One Voice. Many Uses. 12

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20130910.Coyote 750

“Even one voice can be heard loudly all over the world in this day and age.”

-Aung San Suu Ky.

I am nothing if not utilitarian; I am fascinated by all the different ways that a thing can be used, or useful.

Ask Momma Bird.

There is a closet in the garage full of empty 3 lb coffee cans. Not because I’m a hoarder (although there is potential for that in my genetic coding).  I’ve just learned over the years that one can never have enough empty 3 lb coffee cans near at hand.

The 3lb coffee can hold things, obviously.  Big things and small things.   It can cover things. It can serve as watertight storage.  It can be used as a miniature compost pile or worm farm.

A coffee can with strategic holes cut out of it can protect a tomato seedling from the harsh weather changes of early spring.  It can be a scoop for chicken feed, or a bucket to haul in the day’s garden harvest.

Recently, my wife was in a pinch and needed 26 containers for one of the kids’ school projects. The stash of coffee cans  saved the day.  😉

To me, there is nothing so innately beautiful as a single object with myriad uses.

Perhaps this is why the howl of a coyote is like music to my ears.

If you spend time in the woods – camping, wandering, or hiding out from the police – you know that some sounds travel for miles.   A single howl from a coyote can send tingles up the spines of people for miles around.  It can warn deer of a nearby threat.  It can summon the coyote’s mate, or its children.  It can inspire art.

One voice.  Many uses.

What if the voice is not coyote, but a blog?  What should a blog be used for?

Or the better question – what COULD a blog be used for?

In just 7 short months, this blog has garnered almost 1,000 followers. Some follow by email, others  on Facebook or Twitter.  I am surprised, each day, by the reach of my “voice”.

As that reach broadens, I  increasingly ponder how this blog, or the voice of this blog, can be “used”.   Here is how it is “used” right now:

1) Generate a tiny bit of money.  The formula is simple in concept, if not in practice.  Write good content.  Drive traffic. Sell something to traffic.  I do a little of that here, and make $9 or $10 a month, which helps to cut down on the monthly costs of hosting the blog, etc.  I promised myself that I would not become a “snake oil salesman”, and so I don’t do much “selling” beyond the little bits you see here and there.

2) Social Change.   Throughout this year, this blog has been a platform for social change through the #JusticeForEthan campaign. Beginning with a February 20th post about Ethan’s murder at the hands of 3 off-duty Frederick County Sheriffs, to the 8 Days for Ethan Campaign and beyond, this blog – among many, many, others – helped keep Ethan’s voice alive.  That movement has gained a foothold in the national media, which is chronicled here.

3) A platform for drawing and writing.  By making the doodles an integral part of the posts, and swearing off stock-imagery, I forced myself to sit down and draw.  I had things I want to say, but because of a commitment to myself, can not post them unless I draw or photograph the accompanying illustration myself.

4) A small introduction to Down Syndrome from a New Father to Other New Fathers.  The most-read post on this site has been The Big Myth about Down Syndrome and How New Dads can shatter it.  The post continues to reach a broader audience – just last week, the National Review and Bristol Palin (big sis of Trig Palin) shared this post with their followers.  There are a lot of moms out there sharing their experience with Down Syndrome – but there are surprisingly few Dads out there talking about Down Syndrome. (I never miss the chance to “shout out” to my favorite  blogs by Dads of kids with Down Syndrome – Treyton’s Posse and Noah’s Dad.  Each has a unique voice and perspective, and both had a major influence on me as a new Daddy).

I get the sense that this blog could do so much more than the 4 things I list above.  I have a couple of concepts I am mulling over, but while I do I want to hear what YOU have to say:

If this blog was YOUR voice, how would you use it?

Be creative and brainstorm with me.  No thought is too weird, off-beat, silly, etc.  No thought is too big, no idea is too “out of reach”.

I look forward to  your ideas – share them in the comments below, on Facebook, or shoot me an email at dad at littlebirdsdad dot com.

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12 thoughts on “One Voice. Many Uses.

  • Jonathan

    Loved reading this, especially as I grew up making stuff out of old boxes and things like that. In addition to my blog being younger and less read than your one, I don’t really feel that I’ve got as many big noble objectives driving it. For me, the main thing was just wanting to be part of the exciting dialogue about being dads / parents and how dads are represented. I think that sharing experiences of this sort of thing can be good for both the writer and the readers.

  • modernfatheronline

    You know I have my own voice, but I love reading yours. I find you capture moments in time, people and places well. You inspire me, and I missed you when you weren’t here online recently. For me, your voice and my voice aren’t singing in harmony, they aren’t singing in unison, but I feel one of us is always working to the rhythm whilst the other is singing the melody. And it is mostly the melody that gets heard and is remembered (like your Myths About Downs Syndrome), but all those rhythms are just as important.

    I felt your Uncle Joe story is more of a rhythm piece, but I enjoyed dancing to that.

  • Stephanie

    I think one of your gifts is your ability to inspire others. It worked on me. Breaking down daunting tasks into manageable pieces is a talent that will serve you well as a blogger and a Dad!

    So what’s next ? World Peace?

    • Little Bird's Dad

      It is mine, thanks.

      I do all the blog drawings/doodles myself. I wanted to have a blog that was “different”, so I don’t have any stock images, or photos/drawings unless I create them.

      Makes it a little more challenging, but the other day my step-daughter (who is wicked-good at drawing) complimented me on how much my “art” has improved. Made my year. 🙂


      • Brenda

        Me, too, I wanted to not be in the habit of just grabbing things from here and there, no of my own work. I am doing the coloring pages, and they are improving. 🙂 And my photography is improving (I hope). But I don’t mind some collaboration as long as the art/photographer did the work themselves and give permission first. I like the idea of building community through collaboration. Your picture was great!!

  • Renate

    I think it would be awesome if, one day, you’d make your most inspriring posts into a little book. I’d really love that.

    You’re already such an inspiration, you make me things of so many things I would have never given a thought if not for this blog! And you make me think of ways to use my voice on my blog more 🙂