A Merger Within the Burghosphere
When I first started The People's Republic, there were a lot of things that I didn't realize, and a few things that I never even imagined were possible. I never realized (although I certainly suspected) just how messed-up Pittsburgh's political scene could be. But I certainly never imagined that it could actually get so bad that we would end up with uncontested mayoral election. I hadn't realized how many hours this blogging thing would take, but I never anticipated how much this effort would sharpen my focus on our beloved city and its many problems. I didn't realize that anyone would ever want to read these long-winded posts of mine, but I could never have imagined that anyone would think them important or that they might have some effect on city government. But the biggest shock is probably how emotional this particular moment has become for me.
You see, when I first began blogging just a few months ago, I hadn't really understood just how much I really loved this adopted home town of mine. And I never imagined -- never in a million years -- that I would soon have to leave Pittsburgh behind me.
At the end of last year, my Philadelphia-based employer offered me a substantial increase in salary if I would move there. Over the past few months, this offer has been sweetened substantially, in part due to my reluctance to walk away from the neighborhood, the city, and the region that has meant so very much to me. At some point, the offer got to be too good to refuse. I have the opportunity to take on a job that could pave the way for a successful career, and I would be a fool to turn it down. Pittsburgh simply doesn't have the kind of job that I am being offered in Philadelphia, and -- no matter how much I love it here -- I owe it to myself and my family to pursue this excellent opportunity. At some point over this next summer, I expect that we will be packing up our belongings and putting Pittsburgh's breathtaking skyline in our rearview mirrors.
I'm enormously sad, but excited at the same time. It's been (and remains) very difficult coming to terms with this decision.
I continue to cling to a few strands of "hope", for lack of a better term. My boss is notorious for late and even forgotten paperwork. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other people who must sign off on my new appointment before it can become a formal reality. My wife is still nailing down some details on her future employment in the City of Brotherly Love. But my overall sense is that things will happen as planned; I've been waiting for months to see if things were going to fall through, yet, if anything, the process has picked up even more momentum as time has gone on. It's time for me to begin dealing with the thousands of smaller problems and decisions that go along with moving a family of four to a new city more than 200 miles away.
One the more important things that I've worried about was how I could continue blogging about the local issues that remain near and dear to my heart. I've long known that, at some point, the relocation would demand so much time and attention that blogging would have to become a more infrequent and irregular pursuit. Indeed, the extended absence of posts a few weeks ago was caused, at least in part, by these other demands on my time.
I'm not willing to give up on blogging altogether, but I also recognize that maintaining a single-authored blog such as The People's Republic will soon become (if it hasn't already) a lost cause. An active and vibrant blog requires a certain frequency of new posts in order to retain its readership, and I'm not sure how often I will be able to provide them. A far better solution, given my situation, is to become part of a team of bloggers who can keep a steady stream of new posts on the same issues that I really care about. My posts, when I am able to make them, will fit in nicely with those of the other authors. And their posts will keep the blog flowing and alive while I am tending to my many other responsibilities.
Luckily, there already exists a local blog which fills this niche to near-perfection. It has long been a daily destination -- on many occasions, nearly an hourly one -- for my own reading. It draws a wide readership and hundreds of comments each week. The writing is excellent, and the editorial slant largely mirrors my own. The contributors, moreover, are willing to tolerate a certain degree of dissent within the ranks. And I'm proud to say that the authors there have, in a moment of madness, agreed to let me join them as a contributor to their blog.
Starting today, and in preparation for tomorrow's primary election, I have joined The Burgher and P.V. Poplicola as one of the contributing authors of The Burgh Report. The People's Republic will still be here, and all of the existing articles will remain available for reading, but new content -- especially concerning the local political scene -- will be posted there instead of here. Just as my new job in Philadelphia is an excellent opportunity for me, so is this new arrangement with The Burgh Report. It will allow me to continue blogging, to join a team of excellent writers, and to spare myself the pain of letting The People's Republic slowly fade into irrelevance as my posting frequency diminishes over the summer months. I can't thank Herr Burgher and Pops enough for providing me with this opportunity. I can only hope that my efforts will prove a worthy addition to their excellent blog.
In closing, I want to thank everyone who has stopped by over the past six months to read my posts here at The People's Republic of Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed writing for you. I have enjoyed reading your comments. I have enjoyed our joint efforts to make Pittsburgh a better place to live. I hope that all of these things will continue without pause over at The Burgh Report. It has been great. And it ain't over yet.
Monday, May 14, 2007
A Merger Within the Burghosphere