Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Jewels in the Jungle 1st Anniversary

Today one year ago we (Tonto and I) launched this weblog. We were skeptical that anybody would pay attention. We were not sure that we could consistently keep at it by providing good content to the blog and holding our readers interest. We didn't know squat about Africa, at least that is what our African friends here would tell us when arguments got a bit hot under the collar. We weren't sure if Blogger would last and not crash & burn like they did back in 2003 with their earlier software version(s). We couldn't imagine that blogging would take off like wildfire around the globe at the rate of 40,000 new blogs a day and climbing.

In short, we didn't know nuthin' but we were willing to give it a shot in an attempt to help draw people's attention to Africa. To get people to do more about Africa if all they did was to think about the continent and the people and the invaluable natural wonders of Africa more. And last but not least we were skeptical about the chance that people from all over the globe would be talking back to us and working together with us in order to help us and our readers to understand more about Africa and how Africans view and interact with the world we all live in.

One year later we realize that we were wrong about almost everything. The only thing we were right about is that even if a handfull of people interacted with us via this basic web-based software tool that we would be surprised beyond belief. One year ago we could have never imagined that we would find ourselves in the company and comfort of fellow blog authors and readers of such integrity, talent, courage, and imagination.

So I and Tonto are forever in your debt for a wonderful and challenging year online. We promise to get better at our research and writing and creativity in an effort to inform and "edutain" and share information with our fellow bloggers and readers during the next year(s). Perhaps our combined efforts will help in small ways to light the fires in people's minds and form the global building blocks necessary to build the bridges between us and them, the haves and the have-nots, between you my readers and the beautiful children and people of Africa featured so prominently on this blog during the past year.

Thank you so much for a great year.


Ingrid said...

Dear Bill. You have a great blog that is wide ranging and always full of interest. I enjoy reading all your posts and comments. You have a warm friendly style that is heartwarming and endearing. Here's wishing your blog a very happy first birthday and congratulations to you on your first anniversary of blogging. Looking forward to following your posts for many more years to come. With all good wishes to you and happy first anniversary to Tonto too.

P.S. Dare I ask who or what is Tonto?

Black River Eagle said...

Dear Ingrid,

It is the encouragement and example set by hardworking people like yourself and Carine and a handfull of other great people out there in the Blogosphere that keep the Old Man going over here in Deutschland. You are too kind with your words and praise as was Rebecca over at Global Voices:

There are a some people and blog authors who communicate with me and encourage me "off blog" as well and again many thanks for the support. I can only say that I will try to work even harder to help make a difference in the lives of people who need it most down in Africa and elsewhere.

I followed-up on your Uganda comments in the comments section (see photos of the kids) in case you haven't seen it. In regards to your question about Tonto that is really complex subject for me to answer.

Tonto is my friend and companion, something like Ophelia is for you. Tonto is both a who and a what, and he is (usually) there when I need him, especially when I need lots of help or "reigning in" before I lose my temper or when I'm scared. Writing for the Blogosphere really frightens me for some reason. As a fellow amateur writer and citizen journalist I think you might understand what I mean.

More on Tonto later when I figure out how to properly write about this colorful figure without sounding like I have a very serious case of schizophrenia or offending my fellow Native- Americans. Tonto is certainly not that silly character who played as the Lone Ranger's sidekick on that TV series when I was a kid (well, not exactly anyway...:-).