Forward, Into The Past

Toe_tag_copy Tie a toe-tag on Blinq. I'm getting ready to start another assignment here at the Inquirer.

For those of you who have checked in regularly - hi, Mom and Citizen Mom - you are the reason I've kept such odd hours, failed to maintain any firewall between my work time and family time, and know what's up with Terrell Owens. (Not so much since hugging it out with Donovan McNabb at a Super Bowl party in Miami.)

What I'm moving on to is the metro desk, taking a crack at being a local columnist. Talk about your old media.

I'm hoping to get out more. For most of the past 20 months I've been covering the blogosphere, often from home, with a dog at my feet, following the ripples of the day as they break into news or break apart. I've tried to post things you couldn't find anywhere else. Sometimes that turned out to be warmed-over memories of driving through Montenegro in wartime. I will try to do the same in the paper, minus the Montenegro part. It will be a reported column.

This space will no longer be fed - you may have already noticed a slowdown, a stretching out of posts that almost resemble pieces, as I've begun to make the mental transition to column inches. I am ending on a high; since the beginning of the year, Blinq's had more than a quarter million visits. It took a long time to build that trust. It will be interesting to see how what I've learned on this blog works in print.

So what have I learned? Blogging for a Philly audience is a contact sport. I've learned to take a hit, and I'm sure I'll be taking many more. I've also learned that, no matter what I'm writing about, there's always someone out there who knows more. I've had a real-time relationship with readers that will only help me in my return to the land of daily deadlines. I've learned what makes the needle jump -- what you're interested in reading, and what you don't care for. Despite the lack of comments, sometimes, the software says you like sex and sports. And news that combined the two, say, that one about the mighty-thighed Australian-rules Eagles punter, did land-office business here.

Blinq will disappear from its prime position on the homepage. As I start to get a feel for the new job, maybe Blinq will resurface somewhere down the road, in some form, as a sketchbook for the column. Feel free to write in with story ideas, music and restaurant suggestions, barbs - even the occasional scrap of encouragement.

As one of my sons said, "Maybe you could just blog for fun." What a concept.

Posted 02/09/2007 05:40:35 PM

Crap. I'll miss this place. Why in the world, Dan, is the Inquirer killing an on-line resource? Oh well. You'll be a great columnist. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Andrew

Posted 02/09/2007 05:44:53 PM

Hey! I just lost my job, if you want it to keep going, I can do it!

Run Up The Score!
Posted 02/09/2007 06:06:36 PM

Awwww, that's bad news. This quickly became my favorite part of, but I sincerely hope you enjoy your new assignment and you return in blog form someday. Good luck!

Posted 02/09/2007 06:47:52 PM

Congratulations! I owe you a beer.

Posted 02/09/2007 07:46:55 PM

Dan, that's cool. You're a daily read...and I even re-read you when Blinq is reprinted in the Inky. I really like your writing...the real you comes through. And now I'll get to get some ink on my hands on the R5 and read along with your column. Cool stuff...and sometimes RSS readers are overrated. Great job with Blinq, man. A home run. One more trip around the bases for you.

Will Teullive
Posted 02/09/2007 08:08:02 PM

Dan, You did a terrific job everyday with Blinq. I’m sorry to see it go. Not exactly sure why it’s going since you generated a quarter million hits this year, but you are probably not real sure either. They say change is good, the "they" is usually the changer not the changee. Much success with your new gig at the local desk wherever that may be. Going forward I would like to see Peter Mucha’s new blog brought up from the minors and placed on the front page of I enjoyed his previous work with ‘The Early Word’ blog. Will T.

Posted 02/09/2007 08:11:55 PM

The very best of luck to you, Dan. I wish you much success. FWIW, Blinq and your wonderful posts will be missed terribly.

Posted 02/09/2007 08:35:23 PM

Make it two beers.

Posted 02/09/2007 08:52:17 PM

great job with the blog. it'll be missed here in college land as it was a great way to keep up with the world from spain.

Posted 02/09/2007 09:18:14 PM

You'll be back. Good luck with that whole real paper thing. It probably won't be as fun though! I certainly enjoyed Blinq. Best of luck.

Posted 02/09/2007 09:21:32 PM

Good luck, Dan! And thanks for the great posts! I'll be sure to follow your column!

Citizen Mom
Posted 02/09/2007 09:35:33 PM

Well, crap. Dan, I'm actually at a loss. Toss in another beer or seven, on me. Thank you for everything you did here, and for all the help. Amy

Jake in Sharon
Posted 02/09/2007 09:46:15 PM

All the best! I'll be looking for your column!

