People say that if you want to have a successful blog, you need to find a niche. They advise that an appropriate niche can be found by evaluating Google keyword searches, and that the more narrow your focus, the better your chances to hook a loyal following. You must differentiate yourself, so the smart thing to do is find demand without adequate supply. This is best practice. This is the smart thing to do.
So, what’s my niche? On what unfilled crack in the blogosphere will I focus my efforts?
Well, damn if there isn’t a rub . . . maybe I’m just not smart enough to take this sage advice, to find my personal corner of the Internet and make it grow. Maybe I’m just too stubborn or perhaps I think I know better. There’s probably some of this and that, but the real truth is that my interests are just too many and varied.
I considered writing a political blog. After all, my skin crawls every time I think about who our elected officials really serve. My head is set to spinning as I recoil from each inane regurgitation of the same old empty party-line rhetoric. I actually feel numb as I ponder the lack of possibility for any real, substantive change. No doubt about it, the American political stage both has my interest and would provide an endless stream of provocative topics.
But alas, there are already a multitude of political blogs out there, and although a headspring of drama and farce, even the parody of sanity that is American government would be too limiting. Smart or not, it appears that I’m destined to swim upstream.
Might I write about social issues? Celebrity, fashion, music, culture — all capture my fancy from time to time. Religion? Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into to! Parenthood, education, technology, how about philosophy . . . hell, maybe I’m just too ADD for blogging. The problem isn’t that I can’t find a subject area but rather that there are just too freaking many from which to choose, all robust and each with its own burgeoning list of perplexities and questions.
Indeed, no matter how rich and fertile the ground or how bountiful the potential crop, I just can’t see myself sewing seeds of only a single family, planting questions of a sole genus, cultivating opinions of a solitary class. For better or worse, I find myself in an unenviable position where I feel I must buck what appears to be sound reasoning and good advice. A slave to my inquisitive mind, I cannot turn my back on the myriad questions that haunt my waking moments.
I want to know why we can’t wean ourselves off of our dependence on foreign oil, why we can’t seem to adopt a plan for energy independence. I wonder about the best healthcare system and why we can’t establish campaign reform. I don’t understand how Congress can vote themselves raise after raise and give themselves gaudy retirement packages and ample heath benefits, all while doing nothing at all to help the average taxpayer. Political questions? Yes, but they’re more than that.
They’re questions about humanity, about people, about what drives us, what divides us, and hopefully, at some point, about what can bring us all together.
Have you ever asked yourself for a serious answer to the question of, “Why celebrities make so much money, while teachers, emergency workers and so many others without whom we could not function as a society make so little?” Do you ever contemplate how very important the education of the youth of America is to the future of our nation? To your own future? Would you like to know why religion, why faith in something pure and true and larger than us all, tends to do much more dividing than bringing together?
And I want to know what the hell we’re all doing here in the first place. I want to know how things like quantum entanglement play out in the everyday. I want answers to the vast mysteries of the mind, of psychokinetics and intention, of the origin of the universe, of time itself.
The fabric of life on planet Earth, of humanity and our systems, our relationships, our love and our denial, our beliefs and behaviors, this then is my canvas. The thread of inquiry woven through dialog into a tapestry of ideas, this is my objective, the destination for my journey.
So then, what’s this blog about?
It’s about asking questions, different questions, better questions. And it’s about the belief that if people can set aside their egos long enough to be truly honest about their concerns and convictions, we just might find some common ground, the type that can enable us to make some real progress — progress that benefits everyone.
Inquiry, dialog, ideas: this is the Thinker’s Jam.
I have questions. I want answers. I will listen.
I think, therefore I jam