This blog turns 2

Terrible twos? Let’s hope not. But, yes, Saturday marked the second anniversary of The David Allen Blog, which launched on Sept. 12, 2007.

This is my 791st entry and as of mid-day Sunday you’ve contributed 3,260 published comments, for an average of just over four per entry.

I’m still enjoying my second career as a blogger, especially the medium’s immediacy, unlimited space, lower-profile nature and more freewheeling character, as well as the interaction with you readers.

My blog and my column remain separate enterprises, generally, although it’s fun to think of ways to tie them together — expanding on column entries by placing photos and further information here, for example. Some interests of mine, local restaurants particularly, are explored more fully here than in my column. And with your help we’re building a nice repository of local history of places and businesses.

I do regret that the technology remains a barrier to a potential audience. Many old-timers who would have the most to contribute to our local history discussions are unable or unwilling to visit us here. Not much we can do about that.

Have things changed on this blog? In the past year, I didn’t post seven days a week as I did the first year. But I did post almost every weekday, sometimes more than once.

Actually, sometimes I wonder if I post TOO often for people to keep up on easily. Your thoughts?

Also, I figured out this past year how to incorporate photos, which I do whenever it’s practical. (It’s a somewhat involved process in which each photo has to be uploaded, edited, sized and imported.) Photos have made the blog more visually appealing.

So we continue to evolve here.

I’ve come to think of this blog as handmade. Perhaps that’s a strange word to use given that a blog is done with software and doesn’t physically exist, but handmade to me is more about the aesthetic, not the means. It’s mine to assemble and present to you.

Any comments, criticism or ideas on how this blog is working and what you’d like to see more of, or less of, is encouraged. It’s your blog too.

Speaking of which, thanks for your time, your support and all those comments.

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  • John Clifford

    PLEASE, keep the posts coming as often as you’d like (or feel inspired). Some of us visit every day (sometimes more often). Some only occasionally. But unlike a newspaper, we can choose to read as many or as few as we choose. You aren’t forcing anything on any of us, so it’s OK to do more. While for some things less is more, here more is better.

    And I love the photos. Especially the Steve Harvey type where it’s really a visual joke (and especially since Harvey’s blog doesn’t seem to be updated very often).

    [Thank you, John, for being one of this blog’s devoted readers. — DA]

  • Willie Campos ” ARTS COLONY WILLIE “

    Whats up dave this is my first time visiting your blog I’m sure it wont be the last. Love all of your work.

    An Admirer
    Arts Colony Willie

    [Willie! Nice of you to drop by. See you around downtown Pomona. — DA]

  • Ramona

    Congrats on two years and counting, David.

    I don’t feel you have to post something every day. Too much pressure and there’s the danger of the blog becoming a Twitter wannabe when inspiration fails you.

    I’d rather wait — if I have to — for something meaningful, significant, historic or humorous. How’s that for putting on the pressure. Not to worry. You’ve never failed to include or incorporate all of the above.

    I tend to think of your DB column as something for “them,” the general public, and your blog as something for “us,” the folks who come here every day and reply often. Kinda like a family ’cause I mostly recognize their names.

    Keep up the good work! “To infinity and beyond.”

    [I like your “them” and “us” analogy. This IS sort of an in crowd, isn’t it? I like that aspect of this blog. Not everyone has the keys. And thanks for being another of our loyal readers and commenters. — DA]

  • Fred Henderson

    Hello Dave:

    791 under your belt and many, many more to go. Like a fine Washington wine, you will only get better (tho’ you are at the top now). Your comments and articles make my day. Love the readers’ comments, too. Keep up the good work!

    A reader from afar,

    Fred Henderson
    Everett, WA

    [I’m flattered to be a habit for you and other farflung readers with Inland Valley ties. — DA]

  • hugh.c.mcbride

    Echoing the thoughts & words of those who have already commented here today, many congrats on your 2nd anniversary & many thanks for the time & talent you’ve dedicated to this wonderful little “homemade” corner of the Internet.

    As for the “us & them” post — not only is this an apt analogy, but it’s also kind of exciting, as I’ve never been part of an in-crowd before. Will there be T-shirts? Secret handshakes? Reserved seats at the cool kids’ table in the cafeteria? (We *are* the cool kids in this analogy, right?)

    Looking forward to the next 791 posts (and the 791 after that … and the 791 after that …)

    [Yes, we’re the cool kids, as hard as that can be to believe. Oh, and as the guy you’ve just committed to producing 2,373 posts, all I can say is, I’m tired already! — DA]

  • G Filippi

    Oh David! To be two again!

    Did someone say “a fine Washington wine” ???

    [Maybe it was subtle insult because he didn’t think I was good enough for the Cucamonga stuff. — DA]

  • A. S. ASHLEY

    Terrible Twos!?!?

