I have been trying to find a way to announce the closing of The Ohio Republic without making it sound too abrupt or surprising to the reader, and have concluded that it is not possible. As long as I have been thinking about it, I have not communicated it – and there is no value to communicating it before I am ready to take action.
The publication and marketing of Governing Ourselves has been a learning experience. I have found many of its lessons difficult to apply, particularly as they relate to this blog and to social networking. Those lessons include such common-sense activities as checking Google keywords and incorporating them effectively into blog content, then using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to increase exposure. Effectively marketing a blog today almost requires that the blogger design and maintain the blog with a narrow focus – something The Ohio Republic has never had, and which seemed unnecessary five years ago.
Longtime readers will notice that my output has decreased dramatically since I moved the blog to WordPress in March. My readership numbers, compared to my old Blogger site, have also been very disappointing. Oddly, the most read post on this site was my piece April 25, “Rumors of the polar bear’s demise are premature.” Apparently, schoolchildren found The Ohio Republic because of the polar bear image I used – only to discover that the rest of it was boring stuff about politics.
I have not lost my desire to influence the future political course of this state and country. I have consulted with an expert in book marketing to set for myself a more successful course. Plans include a blog in a new domain and additional books. They will incorporate some of the concepts in Governing Ourselves, emphasizing my core belief in radical decentralism in a way that frees it of the emotional baggage that surrounds current discussions of nullification, secessionism, and libertarianism. Being near retirement age, I also need an approach that shows potential for generating income, so I can take all the time necessary to provide the books and services I would like to offer while I am still young enough to offer them.
Ending The Ohio Republic will create one void that I hope someone else will take up – that of following state politics and commenting on their impact on the personal liberties of Ohioans.* In my future writing, discussions of state issues will be out of place.
When I am ready to announce my plans later this year, it will appear on my Facebook page, and in a subsequent post here, which subscribers will receive in an e-mail.
The Ohio Republic has been a wonderful experience. It has led me to many friends, a few critics, and one very interesting enemy in Vermont. They kept me going when I wanted to quit the blog or leave the book unfinished.
Now, it is time for me to move on.
* The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law does cover constitutional issues in both the legal and political arenas, but Ohio could use another source with a broader political focus.