Sunday, September 25, 2011


-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. See what we mean at "On the Flop!" <-


25 SEP 11: In Conclusion....

You've probably heard the phrase, "All good things must come to an end." Today I apply that phrase to this blog -- although I realize some of you never have been really sure about how good this blog is.

After more than 11 total years of online humor writing, close to nine years of blogging and 2,727 posts, The Blog of Columbus officially ends today. For some people, I'm sure this will be disappointing -- but they should look on the bright side. Now Robert Schweiger and C.A. "Brother Love" Hardmon can branch out and set up blogs of their own.

Since LaughLine began for national subscribers in January 2000, I've dreamed of making a living doing comedy writing. But LaughLine died for lack of interest in 2002 -- and while this blog has about 1,000 visits a week, it simply hasn't brought in enough income to pay the bills. In fact, this year's blog income doesn't even cover one month of frozen rent.

(Before conspiracy theories start: only a few people paid me over the years to write this blog, in terms of donations or advertising. And absolutely no one is paying me to stop this blog. If someone had thought of that along the way.... well....)

What started in 2003 as a blog with humorous thoughts about Columbus grew into much more. I've marveled at what it's become, with a mix of satisfaction and frustration. It's humbling to have the mayor return your phone calls, get breaking news directly from public officials -- and even be offered tickets to a circus, real or political.

But the frustration admittedly has come from people who wanted to turn a humor blogger into something else. I never really wanted to become a puppet for people who want to reform towns. I also never planned to get on the "speed dial" of people who openly admitted to a history of mental illness. By sharing their "opinions," I sometimes wondered if they wanted to spread their conditions as well.

Long-time readers know I wrote this blog for several years while working part-time at a Columbus TV station. That station let me go in 2009, and I've been searching for new steady employment ever since. That opportunity finally has come, outside my chosen career of journalism. So now I'll hand out "scoops" to others, instead of spilling them myself.

(For now, I plan to continue my other blog. "On the Flop" was spun off, to be a mix of poker and ministry. But before you start rumors, I am NOT turning pro and moving to Biloxi.)

The thought occurred that I could continue to write this blog, perhaps on a reduced scale. But I don't think that would be fair to this new job opportunity, so I decided to give it my full time and attention. Besides, most doctors recommend getting more than five hours of sleep per night.

I step away believing this sort of "alternative journalism" project in Columbus will go on. I played a small role last year in developing Robbie Watson's River City Report, which appears ready to carry on some of the things I've done here. Sometimes I think she could use emoticons to make her jokes more obvious, but that's her choice....

The end of this blog probably will mean no more heady stuff, such as interviews with city managers and local celebrities. But it also will mean the end of late-night blog writing, which sometimes stretched until 2:30 a.m. First the brain cells start to die, then comes heaviness in the eye....

Whether you're reading this blog for the first time today or have been a loyal nine-year follower (Blogger counts 16 of them), I deeply thank you for your interest. It has been humbling. Thank you for your input, which occasionally has been stinging. And I leave you with words I wanted to leave for co-workers at two other jobs, but could not because of circumstances -- words made famous by Georgia's own Alan Jackson:

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee

I learned a lot about living, and a little about love.

© 2003-11 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.

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