The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Is This Thing On?


Is This Thing On?

To borrow quote from Pink Floyd, “Hello? Is there anybody in there?” Does anybody still read this blog? It’s been 13 years since I started it, and launched a career I’d never even imagined possible. Now, I’m back, blowing the dust off of it and trying to figure out what’s next.

Thirteen years ago this week, I started this blog. We were just about to round the bend on our first year of parenthood, and after discovering the blogs of some friends of mine, I decided to start one of my own. I’d always been a writer, and it seemed like a great way to create an outlet for that, and maybe even reach an audience.

It reached more people than I’d imagined. Six months later, I was recruited to be the Blogmaster for a new progressive internet firm called EchoDitto, Inc. (Now known as Echo & Co.) Suddenly, I was a professional blogger, one of a handful of people who had parlayed blogging into actual paying work — not necessarily making money from our own blogs, but getting jobs with non-profits, or new media, on the strength of our blogging.

I was swept into a new world so quickly, that I don’t think I stopped to fully appreciate my success. Instead, suddenly in a field where everyone seemed to be a least ten years younger than me, and about as many years ahead of me, I feel my shortcomings and deficiencies more acutely than ever, especially the time I lost due to untreated ADD. It took years before I could appreciate how I’d accomplished.

I left EchoDitto after about four years. The company’s business model was changing. It no longer made its money from the things I’d been hired to do. There wasn’t much of a need for teaching people about blogging after a few years, and business was moving towards more of a project management model. I was laid off, and hired as a consultant to deliver a training that I’d developed for the company, though I think I only developed one.

After about six months, and one failed adoption that consumed that summer, I was hired by Campaign for America’s Future, as an online producer. The position didn’t initially include a great deal of writing, but I eventually became a full-fledged member of the writing team.

Two weeks later, we became parents for the second time. A new job and a new baby delivered a one-two punch to this blog. I posted here less and less often. There just wasn’t time. When I did post, I mostly just crossposted things that I wrote for work, just to have some content to keep the site alive. I also found a way to post daily digests of stuff I flagged from my Feedly account.

Suddenly, I wasn’t writing about LGBT issues, which was what I think many readers came here for. Instead I was writing about economic issues and civil rights issues that weren’t specifically LGBT-focused. Over eight years of this, I watched the readership of this blog fall to 10 percent of what it was at its peak — if that much. At this point, I think more of my traffic comes from Google searches than anything else.

Well, here I am again, eight years later. Campaign For America’s Future merged with another organization this year, becoming part of People’s Action. Unfortunately, some of our staff was “made redundant” (to borrow a word from the Brits), myself included, and were laid off. I was hired as an independent contract worker, to continue writing for three months, which on September 30.

It’s taken me a week to even think about blogging and writing again. I’ve spent most of my time writing cover letters and emails. But I writing is something I need to do, like I need to breathe. So I’ll be doing more of it here again, even if there aren’t as many people there reading it.


  1. Still here, Terrance! <3

  2. Heh. I periodically link to your essays (last time was 9/9) because they meticulously and with research explain why I am jumping up and down and gibbering (although I’m mostly doing linkspam to forestall the jumping up and down and gibbering).

    (I also think people go through cycles and sometimes the cycles coincide with the zeitgeist and other times they don’t. I see bloggers retreating to social media rather than blogging fading away.)

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