Congrats to my fellow Best Blog winners – it’s a good thing for Memphis

So, I came in third, tied for third actually, in the Best Blog category of the Memphis Flyer’s 2010 Best of Memphis poll.  I’ve had a few people ask I’m disappointed about it.  Maybe a little, but overall I think it’s a very, very good thing for Memphis.  In 2010, a vibrant, thriving city needs to have many good local blogs writing about it.  We haven’t always had that.  In 2008, when I won, I was happy I won, but I thought, “there really need to be others…”  Now we’ve got them.  Some are new.  Others have been around for a while, and are finally getting some much-deserved recognition.

As I mentioned yesterday, Kerry Crawford’s I Love Memphis Blog is a pleasure to read.  She truly does love the city and is the perfect person to be promoting it.  I have learned about many things going on around town from her blog.  And, if you meet her in person, she is sooooo nice.  She could not have deserved her first-place win more.

I didn’t discover the Eat Local Memphis blog until relatively recently, but I can see why people enjoy it.  I’ve already picked up a lunch recommendation from the blog – Lunchbox Eats, where I will probably go today or tomorrow.  Well written, laid out well, lots of photos of the food.  If you want to step beyond the Chili’s and the Applebee’s of the world, this blog will tell you where to get some delicious food prepared by people who are part of the fabric of the city.

On the other hand, I’ve been reading Dining with Monkeys for years.  I actually went to college with Stacey, and met her when I had a paper-typing service.  I’d type papers for $1 a page on my Macintosh SE with 9-inch black and white screen, and print them out on my Apple ImageWriter dot matrix printer.  If it was a really important paper, I’d put the paper on disk and go to the computer lab to print it out on the LaserWriter, with its stunning 300 dpi resolution.  Ah, those were the days.  But anyway, Stacey was a good writer even then.  I really enjoy her restaurant reviews, and even if you don’t have kids (or “monkeys” as she calls them), there’s a lot to be learned about Memphis restaurants from reading her blog.

It’s a very, very good thing that these blogs have gotten as popular as they are.  They dispel the myth that there’s nothing to do in Memphis.  People will read all there is to do (and eat) and get out more and start enjoying Memphis, and saying good things about it, creating a positive snowball effect.  People from out of town will read these blogs and want to visit, or even relocate here.  Disappointed that I didn’t win?  Like I said, a little, but overall, I am thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as these bloggers, and thrilled that I’m one of the people spreading the good word about Memphis.

I will say that I’m proud of one thing I’ve done on this blog though – even though it got popular and became a source of information about Downtown Memphis, it never stopped being my personal blog.  I never stopped voicing my opinions and doing things my way.  I had to deal with people saying I hate the homeless because of my anti-panhandling posts, even though I’ve said repeatedly I’m not after the homeless but rather the scam artists who operate Downtown.  I’ve had to deal with people who think Tube Top Month is not politically correct.  Then there are the people who got their panties in a wad over my references to “Brick.”  But you know what?  I don’t care.  I’m going to do the thing these people dread the most – I’m going to keep on being me.  I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me and got me to the top three.  I write this blog for you and I appreciate your readership and your support.  I intend to keep writing for you in the year ahead.

Commentary on the other categories still to come.