Monday, June 26, 2006


Toby Bloomberg of Bloomberg Marketing runs a really cool blog called Blogger Stories. Each week various bloggers are profiled and allowed to tell their stories. I was fortunate enough to be selected this week, and you guys should go check it out. You can also see the stories of regular Musical Ramblings commenters, like the lovely and talented Ann Handley, and the somewhat less lovely but doggone it we like him anyway Mack Collier.

You guys should go over there and read his site first, but I wanted to post my story here too so you guys can point and laugh at me.

Blogger Stories brings to you the guy who invented podcasting .. J.D. Matthews. But it was J. D.'s American Idol interviews that set his blog buzzing in the blogospshere and out with mentions in USA Today, TV Guide, Reality TV Magazine and more.

Blogger Story Teller: J.D. Matthews, Musical Ramblings

Okay, so Ann Handley invented blogging, but I am here and now claiming podcasting as my invention, thank you very much, Mr. Gore.

I knew I wanted to be a DJ from the EARLY days (Fridays) and I've been performing since I was a zygote. My cousin and I would sit around with a dual tape deck and a microphone, and we'd record our voices making commentary and talking about these "new" songs we'd heard (probably Journey or something current with the 80's) and then we'd play them. I have hours and hours of tapes like that. You don't want to know how many tapes I have of myself as an ACTUAL disc jock. I make narcissism look like bad self-esteem.

Blogger stories... Hmm... let me see. Okay, here goes.

I'm J.D. Matthews, a worn-out disc jock and social worker trying to turn things around and get a job in the journalism field. I write Musical Ramblings more or less every day. It's one of my main passions. It's the first thing I check when I wake up, and the last thing I check before going to sleep. Feel free to email me your shrink's number.

I got into this blogging thing more or less out of curiosity. I have what I like to refer to as "Broadband ADHD" which means that when I go online, I tend to wander around to other sites like a three year old in the Toys R Us, picking up shiny objects, oohing over them, and generally forgetting what it was I was there for in the first place. Nine times out of ten, my original purpose for being online gets accomplished maybe three hours later than I actually started.

So on one of my ADHD trips, I just sort of wondered to myself if I would be a good blogger. I didn't know. I hadn't even really read blogs before. I had heard of them, but I wasn't sure what they were all about. I just knew that I was a voracious writer, but that I was bored with prose, and I wanted a way to just type stuff out in some fashion. I never really pictured it taking off.

Then I hit my first roadblock: I didn't know what websites hosted bloggers. So, on a guess, I typed in and it led me to sign up, and the rest is pretty much history. (Yes, Blogger sucks. But I still use it. Because, that's why.)

The topic, music and its surrounding periphery, was pretty much a given, since that's the one thing that's a factor in my day-to-day life. I quickly found that the trouble with a set topic is that quite often there is NOTHING to write about on any given day. My first few topics were really crappy, mostly dealing with whether or not Ashlee Simpson was a ho-bag or a review of a craptastic R&B CD.

It was frustrating, because my blog was very quickly going down deep in the bogus bag, and I had a hard time keeping it up. Then I let my topics start wandering all over the place, until I hit a nerve with a blog on a controversial television show. I decided to cross-promote the post by going and posting meaningful and long-winded comments at other blogs and forums and inviting them back to mine. Suddenly, I went from zero or one comment to a whopping twenty.

I learned that community is what it was all about, and like a fungus or a tapeworm, mine slowly and steadily began to grow. I found that, horror of horrors, people actually wanted to read the bull crap that I was writing.

And then came American Idol.

I live-blogged recaps of that show to an ever-growing audience, and this time I took a different approach to increasing my traffic. I took those posts and copied them directly onto the official American Idol boards, the usenet group, and anywhere else I could find. I cultivated a group of (insane) fans there, brought them back, and built my base.

But I'm never content to just do the minimum. So instead of just recapping the shows, I decided to go one step further, bust my butt, get out of my house and actually interview the contestants. Nobody was doing this anywhere in the blogosphere. Suddenly, I was coming up with original content and people were reading voraciously.

I was getting FAN MAIL, for pete's sake. And when I would respond, little girls would be like "OMG, I CAN'T BELEEEEEIVE YOU WROTE BACK!!!" It was insane. And God bless Kellie Pickler, for better or for worse she's been the reason for a lot of it. I'm still waiting on her to tell me whether or not we can go on a date.

And that's where I am today, and despite the unfathomable reality that doing this has failed to bag me one single chick, I will continue to do it until my fingers fall off (which may be next Thursday.) And if it's not possible to continue by typing with my nose, I'll stop. But until then...I press on.

Consider this: I've been blogging only a little over 9 months, and I've already been mentioned in USA Today, TV Guide, Reality TV Magazine, Fox's Reality Remix, the official American Idol website, and various other publications. Why would I stop now?

That's my blogger story. You can all wake up now.


At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Toby said...

Thanks for the shout out and for telling your story. Good to know who invented podcasting ;-)

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Wow - cool for you, JD! :)

At 5:38 AM, Blogger Honey said...

Awesome JD I have a question whats "podcasting"? Now I sound like Kellie...hehehe

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Tricia said...

When I was little, I used to try to tape songs off of the TV with my little boom box and then try to do a little voice over action before and after (For me, it was Kool and the Gang). Inevitably, the dog would bark, the phone would ring...those recordings were always a mess. I knew I wasn't cut out for it. Sounds like you knew you were destined for success.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Spike speaks said...

JD - this is excellent. CONGRATS!! I love reading your blog (and you have inspired me to start my own). Keep up the good work!

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Bathroom Hippo said...

I like your new site design.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Jordan said...

Nice job, JD.

So I was about digitizing those classic tapes of you as a little gaffer and podcasting them?

It will be proof positive that you're the originator, and it would be pretty hilarious, too.

Keep up the good work, fingers or no.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

despite the unfathomable reality that doing this has failed to bag me one single chick, I will continue to do it...

well said, jd, you suave-cary-grant-you...

i had no idea you had been mentioned in all those various publications. i think i am going to email and ask you out.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

& the blog looks great!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

JD - Love the new design....but the font is really tiny and hard for me to read now. Am I the only one? Just asking, not bitching. :)

At 3:29 AM, Blogger bad kitty said...

Your success is admirable, and also well-deserved. So do you really know where all of your "fans" came from?

In case you don't, I was reading your AI recaps on the official forums and thought they were brilliant and hilarious and very well written (plus your opinions seemed to parallel mine re: the performers). Then I think I clicked on your AI profile to see who you were, thinking that you must be a professional writer or something and it led me here (I think). Your AI recaps were -bar none- the BEST on the official forums.

One of these days, you'll have to tell us where "velcrohead" came from, ok?


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