For those unaware, The Retro Network’s Twitter account usually puts up a weekly question which is then discussed on the following podcast. This week, the followers were asked: “What are some of your favorites…we’ve produced? What first turned you onto the network? What keeps you coming back?” My thoughts were too long for Twitter so I’m surprising our TRN leaders with a longer response right here on this very site.
I remember a year ago a bunch of us started getting followed by some new account. Who or what is “TRN Social”? I asked some people, who asked some other people. It became a big who-dun-it. Eventually we discovered the masterminds were Jason and Mickey, but we still had no clue what exactly was happening.
Then the site launches and I had to pause for a moment. There’s some great stuff here. Articles, videos, podcasts, sponsors, all of it looks like one of them professional sites we all yearn to be but don’t have the time/money/knowledge of how to create. Familiar voices, new voices, it was an interesting launch and I followed back across all platforms.
A funny thing happened along the way. I was asked to join the Network as a writer. I’ve been familiar with Jason’s work for years and even had a guest post over at his site. I brought my own unique voice and wheelhouse to the network. As the podcast ideas grew again, I was invited to appear as a guest. This led to our blogging world discovering when I’m on a podcast it’s best to pack a lunch because my explanations and rationale are a walk.
When circumstances caused me to abandon my previous site and identity, The Retro Network is the only reason I came back when I did. Maybe the only reason I came back at all. I felt an obligation to something bigger than my own work and didn’t want to let anyone down. Thanks to assignments and anniversaries, I felt challenged to write about topics I wouldn’t have for my own site. This inspired me to re-evaluate my brand and mission.
Then when “these troubling times” started (and I use that term with full eye rolling) I was able to turn to blogging to stay sane. In a swerve I never saw coming, I brought two of my lifetime best friends with me. Doing The House Show podcast every week has given us a reason to talk. Before and after the recording, we discuss everything going on in our lives. I don’t have a close confidant in my town. No one to just pop over. I also have a low self esteem worry that if I did call anyone up, that person wouldn’t want to hear my complaints. But now, the three of us have reason to get together, air our life’s grievances, and then talk for a couple hours about suplexes and body slams.
A year into TRN existing and the effect on my day to day life is significant. I talk to two people I’ve known forever more often. I talk to Jason and Stacey who I knew before hand. I’ve made new friends like Mick, Eric, Adam, and more. Then there are the ripples from those people to others which has caused my following list across various social medias to grow since 2019. I don’t know if Jason and Mickey realize what they created has grown so powerful, but with that power must also come responsibility.
To go back into the history of our geek blog/podcasting circle is to see our cities fall. We all woke up and the first bookmarked sites to load were either Aint It Cool or Topless Robot. Both fallen icons. Then the call went out to answer one question a week and share with like minded people. Cool and Collected formed The League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Your mileage may vary, but for many of us this is where we started to network. This is Jubilee meeting the X-Men and for the first time finding out there are others out there in the world just like me. We moved on to become podcast guests and learn about other people through appearances on weekly episodes of now silent voices like Under Scoop Fire, Cold Slither, or the recently closed up Nerd Lunch.
Gentlemen, whether you’re aware or not, whether you want this responsibility or not, you’re the hub. The biggest, the most diverse, the most content. I try to write as much and as often as I can. I’m all over social media. I have two podcasts and that’s still not enough to make my voice loud enough. However, this Network has brought us all together. If anything, I want more voices in the Network. From East to West, from the attic to the basement, if you love trash, stuff, clutter, pop, hoarding, collecting, old school, and all in between welcome to your new home. Everything you want to talk about has a place here on The Retro Network. And if you don’t see someone with your interests yet – become that voice! Everyone here will slide down a little so we can fit another folding chair at the table.
Happy birthday Retro Network. Thank you for giving a bunch of misfits a place to gather.