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 Philly.com 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.