Interview: Dodger Thoughts Blogger Jon Weisman
Jon Weisman, like many of us, wears many hats. A former reporter for the Daily News, Weisman, 41, is now a full-time editor for Variety Magazine, Dodger blogger and father of three. By his own admonition, it is a tough balancing act made even more difficult by his blogs' move from a domain with other baseball writers to the LA Times. The transition from Baseball Toaster, which recently shut down after Weisman and others left, to the Times, could represent a seismic shift in sports journalism. At once, it shows that the mainstream media is continuing to recognize blogs (and bloggers) as writers to be taken seriously while also giving great credence to the multitude of fans who regularly read Weisman's posts. Or it could mean very little in the scheme of things, if the humble Weisman is to be believed.
I reached the Los Angeles resident from his home last week, where we talked about the move to the Times, the future of journalism and whether he considers himself part of the mainstream now that his blog has gone from the fringe to the head of the class.
For your first post, July 21, 2002, you wrote, "This is where I will vent, and, if I can ever feel so comfortable, exult about the Dodgers and baseball in general." When did you start to feel comfortable to really start venting and exulting?
It was the next day. At the time, it was completely uncertain that people might potentially read it because at the very beginning, I would just send the link to my brother.
So, it was your own personal blog at first, right? It wasn't under the auspices of Baseball Toaster?
Oh yeah. I mean, in a way it still is [personal]. I'd like to think in a lot of ways it still is.
At first, it was a Blogger account. When did you transfer to Baseball Toaster and how did that association come about?
The first move was to [the now defunct] AllBaseball.com and that was probably in early 2004. This was the early days of baseball blogging. About a year after that, we decided to go in a different direction.
Were you the first Baseball Toaster blogger?
I was not the first. I was somewhere in the middle.
In terms of Dodger Thoughts, you've often said you had no clear intention of what you wanted it to be. Have the years give you any clarity?