Site Philosophy

How I Got to Here

This is the second incarnation of tomgrom.com, the first version of which began in December 2007 and continued until March of 2011. It was updated almost daily via Tumblr, and included links, images, music, and movies that inspired me. It’s cool to look back at those posts, and I’m quite proud of it.

Once in a while, I’d be inspired to write a more in-depth post about a subject that interested me. I came to feel that these original pieces were my most valuable work because I was creating something new; adding substantive content to the Internet rather than just passing something along. After all, there are a lot of people already doing this kind of thing, a lot better than I can. With the advent of Twitter, it also became dirt easy to share cool stuff quickly without the need to post on a blog.

After getting burnt out from the pressure to post “shallow” content every day, I’ve taken some time off, and decided to change things up. I’m moving the quick posts to my Twitter feed, and using this site to post less frequent, but more in-depth original content.

What I’m Trying to Do

My primary goals for this site are:

  1. To provide valuable and/or entertaining content for site visitors, and
  2. To practice and improve my writing and online publishing skills.

I don’t want to waste your time here, or mine. It’s not worth the photons, electrons, and chronons if it’s not going to be good. How do I determine that? I certainly don’t expect millions of hits, so I’ll have to find something else.

I’d be very grateful for any feedback you’d care to leave. That’s my gold standard. For the most part, though, I’ll just have to use my judgement. If my stuff isn’t for you after all, I completely understand and can recommend a number of excellent alternatives.

A Case for Creation

My secondary goals for this site reflect my belief that with the Internet, an ordinary person can provide something of unique value to the world. All that’s needed is commitment, passion, and access. Of course it’s often easier to see the things that don’t have much value online. With all of the crap that’s out there, civil discourse seems to be dying, but I believe that it’s possible to reverse this trend (or just ignore as much of the junk as we can).

If we don’t exercise our ability to speak our minds in this amazing new medium and fight to retain the right to do so, we risk having the Internet become the exclusive playground of people with money and power. We desperately need more opinions than what we see on TV, read in print media, or hear on the radio.

Think about how much the Internet adds to your life. There isn’t one area of my life that it hasn’t enhanced, from finding great places to hike to knowing the best deals on laundry detergent — and those kitten videos! Now, take away all of the big companies and mainstream media stuff. How much of what you like best about the ‘net comes from ordinary people? Most of it, for me.

This site allows me to give something back, in some small way. I think everyone who appreciates how special it is to have Internet access should consider adding something of themselves to it, however minor. That way we’re all invested in keeping this resource as open and accessible as it currently is. There’s something for everybody out there, too. Perhaps you can share book reviews or recipes, or even take a section of Wikipedia under your wing.

Old Dog, New Tricks

Lastly, I’ve been hearing a lot about how impossible it is to learn or create anything new of value if you’re not young. I’m in my forties as I write this, and I am determined to learn how to make good music and write well, even if I didn’t study either discipline when I was a kid.

I’ve dedicated my life to helping young people excel, and think it’s vital to provide them with support, encouragement, and opportunity. It’s equally important, however, to realize that for many of us, life continues to thrill and challenge. We are absolutely up for it, too. I feel as though I’m just hitting my stride.

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