Adam B.
Posted 02/09/2007 11:23:13 PM

Taking Grogan's slot? Keep a good eye on Harley. :) Congratulations!

Posted 02/10/2007 02:42:54 AM

Congratulations, Dan! You can close down the blog, move to a new desk, and print your words in ink on paper, but you will always be one of us. Good luck with the new column.

Nubian Vixen
Posted 02/10/2007 03:39:05 AM

Best of luck to you, Mr. Rubin!

Posted 02/10/2007 05:32:42 AM

Best of luck in print only. I know you would have rather been talking about your encounter with Anna Nicole at Live 8. Good luck getting that dog to move. It's pretty big as I remember. Now I'll have something to look forward to as I whip by the front page.

P Brundage
Posted 02/10/2007 05:37:28 AM

Dan: All the best! I second the observation of your son. I'll be looking for you in print when I can.

Susie from Philly
Posted 02/10/2007 07:38:20 AM

I'm still trying to figure out how you knew I liked sex and sports. Damn!

Posted 02/10/2007 09:24:10 AM

Danny, we hardly knew ye. You are leaving a big hole in the Philly blogosphere, dude. But good luck -- if you're happy, then I', happy. When all those readers take you out for beers, let me know. Since we look alike, maybe someone will buy me one by mistake.

Posted 02/10/2007 12:12:49 PM

I wish you the best in your new (old school) venture. I still buy the paper every day, and I will until they stop making it. This is fun, too; but it doesn't replace the ink-stained fingers. Thanks for providing thoughtful commentary and giving us something to think about, and talk about. We'll miss you here, but look forward to hanging with you elsewhere.

Sherri W.
Posted 02/10/2007 12:40:37 PM

All best wishes to you. I will truly miss following your writing here, but I'm glad you'll get more of a chance to do the out-in-the-world reporting you talk about missing.

Posted 02/10/2007 01:21:01 PM

Good luck and thank you!

Posted 02/10/2007 02:16:39 PM

Thanks for your work here! I see Blinq linked from tons of local blogs- I have a tough time seeing how a column would benefit the Inq more than this blog?

Posted 02/10/2007 05:06:01 PM

"Blinq will disappear from its prime position on the homepage. As I start to get a feel for the new job, maybe Blinq will resurface somewhere down the road, in some form, as a sketchbook for the column." It should. The fact that it isn't - after you've built up so much hard earned web-brand equity - shows a serious lack of insight on the management. I'm happy for you, but seriously disappointed.

Posted 02/10/2007 05:08:58 PM

Damn it damn it damn it! The more I think about this more I'm upset. Imagine the first draft of your articles being posted here for comment and participation from the web community. Threads being set up for future articles. Links to related resources. The whole thing. Damn. Online editor for the Inquirer - you just shot yourself in the foot and lost months of community building effort that Dan put in here at Blinq.

christine h.
Posted 02/10/2007 05:53:46 PM

I am sad to hear this, and will miss Blinq very much. You turned us on to so many great sites, and new music, and told stories in a poignant, humorous way (Lou Perfidio obit, Inky layoffs, to name a few) Thrilled to see you as the the Metro columnist!! Best of luck, Dan. You totally rule.

Sally Swift
Posted 02/10/2007 06:13:27 PM

Well, jeez, Dan. I don't know what to say. Right there, a minor miracle.. obviously your influence is strong. I start my day with coffee, the actual Inq, and Blinq. I'll miss that third step, but it'll be cool to see you in ink. As a certified online guru, I do have to ask, Why?? You've built a viral community of people who seem solidly advertiser-friendly... ohhh... I get it. If you can do that here, you can do that there. Dan, you could be the paper's savior! (Only sort of kidding.) Must go think now. More on the DS blog. Wait! Will Blinq remain online? A damn shame to scuttle such a great body of work. I say Keep it up here for the fans and the future. And good luck! S

Posted 02/10/2007 08:00:52 PM

So sorry (for us, anyway). Enjoyed your blog. Hope the bug will bite you & you'll come back, at least on occasion. Blogging for fun works. Best wishes with the print column.

Carl Rotenberg
Posted 02/11/2007 07:43:28 AM

You did a beautiful job creating a Web-like community by tapping your interests and flavoring your view of the Internet with a personal touch. Bravo. Have fun with the Philadelphia scene. They need your irony, a little ridicule when necessary and perhaps a few kudos. Ah, have to bring Darwin in from the front lawn. As Ariel says, Byes.

