I just want to take a moment this morning to discuss something that has been on my mind lately.
I have been getting a lot of "Thank you" notes from people around the UK blogosphere for linking their posts. Let me say right now that it is my pleasure. I love attempting to bring together the collective wisdom of so many UK bloggers and message board commenters who put their thoughts out there for consumption. Not all of them are good, and not all are newsworthy, but many are and I try to read as many as possible each day.
The Big Blue Nation online is a community (or aught to be), not just a bunch of diverse voices ranting in the cyber-darkness. When JL did me the immense honor of inviting me to join his adventure here at ASoB, we never did talk much about the "vision thing". JL liked to write thoughtful, original pieces taking on the tough issues of the day as they relate to Kentucky sports, and analyzing UK sports from an "outside the box" perspective. I am not nearly creative enough to populate a blog with that kind of wisdom, and my strength is tying together the wisdom of others into a coherent narrative.
At this point, I feel it is necessary for me to explain that this blog is JL Blue's creation, not mine. He designed, developed and labored, in darkness and in doubt, for a long time before I showed up on the scene. He updated the blog regularly in spite of having only a few hits per day, and constantly worked to improve this place. And as you all no doubt know, his labors have been validated by the vibrant community we are enjoying here at A Sea of Blue.
This place is here by his will, by his sweat, and by his labor of love. I inherited it more by extreme good fortune than any sort of competence, and I owe it to JL and his determined diligence to grow and nurture the small tree that has sprung from the seed he planted. JL didn't develop this blog with my vision, but with his, and although I am sure that I will fall short, I feel obligated to keep his vision (as I have come to understand it) firmly in mind, and keep this blog from loosing sight of it.
At the same time, ownership of something empowers the owner to put his own stamp on it. Being true to JL's vision and placing my own mark on the blog are not incompatible, I think, which is perhaps why things have worked out as they have. As I have been honored and entrusted with what JL created, I try to be mindful at all times of the type of community he was trying, ultimately successfully, to build. And oh, lest you get the impression this is some kind of eulogy, JL is still here and will be continuing to provide the same insightful commentary he always has. I am just taking care of the place.
Besides the things I have already discussed, part of what I see this blog doing is tying together diverse sources of UK information, and providing a kind of on-line adventure map. Follow a link to one place, then from there to another, and so forth - a sort of on-line UK treasure hunt with a nugget of knowledge or wisdom at each node. Other blogs, UK and even non-UK, are critical to that effort, and allow our readers to find interesting things without having to do the grunt work of searching them out for themselves.
So anyway, to the bloggers out there who help me in this effort by offering their time to write great UK and sports related stuff - thank you all. And to all who find themselves linked here, no thanks are necessary. You have earned it by the sweat of your brow, the cogitation of your mind, and the passion in your heart.
And to the readers, commenters and diarists on this blog, thank you most of all. We are glad you find the time out of your busy day to visit our little corner of cyberspace, and we appreciate it when you share your thoughts with us. And always keep in mind that we are trying to develop a community, not just a blog. So write well, and we will make you famous!
To paraphrase what Tiny Tim said in Dickens' famous story, "God bless you, every one."