    But after you’re potty-trained, imagine the fashion answer you’ll become!

    [Goo. — DA]

  • Charles Bentley

    I believe the definition you seek to define column versus blog isn’t one of person or even personality.

    Too many blogs are written out of anger, fear, confusion or hate, or in an attempt to create those states in the reader. Yours, however, isn’t so much about controversy as it is about conversation. It isn’t about making or changing history; rather, it’s about recalling it and remembering the good aspects of what was and is special and unique to our region.

    Forgive me, but the “us vs. them” mentality leans too much on confrontation and segregation. Whether it’s the “in crowd” v. the “uncool” (the divisions of youth), the “intelligentsia” v. the “ignorant” (often the misconception of the so-called educated), or the “red states” v. the “blue states” (the sad divisiveness of modern American society), such lines of thought immediately pit one group against another.

    In fact, what you do doesn’t divide, it unites. And your blog does what the column (specifically the printed page version) cannot — reach more different individuals in diverse locales and bring them together. From Everett, WA to Pomona, CA, and all the other places cyberspace spans, your blog brings the color and the feel and the humor and the hope of the Inland Valley to a readership unfettered by the constraints of subscriptions.

    You help make it clear that there are far more similarities between us than differences.

    So think of the blog as your recipe for a good read offered to hungry readers throughout the world. Or, using your own sense and sensibilities, as daily supplying a sumptuous tuna melt to the masses!

    Congratulations to you, Dave, on two great years and sincere hopes for many, many more to come.

    [Wow! Thanks, Charles, for your musings on the merits of this corner of cyberspace. I meant to point out, but didn’t, that one nice aspect of this blog is how civil the conversations are. Nobody’s shouting “you lie!” here. As for “us” versus “them,” I won’t (ahem) argue the point! — DA]

  • Bob Terry

    David, I hope I speak for the others out there also, but we are so glad to be “comment worthy” to you and your blog. Your articles in the IVDB are part of your “agreement” with the suits…I write, you pay. But your blog does indeed take on a more personal theme and that is what makes most of us faithful and loyal followers. So, in the famous words of Hedy…I mean Hedley Lamarr…you just go on and “do that voodoo, that you do, so well!!!!”

    [Since the blog has a more limited readership — I’d estimate, in all seriousness, that it’s about 2 percent of my column’s readership — I feel freer to use the space however I like, and indulge my personal interests a bit more. Pleased to know that you folks like the result. Admittedly, given those stats, I question sometimes why I’m spending perhaps 25 percent of my worktime here, and a few personal hours too. Best not to dwell on such things! — DA]

  • Ms. Lois

    David! Congrats on your 2nd anniversary of the blog. I read several times a day and enjoy it very much. I especially have appreciated over the years how kind you are to Pomona. I hope to see you in more parades as grand marshal or anything else!

    [Perhaps there’s an “anything else” in my future. Thanks for your loyal readership. And say hey to the gang at the Pomona Public Library for me. They’re the best. — DA]

  • Lyn Williams

    Hi David-

    Congrats on the 2 year blog! And, just to add to your blogs of past about what is not here anymore — Fazoli’s in Ontario, the fast food Italian place — saw that they are no more as I drove past today.

    Best wishes — and yes, do keep the blogs coming. They provide a sense of enjoyment and whimsy.

    Here’s to years of more blogging on your behalf!

    Best regards,
    Lyn Williams

    [Hey, it’s One N Lyn. Thanks for the comment and the news about Fazoli’s. — DA]

  • Theresa Hanley

    David, congrats on your 2yr anniversary — however, I really signed on to comment on your column on breaking up with the New Yorker.

    By way of encouragement, I have been “friends” with the New Yorker for several years — since I can’t keep up with a weekly, I just buy a new one when I finish the old.

    Amazingly you mentioned two of my favorite articles — light pollution and the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall piece was in my top three, actually (third). Second place was a piece on two eco-academics in Humboldt who climb around in the canopies of Giant Sequoias. My all-time favorite was Adam Gopnik’s piece on magic and magicians. I hope you caught them. Theresa

    [That’s a good, sane approach: Buying issues off the newsstand as you feel like it. As a subscriber the issues seemed to arrive relentlessly. I don’t recall the eco-academics piece but think I do remember Gopnik’s. I could come up with another list of favorite pieces. How about Nicholson Baker’s about the demise of library card catalogs? What a great magazine … despite my breakup. — DA]

  • Pat Flinn

    Congrats! How time flies when we’re having fun! And we are. I love the feel of your blog, the pleasant flow and genial conversation. The walks down Memory Lane in our local community are wonderful and, I might add, the best exercise I get most days. Thanks!

    [“the best exercise I get most days” — good line! Glad you like it here, Pat. — Genially, DA]

  • Linda Frost

    Congratulations to you and your keyboard on your second anniversary only 23 to your Silver Jubilee!

