 15 year old daughter came along for the round robin trip that originated in Dyersburg to Jackson to Memphis then back to Dyersburg. We landed at Jackson right at dark, picked up the tape and took of west for Memphis, climbed nicely to 3000 feet and bamm! Engine started sputtering, was able to get no more than about 500 RPM out of it. I instinctively went through all of the pilot stuff, nose over, check fuel switch, mixture, etc…all okay..just no power…no good.

    I told Jackson I was coming back and I needed to make any runway I could. We made it back, landed, barely had the power to taxi and shut it down. It sat there just like yours until way after New Years ’86.

    Eventually it was torn down, never found the problem, and went back into service about a month later…still flying today. If I hadn’t had two witnesses I would have though I was crazy! “The McKellar Triangle” I suppose!

    Only near miss I have had in 29 years was that very spot.


  23. JAC Says:

    This Savannah Tn reader is glad you decided to keep blogging.

  24. Eddie Goss Says:

    First timer Joe, just write when you have something to say or you want an opinion. This is the only way I know what you are up and other friends are up to…

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