How many times have you seen a business or organization write “an open letter?” For instance, Starbucks might write an open letter to coffee drinkers, explaining why the “holiday” cups don’t have a Christmas-ey theme. The letter ends with an appeal to the coffee connoisseur, reminding them Starbucks coffee is delicious even if it’s overtly political.
Or it might be something more innocuous; an open letter to a celebrity for a perceived wrong or gaffe.
Everyone is in the open letter writing business these days. That’s the essence of the internet; big electronic clouds of open letters.
(Pause here, compose myself, and step away from a screed.)
Dear Blog Readers,
Please accept my apologies for the boring content of my blog these past weeks and months. As I look over the content I’ve produced, I’m mostly dissatisfied. In the allotted time, I’ve been doing more research and less writing. The research is for a series of freelance articles in the local paper. It’s time-consuming, it doesn’t pay very well, and yet it’s important to get the words exactly right.
Oddly enough, there was an article in the paper about a local historian. The article’s author stated the historian found much of her information in that same paper. Interspersed between the historian’s quotes was this sentence:
“All of the papers from 1866 to the 1930’s are archived on Google newspapers.”
I don’t think that’s true. When I look at Google newspapers for January, 1920, I see there are 9 days where there are “no editions available.” It’s the same thing for The Lewiston Daily Sun in the same time period. A more accurate sentence would be:
“Many of the papers from 1866 to the 1930’s are archived on Google newspapers.”
But let’s not get too hung on some the difference between “all” and “many.” That’s a different blog post for a different day.
The fact of the matter is Google newspapers can be very helpful…until they’re not. It’s at that point in time when a diligent researcher will need to leave the virtual shelter and venture forth into the world of real people, places, and things.
That’s a page of the wedding directory for a church in Lewiston. I visited the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society in Auburn for two hours, doing research. It’s time consuming and not immediately gratifying.
There are only so many hours in a day, dear readers, and because we are currently trapped in a time and space continuum, I’ve been unable to write exciting content.
My blog has been boring.
Please accept my apologies for this lack of vibrant and vivid content. Life is like that sometimes.
Thank you for visiting nevertheless.
Someone, likely unpaid, sat there and typed page after page on an old upright typewriter, manually setting the multiple tabs, making no mistakes (no backspacing and deleting). What pride she must have put into it, what a labor of love to work so hard to make something to last for centuries with a little good luck. Realize that at least half of America no longer has any idea of what it took to make that page or all the rest like it.
Another labor of love would be to enter this data into Excel. Let’s hope some bright bulb creates an app which might help.
I never find your blog boring!
Thanks, Carol. It’s probably the weather and a writer’s cramp.