DadWagon is a year old today, and you’ll see much more about that in the posts above and below. But first, a note about the news that Team Dadwagon announced here a couple of hours ago.
The millions of you who visit DadWagon regularly may have noticed that I’ve been posting less frequently of late. My day job has grown more demanding in the past few months, and I’m also writing a heavily researched book nights and weekends. (Self-promotion sidebar: It’s a cultural history of Polaroid, out from Princeton Architectural Press in 2012.) Plus there’s that whole raising-a-kid thing. A ten-month-old is exhausting in many ways, but there were long stretches when he was breastfeeding or otherwise motionless, and they lend themselves to blog-post-writing. A twenty-month-old, most of you know, is all energy all the time. High-speed baby plus paying job plus book plus blog: It’s a whole lot to handle, and something has had to give. The first three are non-negotiable; the fourth has, unfortunately, become so.
What this means is that, with serious regrets, I am going to be stepping off the DadWagon indefinitely. It has been an amazing and educational year for me. Learning to blog has been fascinating. I was used to writing fairly deliberately, and without a thought to the basic currency of online publishing (creating linkbait, sure, but even simpler things, like how to write a Web headline, took adjustment). This built an entirely different set of skills, ones that I suspect have already come in handy as my day job begins to incorporate bloggy work. And, more important, watching my three colleagues here has been illuminating. I have worked for my employer for a very long time–when I began there, I did not have a computer on my desk–and have come to see journalism very specifically through The Way We Do Things There. It has been a huge pleasure watching Nathan, Theodore, and Matt come at stories and ideas differently, and collaborating with them has done wonders for me.
I should also add that I’ve really liked the DadWagon audience. One might instinctively guess, based on a lot of other parenting stuff on the Web, that we too might draw a sleepy crowd–one that read us but didn’t really engage with our ideas. One would be extremely wrong about that, and both our comment threads and readers’ off-site discussion have made that clear. Your reader comments are often noticeably better than a lot of full-time bloggers’ posts.
And what have I learned? Lots of things, not least that I am apparently the only white guy in New York whose spouse/babymama is not Asian (judging strictly by the DadWagon staff, anyway). Among the highlights: Designer disposable diapers are an actual thing that now exists. I alone among the DW crowd think that nothing says “I love you” like document security. When you write about Japanese meme boy, your blog blows up in Japan. And, of course, getting drunk with your kid gets you all sorts of attention.
Matt, Nathan, and Theodore will fill you in about their plans for the open chair soon enough. I also hope not to disappear entirely: I plan to become a regular reader (and commenter) myself, and if the other guys will have me, it’s just possible that I’ll drop in as a guest when one of the regulars goes on vacation. Thanks to all.