It’s not unusual for me to open Google Reader while at work, to check out feeds from other news outlets in the area and, yes, to see what my blogging friends have been up to.
On May 10, I noticed a new item had popped up in the feed for Have a Good Sandwich, Mike Woycheck’s blog. It was Mike’s first post in a few weeks and I was curious to see what he had come up with.
I pulled up a nearly blank page. The only word at the top? “Gone.”
I know I immediately Tweeted something about how Woy couldn’t possibly retire from blogging. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, because the Sandwich was back a day later; Woy said he was going to put up a post a day for the next month, to see if it might rekindle his blogging touch.
So we’ve enjoyed nearly a month of new stuff from Pittsburgh’s Blogging Godfather. We’ve learned that Woy thinks he’s over his hockey jinx (although I’d be curious to know whether he was watching Saturday’s horror show). We’ve been told that The Brady Bunch quite literally saved Woy’s life. His post about punctuation frustration prompted an interesting discussion (including a confession about my not-so-secret mistress, the em-dash). And I think we were all pleased when Mike took the Twittsburghers to task for their persistent anonymity at the events they host.
Given that this could be Woy’s last few weeks as a blogger, I thought the post on Day 21 was especially interesting. Mike featured a short note welcoming PittGirl to her new monthly gig with Pittsburgh Magazine. Of course, Mike served as PG’s butler for most of the run of The Burgh Blog. He kept her site running, and he was the one to take it down when she was forced to retire last fall. When PG wanted to write about the most recent Super Bowl, it was a natural that Woy’s site was the home for those posts.
As I’m sure you all remember, PG’s retirement was a huge freaking deal around here — my own tribute is among the two or three most-read posts I’ve ever written. Mike did a nice job assembling a list of the tributes that day, and offered a little insight a few days later.
Here’s what struck me. The end of The Burgh Blog should have been a big deal, but Woy’s potential retirement from blogging should be as well. When I needed to interview someone about blogging in Pittsburgh, Mike was one of three people I got in touch with (Cindy and Justin, Mike’s equals in terms of what they’ve done to boost social media in Pittsburgh, were the others). We have plenty of social media evangelists around here, but no one has done as much, as patiently, to promote our scene to anyone willing to listen.
I don’t know what Mike has in mind after the final few days of his month are over. I’d certainly understand if he stops — as I’ve heard him say in Podcamp presentations, blogging can be hard — but I’d certainly miss his blog if he does.
I’m not going to beg him to continue; he will do what he feels is right, I’m sure. But I will take this opportunity to thank him for everything he’s done for me — both as a reporter and a blogger — and for hundreds of other bloggers around here.