Tom Goodman
Posted 02/11/2007 12:03:57 PM

My first stop every single day on the blogosphere including Sundays! Dan, thanks for all you have done for blogging. I look forward to reading you in your next post. Oops! Can't get that term out of my head.

Posted 02/11/2007 01:05:05 PM

Dan - Good luck and thanks for that link you gave me way back when. I'm sure you'll be a good columnist, but you will be sorely missed as a blogger.

Tom G
Posted 02/11/2007 01:50:12 PM

Congratulations Dan on your new gig, it sounds as if you are moving onward and upward. I'll miss this place though...

Posted 02/11/2007 10:55:08 PM

Good luck and congrats! Since I was at that blogger meetup you showed up at (pre-Blinq), I'll always be able to say I knew you when. I'll miss the blog, but I look forward to the column even more.

Posted 02/12/2007 07:41:07 AM

What a shame. Your blog voice and your sense of humor and irony will be sorely missed in Philadelphia. We will not get the daily dose, the snippets, the overall perspective from a printed column. I'm sure your column will become a must-read, along the lines of Steve Lopez' columns here but with your own eye and style. And all Inquirer readers, not just those with a taste for blogs, will benefit. But this is a giant step backward for the Inquirer and only makes me shudder more deeply about its future. The Inquirer was the first (right, the first?) newspaper to appoint a reporter full time to a blog. You brought many, many years of reporting experience to a venue noted for its cowboy attitude. And, now, Brian and Billie are reneging on the promise to compensate for deep cuts and the resulting morale problems that have led to further losses. One step ahead, two steps back. I do wish you luck.

Bob Rose
Posted 02/12/2007 10:08:41 AM

dan: the inquirer needs to clone you, so you can do both. see you around the neighborhood. bob r

Posted 02/12/2007 11:37:11 AM

The news is bittersweet; I'm happy for your next adventure, but will miss checking in for my local roundup. I've been a reader since the earliest days when you cited my own blog. On a more positive note, your employer will be happy to hear that at least one non-print reader will now make an active effort to seek out a print byline. Maybe that was their plan all along? Good luck!!

Paul Burke
Posted 02/12/2007 02:13:08 PM

Dan, Thank you for your initial correspondence and help with "Journey Home" and good luck with the future whatever it may hold. I hope a big fat raise is part of the move. I'll miss your sincerity that came through so clearly on your posts and your obvious excellent taste in music! :) Paul

Posted 02/12/2007 09:59:21 PM

I don't understand why they would shut Blinq down especially to reassign you to a paper column. These two assignments are not mutually exclusive. So if I have this right, newspaper subscriptions are down, the oldest newspaper decided to stop printing a physical paper, the cheif at the NY Times doesn't care if they print a paper, Blinq page views are increasing and the plug is pulled? No replacement at all??? Can someone please explain this. Good luck with your new column.

Posted 02/13/2007 07:29:52 AM

Too bad. I liked Blinq. Good luck Dan.

Posted 02/13/2007 07:41:24 AM

Best of luck, Dan - whatever the change means. At a time when the Globe is giving up its foreign reporting I guess everything is possible. They're not switching off this site, right?

Posted 02/13/2007 07:56:45 AM

Sorry to see your blog voice go silent, Dan, but looking forward to your column. Best of luck.

Jay Rosen
Posted 02/13/2007 08:39:35 AM

Seems to me they're going backward in newspaper evolution. Not a good sign. I'm sure you'll do (very) well as a columnist, though, and I wish you best of luck with it, Dan. What's next: expanded stock tables in the daily paper? More room for TV listings? How about doubling the number of ex-cathedra editorials?

Posted 02/13/2007 09:02:19 PM

Damn it all. First Grogan now you. This sucks. The Inquirer sucks. PR Executives and Developers have no business running a newspaper

Posted 02/16/2007 11:31:17 AM

At least you know now to mark any article that you write as "NSFW" if there is questionable material in it :P And you'll have more time since you won't have to check the paper for new comments ever. You might be tempted to though. If that's the case you should end every article with "Comments (0)" just so you can tell at a quick glance that no one has weighed in on the subject yet. Good luck!

Posted 02/16/2007 02:52:20 PM

good luck and hope Blinq comes back!

ping: Blinq returns to past -->
Posted 02/12/2007 10:58:15 AM

Daniel Rubin, who writes the excellent Blinq blog at the Philadelphia Inquirer, announces that he's shutting the blog and moving to a metro column. Lots of laments in the blog world. The idea, which I can only half accept, is...

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