Approaching 500

I am rapidly approaching my 500th blog (though the short one I ran yesterday afternoon shouldn’t count.) In any event, when I started writing this blog about a year and a half ago at the urging of a friend, I figured the novelty would quickly wear off — or I would run out of things to say. Neither has occurred (though some might say I repeat myself).  And I am especially astonished by the fact that I still feel there are things that need to be said. I knew the blog would not be popular and I named it “daily gadfly” on purpose.  Socrates likened himself to a gadfly whose job was to sting his fellow Athenians to keep them alert and on the ball. I don’t see myself in a league with Socrates and American citizens don’t compare favorably with the Athenians (though the latter did put Socrates to death … hmm). Anyhow, there are so many things going on all around us that we need to think about that finding words seems to be fairly easy most of the time.  In fact, I sometimes have several blogs drafted and waiting in line for posting. It has been fun.

My dashboard (which apparently is not altogether reliable) claims that I have had more than 13,500 visitors from more than 80 nations around the world, which amazes me. Most of those are visits from a small coterie of friends and fellow bloggers whose blogs I also read with great interest. And that is the best part of this blogging escapade: the community of which you become a member. There are some very bright and interesting people out there in the blog world who have fascinating and important things to say and reading blogs has become an important part of my daily life. One of those bloggers recently announced his 1000th blog, so my 500th isn’t such a big deal. And another has 500 followers while I have just over 180. It’s important to keep one’s perspective!

In any event, I thank those who read the blog regularly, and especially those who have referred their readers to my blogs — which gives the visits a very nifty spike every now and again. (I say “spike” because those visitors don’t usually stay around. Not everyone wants to get stung by a gadfly!) It’s comforting to know that there are others of like mind and that even a few of those who are not of like mind will still read and comment. Some of the comments — and there have been nearly 3,000 of them — have been most interesting and have even generated other comments. The dialogue is sometimes fascinating to follow. But those people don’t need a gadfly. It’s the people who don’t bother to read these blogs at all — or who don’t read much of anything I would guess — who need to be stung by a gadfly every now and again. There’s a conundrum for you!

So in the end, this gadfly will continue to buzz until either his mind turns to mush (further to mush?) or the hamster that keeps his computer running dies from exhaustion. It has been fun and I do thank my friend Dana Yost who lives in Iowa and who is one helluva writer and poet and who urged me to start down this path that has proven so rich and full of new friends.

18 thoughts on “Approaching 500

  1. well good morning to you! what a refreshing first read you presented to my inbox this ‘chilly’ morning; thank you! (temps must have dipped down to the low 70’s last night!!!)

    your posts, always written with keen intelligence, truly do remind me to watch out for those pesky bees, although in my life i am more wary of bats and scorpions! you present unpleasant topics with a sensitive tone so that most people ponder your views instead of huffing up and taking a stand against them. that’s a true diplomatic art, and your posts deserve a much-larger audience. as you stated, ” It’s the people who don’t bother to read these blogs at all — or who don’t read much of anything I would guess — who need to be stung by a gadfly every now and again.”

    the issue that affects my personal friendships most is the issue of gun control – i was raised in the Bubba Belt where gun ownership and hunting brands many people for life. finding a way to present a more ‘holistic’ view in regards to guns is like trying to convince someone to convert to a religious faith or to stop drinking or smoking. many have slammed their minds tightly shut, and tradition, stubbornness and ego prevent them from listening.

    you have mastered that art better than i, and through your posts i am not only learning about current events, history and philosophy, but i am also studying the art reaching people through subtle ways.

    thank you!

  2. Hugh, congratulations on nearing No. 500! You give us a lot of good information and pose questions that make us think — and respond to — about some of the most vital issues of our time. One of the things that makes your blog so good is that it is not a one-sided, partisan-blinded shout-fest, but very thoughtful, very fair and very consistent in the values/ethics and the expectations you set out for yourself and those you write about. I think a lot of newspapers and news organizations would be envious, wishing they had a blogger of you caliber.

    Thank you, too, for your generous shout out at the end of the blog! I am smiling down here in Iowa 🙂 Maybe even blushing!

  3. On the contrary, 500 posts is something to be proud of!! I agree with you that there are some fascinating and intelligent people out there who blog. I keep finding more and more blogs to follow!! Alas, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in my day these days to get to them all. But I wanted to leave a comment to let you know how much I appreciate your blog. Full of thought provoking and interesting posts always. So, thank you from this lowly blogger 😉 He he. I know if I had more time I could make my blog much better. Alas, that will have to continue to wait a bit. also wanted to say I like the new look of your blog. Congrats on 500 posts and may there be 500 more!! from your Minnesotan neighbor. happy continued blogging!!

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