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Taking The On-Ramp

— If you’re reading this you know I’ve taken up residence in a small corner of the Internet to write a blog. I should say that blogging is something I used to make fun of. Someone recently reminded me that I have called bloggers “people who like to write but have nothing to say.”

About a year ago I lost that disdain and created a personal blog called Cul-de-sac. This week, Cul-de-sac became the KPBS blog you see here called On-Ramp. Actually, writing what’s on my mind comes pretty naturally and I’m presumptuous enough to think I do have something to say.

I used to tell readers that Cul-de-sac was a blog by me alone. Things are a bit different with On-Ramp. There are editors to please and a body of journalistic work, done by KPBS reporters and producers, to play off of. But this will be my continuing effort to write a mix of commentary, reportage and personal stories that tell you things you want to know and trade in big ideas.

On-Ramp is also based on the notion that you’ve got something to say.

Everybody talks about the interactivity of the Internet. But I learned to speak directly to my audience by spending 10 years as a call-in talk radio host at KPBS. We want On-Ramp to be a kind of talk show on the Internet, which we’ll do with your help. Go to the end of any blog post, write your comment and push the button. It’s just like calling in! Just keep it clean and reasonably civil.

But why is the blog called On-Ramp? Glad you asked!

I actually sent out a staff email at KPBS to ask what people thought would make a good blog name. I immediately regretted it. I’d forgotten how easily amused people are when they think about my last name.

One suggestion was the highly derivative “Fudge Report.” One member of the KPBS newsroom invested great creative energy in the search for a blog name. He compiled a list of ideas that included: Food for Fudge. First-person Fudge. Random Fudge. Fudge at large. Free Fudge. Fudge Rocker.

Strange to say we didn’t choose any of those. A select committee settled on On-Ramp because it sounded cool. It evoked freeway images that speak to life in San Diego. For me it suggested readers would enter a fast-moving traffic in stories and ideas.

Our KPBS internet construction engineer ordered some concrete and re-bar and he got the site put together about a week ago. And now I hope it will be here for a long time and you’ll enjoy paying me many visits. So hang around. Read it and comment on it and tell us some of your stories. It won’t be long before we solve the world’s problems. I’m serious.

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