About two years ago, back when I was still going to Philly Blogger meetups, an aspiring blogger named Daniel Rubin showed up at one of them - before he even had a blog - to get some tips from us more established bloggers. But Daniel wasn't your usual wannabe blogger. The Philadelphia Inquirer was giving him a blog, Blinq, on their website and was pretty much was letting him determine what it would be.
Daniel had worked for the Inqy as a globe-trotting reporter before starting the blog and just from talking to him that night at the meetup, it was pretty obvious to me that he was more than a little overqualified for blogging. And that wasn't just because he impressed me with tales of hanging out and talking music with Ed Ward while living in Germany.
But Blinq ended up being a nice mix of personal stories, Philadelphia history, current events, music talk, and frequent reports on what Philly bloggers were writing about. That last part was what I appreciated the most. Little ol' the Long Cut even showed up there once or twice. He seemed to enjoy reading the locals and always treated them with respect, no matter how small their audience (like, say, the audience for the Long Cut). He had a knack for writing about a bunch of local posts - each written on a different topic - and yet still finding a way to link them all together. It was like he was a professional writer or something.
Now Daniel's going back to the "dead tree" edition of the Inquirer, this time as a Metro section columnist. He'll be following in the footsteps of some seriously strong writers (like the much-missed Steve Lopez) and I don't doubt that he'll be great. On Blinq, he often only allowed himself to show just a hint of his own opinions (other than his thoughts on music), so it will be nice to finally see his views on some of the strange goings-on in the region.
So, Daniel, if you're still checking in on the blogs, good luck and congratulations. I'll miss the blog, but I look forward reading the column even more.