Sunday, August 14, 2011

Well... This is Awkward: Where the Posts Have Been

I once read somewhere, in all the what must be thousands of articles on social media I have read in the past decade, that you shouldn't start a blog post on a long-neglected blog with lines such as "I apologize for not posting in so long" or "Wow, it's been a really long time!" While I agree that it might be poor form to draw attention to the fact that you have failed to keep a blog up-to-date if it is, say, a corporate blog, for a personal blog such as this one... I'm going to let the rule slide. Besides, taking a paragraph to justify why you're writing a blog post about not having blogged makes for a feasible blog post introduction.

But really, why no blogging from me for a long time? It's been something like three months, and the posts were admittedly sporadic before then. It's not that I haven't been inspired. I keep a list of blog topic ideas on my desktop, but I often find an idea to not be very timely by the time I come around to writing a blog post. I've tended to, during the last couple of years, try to stay on topic with this blog and focus on public relations and journalism posts exclusively. I think, however, that now that I'm knee deep in my field, I pour my heart and soul into my work and rarely feel like I have enough left to want to come home and write blog posts about it. They say doing what you love as a hobby for your job takes the fun out of it — I don't concede that, I love strategic communication as a career, but working in a field certainly makes you less likely to spend your free time producing extra content on the subject when you know you'd be getting paid to do so otherwise.

I started ReJo as a blog to chronicle my internship during graduate school. It then evolved into a smorgasbord of humor, sports and all sorts of other posts before I really honed in and made it as specific as a blog should be. However, that specificity has limited the amount of content that I write that I actually end up posting here. Though, I'm not ready to let go of ReJo just yet. I like knowing the outlet is here when I have something to say in long form, and there is a lot of what I consider to be great content, much of it evergreen, buried within these posts. But really, if I haven't been posting here, where have I been?

Working is one answer. After graduate school, I embarked into my career first as a public affairs writer for a government contracting firm working in the energy field. I loved it, gained a promotion, and led a small public affairs team to become what I think was perhaps the most knowledgeable team of writers to ever exist on the subjects we covered. It was a ton of fun, and being a passionate environmentalist, it was joyous work for the most part. But the contractor for which I worked got bought out simultaneously with the energy project I was on being subsumed by its parent organization — that meant I was headed to another government agency. At my second gig for my new old company, I was primarily editing technical reports, doing graphic design and prepping briefings for some very senior staff. It was important, good work, but I was utilizing a very small subset of my broader strategic communication knowledge. In addition, the new company that bought my old company was, you guessed it, being bought. It was time to go.

I ended up interviewing, and landing a position, with a small-but-bustling strategic communication firm that specializes in both government work and high-tech commercial work, both within my specialty range. Now, I'm head-first in advertising, marketing, public relations, copywriting — really doing all of the things I know and love, but managing those tasks from a more strategic level, as they should be done. While I'm certainly working more, I'm doing all the things I've talked about doing before on this blog. I suppose you might say I've come full circle, as my job now is similar to the work I did as a graduate intern, when my love for PR and related subjects was solidified.

And there you have one major reason as to why I haven't blogged here on ReJo much. Instead, I'm blogging on behalf of clients and focusing my creative energies elsewhere. But, that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. A writer can never stop writing.

Because I'm focused on communication all day long, I've been using my free writing time to talk about a lifelong hobby of mine, one that is often misunderstood by outsiders — gaming. I won't delve into all the details of video games and why they are actually a good thing — there's plenty of that out there already if you want to go read about the interactivity, the writing, the music, the art, etc., of video games. (And oh yeah, the marketing and PR lessons from game developers and publishers is fascinating, by the way.) But I'll just point you toward my other blog — Thunder Hokie's Blog. Gaming isn't just fun, it's a form of media filled with juicy narratives and brain-bending puzzles — and it is a way for me to write, something I can't keep myself from doing, but still relax. I game, then I write about it. As you can see, Thunder Hokie's Blog has received a lot more attention from me (and commenters) than ReJo.

Aside from work, my MyIGN blog and the other related life happenings, another reason for my lack of long-form blogging has been microblogging using Twitter. I love Twitter because you can customize your feed to the things that are important to you by following experts in those areas — news, celebs, gardening, gaming, sports, you name it. Plus, I don't need even a WSIWYG editor or other special interface — I can tweet or have a conversation with folks on my mobile device. If you're missing out, join the conversation on Twitter. And be sure to follow me @joshuadelung.

And now you know, as the famed radio host Paul Harvey put it, the rest of the story. Thanks for reading, commenting, tweeting, sharing and all that in terms of this post and my blog in general if you have been a reader for years. Who knows when the next time I post here will be... but stay tuned here and via my other blogs, social networks, etc., and keep in touch with me. Let's see where the innerwebz take us next....

Photo credit: Shari Baloch; photo taken of me at Sunset Beach in August 2011