Monday, November 25, 2019

A brief word about organization of this blog

I became employed in fields related to Sociology in the early 2000s. I produced several documents and was involved in public health planning and evaluation from the early 2000s to 2006. Some of that work was put online as an effort to create more awareness for local and regional constituencies. I look to post some of that work through this blog.

I began blogging in late 2004. I started with The Owensboro Blog and The Sociology Blog. Both blogs will still exist but I've merged both of those blogs (along with a couple of other personal blogs) into this one. Of those posts that have been merged many remain in their original form. I prefer them this way to maintain historical perspective and as a record of that work originating 15 years ago. As a result some posts have missing links and wording consistent with those blogs. As someone that has been involved in social media and social networking since its explosion on the internet scene, I do like to go back in time as a way of sharing with students the early days of web 2.0.

A major benefit of a blog is the ability to organize content by labels and by date. You'll see in this blog I have a label for each blog post to better organize the content for myself and for any readers. 

My intention is to provide a broad array of course content and links to that material through the labeling of posts. I will also organize my perspectives, random content, photography, and all other subject matter by way of labels. At the time of this posting there are over 350 posts with labels. Much of that work was short form posts designed to provide focused material for students.

Lastly, the writing style varies quite a bit throughout these blog posts. This reflects the purpose of posts in the past, how I used several different blogs, and my how my writing may change in future posts. Expect variety as you may peruse through this blog.

Purpose of this blog as of November 2019

I plan to use this blog as a space for many things. It will bring together mid to long form ideas and content relative to my career in Sociology, to teaching, to my family, to my DJ and related work, to new ideas and projects, and as a place for me to breathe life into more random mid to long form content. But ultimately this blog will exist in conjunction with several online services as a way for me to provide a narrative to my life. I do not plan on regular posts. I will use Facebook, Instagram, and perhaps Twitter for that. More long form content though will show up on this blog, but it will be irregular.

When I began dabbling in music production then DJing, my intent was to get myself involved in something that did not have an end goal in mind. It was a creative endeavor with no expectations. It however quickly morphed into something more. However, I’ve been very open and intent on keeping the original purpose of my entertainment work in mind: for creativity, and for fun.

I’m approaching this blog with a very similar intent. I plan to use it to serve as the mid to long form narrative for many things. Developing this portion of my website is not for the intent of monetization. Meaning, I’m not doing this for money. I’m not opposed to that happening, and I could see in places where it could. With the availability of so many wonderful digital services, look at this blog, website, and web presence as something like a modern, rich media book. Yes, I’ve thought about writing a book, but find this approach to be much more editable, with a host of possibilities, and more interesting. I have been using Google and its applications for years. I have a whole trove of content in Google Drive, in Google Photos, and on YouTube. I look to integrate some of that in a more public, digestable form.

The newer content I look to share on this blog will be related to ideas and experiences, and perhaps as a way to flesh out new projects. I also will use this blog as a way to provide deeper sociological analysis of key local, state, national, and perhaps national issues. I want to develop the sociology portion of this blog so as to integrate classroom sociology with public sociology. I’m excited to share with the broader public some of my work and insights on a host of sociologically related content.

I also look to share perspectives on parenting, marriage, creativity, and other topics. Lastly, I look to use this blog as a model for others with similar ideas they’d like to get up off the ground. While I’m both a public and private person, I do like to share my narrative on my own terms. This blog will help to develop my life narrative, in my voice.

How I got to this point

Since its modern inception in the late 1990s, the “blog” has been standard shorthand for an online web log. I’ve had some interest in the internet and web design for quite some time so the launch of a web interface that allowed the user to easily interface with a public or private publication resource was appealing. So I began blogging in 2004 while still part time teaching in Sociology at the collegiate level. At the time my work life centered around using my background in sociology in the fields of public health and education. During those early days I blogged at The Sociology Blog, The Owensboro Blog, and The Gesser Blog. This was a good way for me to practice public sociology, to have a voice addressing dynamics in my local community, and to capture family and personal memories for historical preservation.

We had our second child born in 2004 and two additional children since. I've been fortunate that our life circumstances have allowed me to play a major role in the parenting of our children. After nearly twenty years and with many years still ahead, I feel I have something to offer from my experience of parenting and the magic and wonder I’ve derived from being there and being attentive to the growth of now four children. As of 2019 we have a 19, 15, 12, and 5 year old. Each of their uniqueness has informed me as a young to now middle aged adult.

I feel nothing short of very fortunate to have been able to practice my expertise in Sociology as both a practitioner and educator in my hometown. Prior to my full time work as a professor I was involved in projects related to public health, education, and civic dialogue. These projects include: resurrecting a regional health report card; conducting primary research in adult smoking; serving as lead researcher and coordinator of a regional juvenile justice project; serving as data analyst for a correctional facility program; serving as part of a review team for a quality performance evaluation; providing assessment, evaluation, and planning services to counties in western Kentucky; and working in local projects of dialogue and deliberation. I look forward to sharing some of that work and experience here and on my website.

I began teaching full time in Sociology in the fall of 2006. As of fall 2019, I've taught 18 credit hours each fall and spring semester, and 1 or 2 courses during the summer since I began teaching full time in 2006. Beginning in the spring of 2020 I will reduce my number of courses each semester from 6 to 5. I’m particularly looking to standardize my regular semester schedule in the fall of 2020 when I’ll reduce my face-to-face course load from 5 to 4. I’ll still teach an online course, bringing my regular course load to 15 credit hours. Particularly over the past 15 years I’ve developed quite a bit of Sociology content. My bread and butter are my Introduction to Sociology courses, teaching 5 sections each semester. I also teach one section of either Inequality in Society, Social Interaction, Modern Social Problems, or The Community each semester at Owensboro Community and Technical College. I’ve been an early adopter and user of digital resources and I’m looking forward to sharing some of those ideas and work here and on my website.

I was heavily involved in local theatre and the performing arts from 2004 to 2010. Around 2010 I was inspired to start music production and DJing as a hobby. I had my first public performance soon after jumping into this art form, and what was intended to start as a hobby quickly developed into a small entertainment business. I did not intend to start a local business but it truly has been a remarkable experience. I look forward to sharing some of that on this blog. That work is also maintained at a separate website, . As a result I’ve also been fortunate to make enough extra regular income that I feel I’m now able to reduce my teaching load. A big reason I taught 6 courses each semester is simply because we needed the extra income for our family.

My reduction in course load is primarily for the intent of developing some long thought about ideas and projects. One of those ideas is now materializing in the form of this blog, which consolidates much of my blogging since 2004. This blog though is an extension of my website,, which I launched around mid 2019. This blog will serve the work I develop at my website. Remember, I do have ideas for the future.

While I did achieve some popularity in the field of sociology on Twitter, I found my voice reverberating through something of an echo chamber and devoid of a deeper connection. Unfortunately I found my use of Twitter was not as robust in local student and educator circles. I was a little ahead of my time in that regard. In addition, my family life and other personal interests pulled me away from regular Twitter use.

I had high hopes for the interaction that I saw that both Facebook and Twitter could bring. I was and have been a regular user of those services generally since day one. I segued from regular Twitter use around 2015 as I began developing my DJ business. I have once again though found a desire and a need for public sociology and a deeper sharing of meaning of my ideas, perspectives, and projects. This time though I’m wanting to develop this in both a broader and bigger context.