Yesterday, the City Pages hit the streets and now the whole town knows, or thinks they know the story behind Wausaublog. I really should leave well enough alone, because Tammy Stezenski's introductory "Publisher's Note" is actually quite perfect for myth making. Besides you have to like any newspaper that mentions the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. But she made the enterprise sound way too noble. With apologies to the Bossman, here is the rest of the story.
It is true that Pat Peckham interviewed the Bossman and in the course of their discussion they realized that no one was blogging Wausau itself. But from there the story takes on a slightly less noble character, as is fitting for its ignoble protagonists.
Being a new media guy, the Bossman did not call me or even grab me in the hallway. He sent me an instant message.
"You oughta start a blog about Wausau," was basically what it said. Now there is a certain kind of lingo involved with instant messages that has evolved to keep them short and the conversation flowing between two finger typists. So here is the full translation. "I just found out there isn't anybody blogging about Wausau, and I am too lazy to do it, so you do it."
My response was something along the lines of, "Good idea." Translation: "Why is this my problem? I don't have time for that. Let someone else do it, I am too lazy." And there the good idea sat for a few days. Later the Bossman asked if I had done anything the idea, and I said "No," but since I was online at that moment, I did some Google searching and found that indeed blogs about Wausau were not to be found, or at least not easily found. So I responded with even more laziness.
"Ok, there needs to be a blog about Wausau, but I don't have time to write it." Translation: "Still too lazy."
Maybe, I mused, I could find a bunch of other fine people, people who know more about Wausau than I do, to do the actual writing. Create something on the order of a three ring circus where I could just be a ringmaster, of sorts. Inadvertently, in our laziness we had created an idea both of us could believe in. A community about community. A community effort to write about our community. Hmmm, not bad for two guys trying to shirk some work onto other people. Now I was ready for action.
So, I set up the WordPress blog (actually, this takes just a few minutes, it was only laziness that extended the process to two weeks). After making a quick first post, I sent the new web address to the Bossman. He responded "Great! Where did you find that? We need to get that guy involved at the radio station!"
"Sheesh, that guy IS involved — I did it!" And then I explained about the idea of a collaborative community blogging effort. The Bossman was sold immediately.
"Count me in!" Not only did the Bossman sign up as the first contributor to the blog, but he fired off emails to his entire, voluminous Rolodex of Wausau people asking if they would like to contribute as well. Wausaublog was rolling and Pat Peckham hadn't even called yet to interview me.
Pat called a couple of days later, and now the rest is history. Or at least recorded for posterity in Wausau's finest weekly. And the story, as it appears is accurate except for one thing. I am not "middle aged." I am positively ancient. Waaaaaay beyond the 40 year old cut-off for those who "get" blogging. But I persist anyway.
So, there, as they say on radio, is the rest of the story.