As a longtime (and vocal) member of the Black Shoe Diaries community, I wanted to take a moment to welcome all the new administrators and contributors. The transition looks like it's moving along smoothly, and it sounds like there will be heaps to be excited about in the future. Kevin was kind enough to invite me to reach out to Chris if I was interested in continuing to contribute to the front page, but I haven't, and here's why: blogging is really hard.
And I'm not particularly good at it.
When Kevin & Chris left BSD last summer, Mike hung out a shingle and I answered his ad. I figured he was in a hole, he had done a lot for me in building this place I liked to spend so much time in, and I might be able to help him out a little with some backyard analysis & commentary. And even tho I knew enough about myself to commit to simply one post a week, I was a blogging virgin and had paid little blogging dues beyond being active in the commentariat (but I agree with Munny & Snoop that 'deserve's got nothin to do with it', and getting front page keys to the BSD Ferrari was an opportunity, so I took it). I had no idea the struggles involved in the regular production of content. Watching Fugi & Ben's daily work ethic and listening to Mike's experienced advice was impressive: it was awesome to see behind the scenes what it takes to keep a top blog running and growing. It also gave me even more respect for the great work on other blogs (Ross's work at the Pants comes to mind: the volume and writing excellence is trippy). And on the personal level, you've got a lot more vying for your attention. Every morning I'd check my phone and three primary apps: my BSD-specific email, my now-pimped-out Google Reader and the Twitter. That's in addition to my old obsessions of checking the comments for fun stuff to discuss with you fine people. Oh, and trying to become a better writer all the while. So, yeah, even at a post a week, it's a time suck.
So this decision to ramp up the latest generation of BSD with a large staff (tee hee hee) is a smart one. I'm not familiar enough with the LBU guys to comment on all their writing and I've never interacted with Pettigano before, but anybody who's peeked in over there the last six months or so can tell he's one committed dude. The style and content makeovers have been impressive, and timely. They've hit the gym just as Mike was winding down. I've read a few of Junstrom's articles over there and you can tell how much his writing has improved in the past year, and Collyer is one of my new favorite voices in the PSU sphere. Kevin's always seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and I would bet we can trust him to guide the BSD business growth in a way that remains also favorable to the readership. SBN seems to be pretty good at that at large. Chris and I have disagreed a fair bit over the years, but he's made it clear that he can be trusted to allow for that. He may not be forty yet, but he's a man and by all accounts a man of class, and I think we're all excited to see a return of that fun wit and style. He's also really experienced at this bloggery thing and he'll be a great steward of the content ship.
For my part I plan to get back to life a bit, focus a little more on work and house projects (where BSD has cut most into my time--the fam's been great!) and, like Mike, hope to put up a fanpost now and again. You may see me round the twitters and some in the comments here, and I'll probably stalk some of you at some tailgates this fall (first stop: DerryPharmer).
I know there's a lot yet to learn about all the new staff, and probably plenty for them to learn as they go forward, but, to me, it looks like we're in very capable and entertaining hands. I hope you all will join me in welcoming them on these latest endeavors. Good luck, BSD!