It's natural that at this time of the year, we begin to reflect upon what has happened in our lives during the previous year and take note of improvements or changes we'd like to see in the next. In fact, the month January was named after the Roman god Janus, which was always depicted has having two faces - one looking forward and one looking back.
A recent comment by Mickey was quite humbling, and I wanted to express my gratitude to you, dear reader, for spending time on this blog. I know there are a number of other websites, discussion groups, books, periodicals, and - let's face it - actual face-to-face opportunities to engage in Sherlockian discourse. The fact that you drop by here and let me know how it affects your life is profoundly encouraging and uplifting to me (and yes, that's a not-so-subtle request to keep the comments coming).
But on the cusp of the New Year, I thought I'd share with you why I think this site is unique, what I plan to do with it (in part) in 2008, and what you can do to keep it up and running.
What makes this blog so special
Part of what I try to impart here is my own personality - sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But at the end of the day, I try to write in a conversational style that actually makes you feel at home, or as if you've just dropped in for a drink and we're throwing ideas around.
And while I try to bring you as much of the mainstream Sherlockian news as possible, I also make it my mission to seek out the odd and the well-hidden gems that make life so much more interesting. One of the hallmarks of Sherlockians is that we're always able to find a parallel between something that happened in the Canon and either a personal interest or an item in the current news. I hope I'm succeeding there.
But more than just cutting & pasting headlines or parroting information you may be getting from other circles, I put some commentary and perspective around each news item, in order to make it relevant or stand out in some way. I hope that doing so provides you with some added value. You may not always agree with my opinion - which is completely acceptable - the comment link is just a click away. I welcome debate as well as praise; that's part of what makes a blog so interesting, in my opinion.
In addition, I'm discovering new and energetic Sherlockians whom I've never met and sharing their works with you. Some examples from 2007 are the Russian animation that I found on YouTube, the recent stick figure retelling of 'The Blue Carbuncle,' and the music video series I ran throughout the summer. These were all examples of individuals whom I stumbled upon. Throughout 2008, I'm going to try to discover some additional sources of great content (and dipping back into the well for more from the same).
What else you can do
As you may know, I produce and co-host a podcast (don't be frightened - that's just a fancy way of saying radio on the Internet) called I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, please visit the site. It's basically a Sherlockian talk show. I guarantee you it's worth your while. If you don't agree, I'll refund your money. But I will say that it wouldn't be possible without the able participation of my co-host, Burt Wolder. It's definitely a two-man show.
And if you like what you hear there or what you read here, please consider doing two things:
- Subscribe for free - that was the blog; you can also subscribe to the podcast for free
- Recommend them to your friends, family, and Sherlockian colleagues - or even to the uninitiated, if you want to help them understand what this crazy pastime is all about. If you can tell at least 3 people in your life about my blog & podcast, that will help them grow. And if you'd like to do it here online, just use that neat little button you see at the bottom of each post.
Finally, if there's anything that you'd like to see or anything you think I shouldn't be doing, please let me know. While I can't promise you that I'll do exactly what you recommend, I will read what you write and provide you with a response. The only way I know what you think is for you to tell me.
I write this blog as a labor of love (isn't that why we all pursue this crazy hobby of Sherlock Holmes?) and I sincerely hope that you find it even the slightest bit valuable. I encourage you to use the links in the sidebar when you make any online purchases - whether it's the search box on the side or the aStore that both link to Amazon, or the clothing and technology deals at the bottom of the sidebar - your patronage helps to support this blog. And if you find it within your heart to donate something, there's a ChipIn link (filed under the heading "Your Own Gift" in the sidebar) as well. Any amount would be appreciated.
Thank you again, for welcoming me into your life on a daily, weekly, or ad hoc basis. I'm honored that you think enough of my writing to want to spend time with me. I hope that if we have the chance to meet in person, you'll feel the same way. And if our paths don't cross in person at an event this year, please feel free to drop me a line.
Until then, "the game's afoot!"