You call that a reason?
A couple months back, I started seriously considering a blog of my own. The big questions that floated through my brain at the time were "why write at all, why write this kind of material, and why now?" All fair questions, considering I'd been out of the game for almost twice as long as I'd once been in it...
Back in the dark ages of the Internet, before Mosaic made graphics omnipresent, I was associated with the administrivia of a few different music mailing lists and projects -- already beating a hasty retreat from the never-ending flame wars of GRUNGE-L and the newsgroups. One was the Indie List Digest, basically record and show reviews [with more-than-occasional editorial insertions]; another was an annotated list of independent record labels (now relegated to the big core dump in the sky); a third was Finley Breeze, supposedly an investigation of "music and culture" -- or a back-handed way of saying "writing about music without record reviews." As context, I spent 3-5 hours on the air each week as an independent radio station DJ, allocated the vast majority of my meager disposible income and spare time on buying records and attending shows, and generally tried to do my part in a broad community that for the first time had instant, worldwide means of communications at its fingertips.
When Finley Breeze sputtered to its demise in late 1996, it seemed the right time to move on. I wasn't invested in music the same way as I'd been for the prior six years. I'd moved to a new city with a new calling -- law school. And while I originally justified law school through my desire to stay involved in communications and radio, my real interests developed in areas only tangentially related to broadcasting -- trademarks, copyrights, unfair trade practices. Hell, I spent a week researching the history of Illinois high school basketball so that I'd have three interesting paragraphs at the beginning of my 40-page law review article about an obscure and generally irrelevant cause of action in trademark law and the bloviations of Brent Musberger. I did continue to dabble in music, whether by helping set up a private foundation supporting a new radio station in Madison, researching the madness of the "netcasting" rules of the Digital Milllenium Copyright Act or just refusing to dismantle my personal record library. From time to time, I'd engage in discussions on private mailing lists. I even talked about restarting Finley a few times. Nothing permanent came of these steps, though.
What finally brought me to build this site was that mystical holy grail of "convergence" (along with a decent kick in the pants from an old friend) as my professional and personal worlds started to come together. I work in telecommunications, both wired and wireless -- watching networks grow and evolve while network operators dabble in content creation and distribution. I serve on the board of directors for my old radio station. I am a proud (and generally satisfied) subscriber to a satellite music service. I participate in mailing lists where a recurring topic is how to reconcile copyrights and just compensation for creators with unlimited digital reproduction and unregulated distribution. And my music collection, largely of the analog variety, still sits on a collection of shelves and racks, used occasionally but just as often lamented as part of the moving process (three times, 1000+ miles each time, in three consecutive summers). Lots of moving parts, but patterns are starting to emerge.
So, this journal represents some faltering, tentative steps to make sense of what's going on around me. It will also be an occasional dumping ground for thoughts on music, politics, culture, and whatever else comes to mind that can't be dismissed quickly. I'm not a big fan of navel-gazing, but I can't guarantee that there won't be some from time to time. The comments function should always be open -- one of my biggest regrets with Finley was that I couldn't foster a sense of "discussion" from one issue to the next without fundamentally losing control over the means of distribution. With some compelling "fair use" arguments, I'll probably start sharing some morsels from the archives, too.
That's it... no manifesto, no clear mission statement or purpose, really very little (so far) to distinguish my ramblings from those of thousands of other crackpots... the experiments continue.