Once upon a time, way back in the distant era known as the mid-to-late aughts, there was a website called Jefitoblog. It was, as a Monty Python character might say, a very silly place — from day to day, readers never really knew whether they would find essays about music, books, movies, television, politics, junk food, or the author's personal life.
This being the mid-to-late aughts, Jefitoblog was able to carve out some measure of something like renown, and eventually came to enjoy a fairly (not to mention surprisingly, at least from the author's perspective) healthy audience. And then in the late summer of 2007, the whole thing went poof, the result of a shady hosting company that decided to stop paying its bills. Out of those ashes rose the multi-writer collective known as Popdose, which is still chugging along more than 15 years later.
After a few years, however, the auth — oh, fuck it, it's me, I — started to get pretty burned out from writing daily posts AND corralling a group of writers AND trying to kinda sorta be an actual editor-in-chief by doing stuff like finding advertisers. It got to be a bit much, honestly. And at the same time, I had a wife and a couple of young kids to think about, not to mention a career.
After stepping back from day-to-day management of Popdose, I channeled my creative impulses in a number of different directions. I did the freelance hustle for a spell and landed some bylines I felt good about, but it was ultimately exhausting — it's far easier to settle into a steady freelance gig if you can, and mine involved writing thousands of posts for my old pals at Ultimate Classic Rock between 2011-2018. I also did spent some time doing some fairly lucrative work I'm not particularly proud of for a clickbait-adjacent "premium content" company. And then there's my day job for a digital media brand I will not name, but I can pretty much guarantee you've heard of it (and have most likely used it).
The point is, I drifted away from writing — and because it became progressively more difficult to feel genuinely creative during this time, it was easy for me to let the muse sleep, especially during the moments when I felt the excitement of forward motion in my non-writing pursuits. I didn't let it go completely — I wrote a few books during this period, and continued to try and drag blog posts out of myself as I had the energy — but there were long stretches of time when I didn't write anything at all, and all but stopped thinking of myself as a writer in general.
But in 2023, a variety of factors conspired to pull me back toward the idea of brain-dumping about pop culture for fun again. Near the top of the list is the death spiral of social media — at least as a tool that consistently works for anything resembling community interaction — which has really made me miss the feeling of fellowship I had in the comment section at Jefitoblog and during Popdose's early days. I don't know if it's possible to get that back, but right now it feels like people are actively looking for different ways to connect with like-minded souls online, so instead of waiting for another billionaire/budding fascist to try and "disrupt" an existing tool, why not go back to something that worked pretty well not so long ago?
So here's the deal. I'm going to do my level best to publish something daily, and that something will often be a brief-ish rundown of the stuff I've been listening to, watching, and reading. Right now, the plan is for those posts to be free. I'm also interested in reviving some of the fun stuff I did at Jefitoblog and Popdose — ongoing series like You Again?, full-catalog artist guides, and hell, maybe even the Cassingle Vault. Those posts will be available to paid subscribers.
I don't know what else this will entail — I'm kind of making it up as I go along — but if it works out the way I hope it will, then it'll be fun for you and fulfilling for me. A win-win situation.
Jefitoblog is an independent publication relaunched in January 2024 by Jeff Giles. If you subscribe today, you'll get full access to the website as well as email newsletters about new content when it's available. Your subscription makes this site possible, and allows Jefitoblog to continue to exist. Thank you!
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