Long before the Times Union came up with blogs for community members and staffers, it housed these websites for community organizations. I did a couple of them, including for my church at the time, and since that was in the last century, that should give you a timeframe. And the guy in charge was Mike Huber.
I started my own blog in 2005. When the TU was looking for community bloggers in 2006, he saw my track record of blogging every day for a year and tried to get me to participate with the TU, but I demurred.
He asked again the next year, and I pretty much ignored him. But it’s hard to ignore Mike, because, in his own quiet way, he can be a bulldog.
Finally, in 2008, I capitulated. Mike helped me figure out blogging on the WordPress platform – my personal blog at the time was on Blogspot – such as the time I had a picture of Dudley Do-Right, who I swear looks like Eliot Spitzer, which took up about six times the dimensions of the whole page. Mike got that right-sized for me.
I’ve seen a bunch of community bloggers come and go, and Mike’s always out there, shaking the trees for new folk, trying to create a diverse platform. I’ve witnessed some tension between some community bloggers and a couple of staff writers, or among community bloggers, or the community folks resenting that they provide free content while getting less and less from the TU, which must have been exhausting at times. with poor Huber, stuck in the middle, trying to make everyone happy. Occasionally, I probably gave him a harder time than he deserved once or twice.
I saw Mike by chance this past Friday in the building where I work. I almost didn’t bother him – he was sitting at a table, talking with someone – but Mike and I go WAY back. We’ve talked a LOT, especially in the early days, not just about the project at hand, but more philosophical musings, most recently when he gave me a ride to some blogging event.
O the other hand, I knew that Mike was my link to get more than a few things fixed on the Times Union website, which I’d come across more than occasionally.
Mike Huber, thanks for being your wise self. I wish you well in whatever you’re doing. Shannon Fromma, good luck; I understand a water gun is good at controlling unruly felines.