Last month, Monona Alderman Doug Wood made official what we all knew – he was done posting on his blog – http://mononadoug.blogspot.com/
No matter what you think of Wood, he was a prolific writer. By his count, he wrote over 1,500 in about five years. It was not all political content, but instead a mixture of current events/politics with subjects that interested him. He presented a lot of great information to the public, which is always helpful.
A few years ago Monona citizens could get online and visit a multitude of Monona-centric websites, including Wood’s blog, plus sites run by school board members Peter Sobol, Jason McCutchin and Jessica Ace. Now? Not so much. Only Sobol’s is left – and he is pretty spotty with his posts, and he focuses mostly on school district related subjects.
So what happened? Are we simply out of ‘controversial’ subjects to discuss? Are people just tired of the online orgasm of arguments and counter arguments? Is the community just tired of arguing after nearly a decade of school closings and referendums?
To a degree, I suspect it’s ‘all of the above’. But also there’s a simple drag on the blog authors. Doug Wood started his blog for fun many years ago. But the fun can slowly leak out of the affair. I can sympathize. It starts to become a job. People come to expect a certain level of commitment to the affair. And then the extremists take to the comment sections, turning your job into a police action.
Personally, I have slowed down writing for many reasons. The main one has simply been family commitments. There is only so much time in the day to write. And only so much time to devote oneself to an issue. But also some of the hot button issues – especially those related to the school district – are behind us (or simmering under the surface).
So what’s the the future of Monona blogs? Are we better off without all these blogs – and their tendency to bitch and moan more than offer solutions? For us, I say no. The Rag promises to continue. I would like ideas and suggestions as to what issues you’d like covered. But we hope that other people will emerge to bring out a voice in the community. There’s nothing really devoted to the Monona community (even the Herald Independent website has gotten worse in its coverage – if that’s possible – over the years). Simple blogs by local citizens is probably the best way to highlight current and emerging issues in the city. Now, we just need those voices to step forward.