Friday, February 13, 2015

Yes, My First Blog Post

I am, by my own admission, a late-adopter: I am rarely the first to embrace a new technology, and I sincerely don't understand every little nuance of every new device.  Don't get me wrong:  I have a smartphone, I have an e-reader, I'm on Skype and Facebook and Twitter... but I wasn't among the first to embrace any of them.  I can certainly enjoy new technologies,  but usually in moderation.  I find it puzzling when I encounter people who cannot be away from one of their devices for even five minutes, or who sit at lunch busily texting as if the person they are sitting with isn't even there.  And I must admit I still like some of the old-school ways of communicating--  I miss hand-written thank you notes, I prefer reading an actual book that I can hold in my hands rather than reading it on my Kindle, and I admit it, I still have my land-line.  Usually, I adopt something new when it becomes necessary for me professionally:  I was never on Facebook until some of my students back in 2008 asked me where my page was; ditto for Twitter-- a radio colleague asked for my address, and I knew I needed to get one, so I did.  This blog is also the product of necessity:  I am taking an online course via New York University, and one of the course requirements is to set up a blog.  So, here I am, much later than everyone else, but at least I got here.

Today, Valentine's Day, is my birthday.  I am 68.  I grew up in the 1950s in Roslindale, MA (just outside of Boston).  It was an era that was still very conservative about male and female roles, where my dream of being in radio was considered inappropriate.  Yes, there were women on the air, but they did "women's shows," talking about food or fashion or how to improve one's homemaking skills.  None of that interested me.  I loved baseball, I loved pop culture, and I knew I wanted to be a disc jockey.  Radio d.j.'s and rock music had helped me to get through my childhood, cheering me up when I felt discouraged, and I wanted to provide the same encouragement and entertainment for some other lonely kid out there.  When I got to college in the late 1960s, radio and TV still ruled.  The internet, smart phones, and social media were a long time in the future.  In fact, the only people who knew about the internet (or ARPANET, as it was then called) were in the military.  I was always interested in current events and politics, but back then, I could only get my information from daily newspapers and weekly news-magazines.  The idea that one day, I would be able to read Le Monde within minutes of a news story being posted, or listen to the BBC in real time, or watch a YouTube video of a song I loved was like something from a science fiction movie.

But now, it's 2015, and we all live in a world of instant communication; in fact, many of us take it for granted that websites will download quickly, or that our favorite news publication (most of which are now online) will update the moment a news story breaks.  As I write this, people from about 10 countries and nearly ever state in the United States are simultaneously wishing me a happy birthday on my Facebook page.  (During my radio career, I discovered a Canadian rock group called Rush, and we became friends. They went on to be very famous, and out of that relationship, I've inherited a large number of Rush fans who like to keep in touch because of my ties to their favorite band.)  But my point is that if you had told me any of this would happen when I was growing up, I doubt I would have believed it.  Yes, it's a different world, and not just technologically.  As I get more accustomed to blogging, I'll talk about what has changed and what hasn't over the past few decades, especially as those changes pertain to the media-- after all, I'm a media historian.  But now, I guess I am also a blogger.  I don't know if I'll be good at it, nor do I know if anyone (other than the professor in the course I am taking) will read what I write.  Only time will tell. 


  1. Some great points, as always, and a great introduction to the Blogosphere. I look forward to hearing more entries from you. Happy Birthday, once again, my friend.

  2. Happy birthday, and Valentine's Day, and welcome to Blogger/blogspot's ridiculously easy publishing on the open web, Donna!

    I'd say you've been blogging for years, but inside the walled garden of Facebook, where they don't call it that.

    I still have my (admitted early adopter) account and several bloglike sites using WordPress, including (soon to be revised) and (and -- where I expected more journalism professors to get involved and let me retire)

  3. Happy Birthday Donna! And thanks so much for opening the worldwide window to the greatness of Rush. Hope you have a wonderful day, and look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  4. Happy birthday
    Donna may the road rise to meet you
    And may the wind be always at your back

  5. Wow-- for a "first" posting-- well done! Interesting and it has the warmth of a good person. Happy birthday and keep them coming. Best wishes for good health.

  6. Well, done, Donna!

    And enjoy the B-day.

    I'll get the Carmelites busy for the CA - they are non-denomational on that sort of stuff.


  7. Thank You for doing a blog. And a big thank you for what you have done in your life for others. ED

  8. Don the radio engineerFebruary 14, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Of course they will read your blog.
    I'm your senior by six months, so I should know !!
    Happy Birthday

  9. Welcome to the world of blogging! I will be looking forward to seeing what you have to say beyond the 140-character limit of Twitter.

    I try not to mention Rush too much to you on Twitter because I'm sure you sometimes get tired of answering the same questions about them and hearing the same "inside" references over and over again. In this case, I do want to say this. Thanks to you sticking to your dream when many said it was impossible, you truly changed the world and gave millions of people that most priceless of gifts -- happiness. After all, had you not taken a chance on playing that first album, who knows if anybody else would have and led us to hearing some of the most incredible rock music ever made and by three of the nicest people one could ever ask for it to come from.

    And, speaking of how things have changed, who would have ever thought back in 1974 that North America would revert back to being a single-oriented music culture and all commercial playlist decisions would be made by committee in a city far away? Sure, there's plenty of new music out there but it's kind of hard to pick things out in the cacophony of the Internet. I don't like to live in the past (despite my blogging speciality being retro/vintage material) but I must admit that I miss the days when a local radio station that truly knew its audience would introduce people to something new.

  10. NIce to get some background on your life and times. You are truly one of the great ones. Happy Birthday to you.

  11. The best part of all of this is that now even more people can be exposed to DLH, her thoughts and her experiences. I'd say we all win.

  12. Happy B-Day
    But you are younger than me.
    Avery good blog. I am slower than you, no tweet, Skype, or Blogging.
    Face book and LinkedIn only
    Jess Hundahl
    WNUR 89.3 FM CO

  13. Happy Birthday, albeit belatedly, Donna. Welcome to the Blogosphere. I too just joined it this year. My first blog post was on Sunday, January 4, 2015. I spent the fourth quarter of 2014 preparing for my launch. I invite you to check it out: -Dick Taylor, Assistant Professor-Broadcast, Western Kentucky University

  14. Happy to hear your unique and insightful voice on this fantastic platform! Best wishes!

  15. I'm with you, Donna, in that I miss the old school ways of doing things. My first experience online in the mid-1990's was, to say the least, disillusioning, and I've been fighting the virtual battle with mixed results ever since. In spite of all my horror stories, I feel like if I'm not virtually connected, even on a minimal basis, I'm a hopeless dinosaur out of step with the world around me. Adapt or perish.....