    Although Im a more recent follower, I do enjoy reading your entries and the attendant comments. In fact, I logged on while I was on vacation this summer. As a long-time resident of the area, I enjoy reading comments from others whose experiences reflect mine. Its a way of affirming that my memory isnt failing me; and it’s a way of learning about new things and new perspectives.

    I also thought blogs were the province of political and social bombast; yours is refreshing. Keep it up, and its okay to do it daily, but remember you need your rest. By the way, some of us old timers are techno savvy.

    [And I’m glad you are. I recall sending you the link to this blog after an e-mail of yours a few months back, and I’m pleased you’ve taken to it and contribute so frequently, and so well. But that just proves my point: that more seniors would get a kick out of this blog, and have a lot to contribute, if they would only check us out. Oh, and your first line cracked me up. — DA]

  • Bob House

    David, congratulations on starting Blog-Year 3!

    I was surprised to hear your online audience was so much smaller than your print audience. Any estimate of your combined web audience — those who read both the blog and the column online? Your writing is interesting every day of the week; not many can make the same claim.

    Enjoyed the “New Yorker” column. I’m a subscriber too. I watch all the subscription offers during the year and strike when it gets to 50 cents a copy. Sometimes I have to let the subscription run out for a few weeks, but I’ve been paying only 50 cents/issue for awhile. I also subscribe to the Sat and Sun NY Times — and I find I’m still trying to finish them by Wed or Thurs.

    [Bob, thanks as always for your support. You were an early and enthusiastic booster here and I appreciate it.

    I haven’t seen online stats for a while, but last time I asked, a few months back, readership here averaged 400 page views per day, same as six months prior. I’m happy to have ’em, but you can see why the columns are my main focus. Column viewing online varies significantly depending on the headline — seems like some people find my column randomly and have no idea what it is, based on the comments section — but last I heard is generally two or three times greater. — DA]

  • Doug Evans

    I’ve spent a day trying to think of something clever and funny to say, but I got nothing*, so I’ll just say: Congrats on two years of blogging! Definitely a bookmark I check out at least once a day (not that I even need to, since facebook does a good job of keeping me informed of updates. But I do it anyway. Take that, facebook!).

    *Maybe that’s why the Powers That Be at the Daily Bulletin didn’t hire me to write a column? Aside from the fact that they have no idea that I exist and that I have no journalism experience whatsoever?

    [Those are all such good reasons, it’s hard to know which one is correct. Let’s just say all of them. Seriously, Doug, it’s always nice to hear from you. — DA]

  • rpfromrc

    As a specific quibble, this blog sometimes comes up with a grey background, a wide word-wrap field, and no comments link. This happened the first day this entry was posted.

    Keep going Dave, this is one of the more interesting parts of the IVDB site. Kudos to Wendy for her RCNow column as well. What I find disturbing is that, compared to the average news article published, I find these 2 blogs to meet somewhat higher journalistic standards. This is despite Wendy’s comment a while back that she doesn’t put the background work into the blog that she feels is required for a news article.

    [While I’m not sure what “somewhat higher journalistic standards” you perceive, we’re happy to be meeting them. As for the gray background, etc., I can’t explain it and it’s nothing I would have any control over. The blog never looks that way on my computer. Others left comments the first day, so perhaps it’s an issue with your browser? — DA, troubleshooter]

  • Linda Frost

    To add a comment on the writing quality — I taught English for 33 years and find your writing to be superior to regular reporting in the IVDB. Sometimes I have a hard time wading through articles because of poor grammar and garbled prose. Maybe reporters should study your column and blog. They could pick up the inverted pyramid after learning to write.

    [Well, that’s the benefit of having been at this for a while. Thanks for noticing. — DA]

  • MV

    Happy Anniversary. Your blog is a great way to start a “Good Morning” and always makes my day. I get a kick out of the regulars who leave comments, they are very interesting people with remarkable memories. I still cannot understand why the Daily Bulletin doesn’t put your column on the first page! I guess I wouldn’t read the rest of the paper if the best was on the front!

    [Oh, that must be why they don’t do it. Knew there must be a reason. Thanks, MV. And yes, we have some amazing commenters here. — DA]

  • Goddess of Pomona

    Happy Two Year! As long as you keep the posts short, I don’t think you can ever blog too much. I myself like to keep people anticipating my next post…

    Keep up the comment-inspiring work.

    [Hee hee. Thanks, G of P. — DA]

  • JMac

    Well I’m a tad late to the party. My excuse is the food porn adorning your site lately. It kept me preoccupied. Anyway, congrats David on another anniversary. I have been a reader and infrequent contributer since day one. I always read it after I have looked at my Etrade account. Thanks for pulling me off the ledge every morning.


    [Happy to do it, Jim. — DA]