Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Institute For Young Bloggers

Here's an idea I've been kicking around for quite a while, to found the Institute for Young Bloggers, and in this way influence the whole blogging scene, present and future. Now, with the New Year more or less upon us, although it's already Jan. 5 and slipping away, seems like a good time for it.

It has been clear to me for some time that I am something of a patriarch in the world of blogging. In terms of age alone, I'm fairly old, 58. I know, of course, that there have to be older guys than me, which I will stipulate up front. However, I don't really know them, whether they've got the idea for such an Institute; the only one I know is myself, being old and with the an idea. I'm also a patriarch because I've been blogging for a number of years. I've learned by doing, not by a fancy Institute telling me how to do it, as I propose to do for others. I generally think of youth as ignorant and adrift, so maybe I can help them along.

At this point, though, I should stress, I am not envisioning a physical Institute for young bloggers to come to. That would be nice, a centralized location, a four or five story office complex with hanging gardens and the whole bit, complete with classrooms, overhead projectors, and computers. But I do not believe I could presently swing it, financially or practically. I believe the interest in such a facility would be great, but it seems wiser at first to make it a virtual Institute, then perhaps later build. After being a virtual success, then, we might take a three-pronged approach: 1) Plan and raise capital; 2) Build or rent; 3) Get plants for the hanging gardens. I'll just admit it up front: I'm more of a teacher than an administrator, so going virtual at first is definitely the wisest course.

The whole thing would be meant to stimulate, motivate, and guide young bloggers, setting them on their course, then who knows what! The future is wide open, barring universal annihilation. And there's no telling what youth, counseled by their more experienced elders, might achieve. We could see Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobels, blue ribbons, golden loving cups, etc., awarded to our students as they imbibe the various teachings and launch out on their own, blogging, and serving their audiences.

As for me, and I'm not complaining, there was no one there for me a few years ago when I got started. No Institute, no nothing. Just my keyboard, a blank screen, and my own thoughts. I started kicking it around: Have I got anything to say? Can I be consistent in posting? What is my voice? Will Google Ads be profitable or just screen clutter? And some of those questions I'm still wrestling with. Like, "Have I got anything to say?" Some days I don't think so. Then I sit down and start typing out just any old crap, and before I know it, I've churned out something I'm not entirely ashamed of. Like today.

Some of the topics I want the Institute (the faculty of which is presently only me myself) to address would include: 1) Starting a blog. What you need to know; 2) Are there any good names for blogs left?; 3) Knowing your audience; 4) Committing yourself to the work; etc. The topics could be everything from the grand "Blogging As Your Divine Mission" to the humble "Spellchecker, Your Best Friend." Like right there for me, I wasn't sure how 'Spellchecker' was spelled (two words? hyphenated? one word?) till Spellchecker itself told me...

If you know any young bloggers, or youngsters who think they might like to start blogging, or those whom you might direct toward blogging, please turn them on to my site. And perhaps with the lessons I teach -- and if you can think of any that would be good topics, tell me -- we can get them off on the right foot, and maybe, just maybe, we will be able to truly inspire the next generation in their calling.

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