Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Bat Around - Why Do I Do the Voodoo That I Do?

It's Blog Bat Around time again, and it's come back home to Gellman's place at SCU.

To review, this wildly popular phenomenon was started by Gellman, who also hosted the second one. The baton was passed to Dave of Fielder's Choice for Fiesta #3, Patricia of Dinged Corners took the next turn for #4, and dayf the Cardboard Junkie grabbed the reins for #5. I highly recommend checking out the BBA's to see each of the first five bat arounds, plus the new topic for the sixth, then come back here (please remember to come back here...)

Anyway, the topic of the bat around this time asks that simple question of why. I think it would be better to read the question the way Gellman put it in his post:

All of the people who are participating in this have a blog, or at least something similar. For this question, I just want to know about the reasons you do what you do. Why do you blog? What made you choose Sports Cards as your topic of choice? What got you started? What has been your favorite post from your own work?

It was just a year ago that I started this humble little blog. After years of lurking around the Topps Message Boards, the old Beckett Message Boards, and even playing around with my About Me page on eBay, blogging seemed like the most logical thing to do. The next logical step to take. But I didn't even know what it was, nor did I think I had the literary skills to do one. Little did I know that it didn't matter if I had a theme or not, as there were blogs on just about everything. But what was I going to write about?

In my very first post on this blog, this was my reason for starting bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog:

"I decided to create this blog to allow me the time to enjoy my collection. And I want to share what I have with the collecting public. The baseball cards are and will be the stars of this blog. My job will be to talk about them as best I can. Now I'm no expert. I'm not a hobby insider, nor am I claiming to be fully knowledgeable about the Hobby I love. But in 21 years, I think I've gained a little bit of knowledge about cards and card collecting. I fancy myself as a student of the Hobby, always striving to learn about the past, while looking forward to the future...I feel I have some knowledge to pass on to the card collecting world, and it is my hope to share that with you as I finally make the attempts to take time and enjoy my baseball card collection."

That's what I had in mind when I started. I wanted to focus on the cards again as I started missing the point and just went through the motions of collecting. I started with hopelessly trying to do themes, like the "What??! of the Week," or the "What Card is This," even doing "Quote of the Week," but there was only so much material for these, and the research for finding quotes, or for that matter anything to write about, was taking too much time. I also thought of doing reviews of the past sets from the last 30 years (I have every complete set from 1976 to now), but as I continued on this blogging journey, I realized that either it's already been done, or that if I was to do a review once a week like I intended, by week 30 I'd have nothing left to write about.

Slowly but surely, the blog slowly took a different direction. I always loved being the first to find stuff online about the cards I collected, and then would post my "discoveries" on the Topps Message Board. Whether it was "Cards That Would Never See the Light of Day," or a checklist of all 30 Team sets Topps, I would put together a lengthy post and thrust it onto the boards. I realized that instead of just waiting for the right time to post on a message board that I can do that on my own blog. So, since then, if there was anything that I thought was interesting about new Topps products, or if I found cards that nobody else had talked about yet, I'd just put together a blog post, and hit the send button, hoping that somebody would read it. I never realized that my messages were being heard, loud and clear.

I even found myself commenting on other bloggers sites about what they wrote, and if there was a hot button topic that seemed to hit the blogs, I felt compelled to comment as well, whether or not I knew what was exactly happening. It was then I thought that I could do a lot better if I did more commentary and opinion posts. But to do that, I'd actually have to keep tabs on the Hobby like I was a reporter looking for the next big thing. While it would be nice to have that capability, I realized that I only collect Topps Baseball Cards, and realistically, that's all I collect. Why would I want to report on products that I don't even care for or collect? That would be a total 180 on why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to go back and enjoy my Hobby, and share that with the readers.

So here I am now. Wondering what is the point of my blog...AGAIN!!! I know I can use this forum for many things:
  • to inform like-minded collectors about products and cards or sets that I like (or not)
  • to entertain readers with random facts that I just happen to think about during the course of the day, and then try to put a card or two that relate to said topic
  • to comment freely without restraint about where the Hobby is going, and/or the latest hot topic in the Hobby
  • to show off my collection (after all, if I ever have to let it go, at least I can say I had them)
  • to be more involved in the Hobby I truly love
So maybe I shouldn't limit myself to just one of the above bullet points and run crazy with it. I should be able to do all of the above, and a bag of chips. I think I'm doing that already. But I can, and should, do more.

You know, after going through all of this rambling, I'm not sure I answered the all-important question...WHY??? Why do this? Why drive myself crazy blogging about baseball cards?

Because I love the Hobby of baseball card collecting. I love learning about them, I love reading about them, and now love writing about them. I may not have the loudest voice in the blogosphere, nor the best collection in the world, but I want to share both with all who are willing to read what I have to say and join me as I continue my way through the never ending journey that is the Hobby.

I think the gentleman at White Sox Cards said it best:

"Write what's true to your heart and the rest will fall into place."

And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Hope that answers everything.


JayBee Anama

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