July 25, 2006

Interviews With Bloggers Part 16: "Bubblegumfink"

The Bella Rossa Interview With "Bubblegumfink."

Bubblegumfink is a pop culture oriented blogger who wants to preserve and protect the legacy of 1960's and 1970's teen pop culture. Feel like getting nostalgic about HR Pufnstuf? Wanna flip through Hardy Boys trading cards? It's amazing how looking through this stuff really triggers old memories and puts you back into parts of your childhood you hadn't thought about in years. We were branded by Kellogg's and Tonka and Parker Brothers in ways we'd probably be scared to fully understand. In his interview, 'Fink shocks his readers by disclosing his mature, healthy eating habits, and shows the love to several of his favorite blogs, some of which may have made recent visits to this very site.

Film_reelBELLA: What current books, music, tv, movies, hobbies, sports, etc., are currently holding your interest?

I've been reading a lot
of nonfiction stuff on organic and raw foods, health, fast food, the
effects of synthetics and chemicals on our lives- all very
non-Bubblegumfink kind of stuff. I shouldn't even mention it, as I
my readers to think I'm sitting in a treehouse eating Twinkies and
Cap'n Crunch all day.

Music: Nothing really new has
interested me in several months. I'm listening mainly to the kind of
old junk I promote on my blog. I like a lot of newer stuff, too, but
nothing new has really rocked my socks off lately that comes to mind.

TV: Well, it's mostly the off-season
right now. I guess I'll take any chance I can get to plug the new
"remake" series of Battlestar Galactica. I truly believe
that if people could go into it putting aside their preconceived
ideas about science fiction shows, they'd realize it's the smartest,
most gripping and intelligent, best thing on television right now.

Movies: I'm in kind of the same boat as
with music. I've been watching a lot of old stuff. Sci fi and horror
from the 60s & 70s, mostly. I watch a lot of Japanese movies. I
recently saw the new Pirates movies. It was just ok. I don't drag
myself out to the theatre much anymore. I can wait for Netflix.

Hobbies: I guess the majorly time
wasting faux bubblegum cards I've been making have become something
of a hobby.

Sports: Hockey as the only sport I was
ever into. I gave up on it after the last big strike and haven't
really missed it.

BELLA: How would you describe your blog?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I guess to the average person off the
street that couldn't really relate to it, I'd just say it was "A
blog about 60s & 70s teen pop culture." Which is a little
overly simplified.

Writing_journal_3BELLA: Why
do you blog? What was your original goal or intention when you started,
and has that changed with time? Is your blog a means to an end (finding
work, developing creative ideas, making money, meeting people), or does
it exist for its own sake?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I guess I blog just as an outlet for
some of my more obscure interests. Nobody in my day-to-day life is
interested in these things. Online, I've found other people who
apparently are to one extent or another. I also like that on the
internet, where I am semi- anonymous, I can say "Look at me, I
love some of the absolutely un-coolest crap in the world!"

Is it a means to an end? No. Hey, if it
could in any way lead to making money, that would be great, but I'm
not gonna hold my breath for two seconds on that.

BELLA: Before
the advent of blogging, was there any similar activity that you
enjoyed, that served a similar purpose (keeping a written journal,
participating in newsgroups, e
tc.)? If so, how is blogging different from/better than that previous activity?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I belong to several Yahoo groups that
have become relatively quite. I think a lot of new outlets have come
along that folks have moved on to over the past couple years. I do
enjoy seeing a thriving forum. I can think of a couple. I prefer
blogging just because I'm the dictator. I do a lot less arguing with
people that I did when I was haunting the groups. If people don't
like my blog they can start their own. I don't mean that in a
mean-spirited way, that's just what's better about blogging.

How often do you Google yourself, check yourself on Technorati, see how
many people link to or bookmark you, and/or pore over your referral
logs and visitor statistics?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I check referral logs every day or two,
yeah. I don't think it's really an ego thing, though. It's just part
of the social aspect of blogging. I'm interested to see what new
blogs have come along, and who found something interesting enough to
mention it on their page. It's more like reassurance I'm not alone in
the universe.

Is there one particular post that garnered you an atypically large
reader response or number of referrals from search engines? If so, why
do you think that is?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I've gotten several links from Boing
Boing. An above average amount, I think. My traffic increases vastly
for a few days after each one, and I like to think a few of those
people will stick around after the hubbub has died down. A few more
like-minded souls. So I'm very thankful to that blog. It's very, very
often for the things I least expect, as well. Sometimes I post
something and think I'm so friggin' brilliant "Surely everyone
will love this!", then it's some other little thing I'd
forgotten I'd even posted that seems to resonate with people instead.
I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago.


Have you ever noticed funny, unlikely referral links from a search
engines that, while a logical word-for-word match with stuff you have
on your blog, are puzzling?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: Absolutely. I think the software is
highly imperfect. I've also recieved honest links from people that I
was very surprised would find this stuff at all interesting. Like
writers for Death Metal magazines, and stuff.

BELLA: What are some of your favorite, "must-read" blogs? What keeps you going back again and again?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I hit most everything on my sidebar at
least once a week. Some are daily. I don't wanna snub anyone, but I
guess I'll mention just a few.

Curt's Groovy Age of Horror was
literally the first blog I came across that made me start my own. I
don't know if I ever mentioned that to him or not. I thought blogs
were just a place to bitch about politics and post photos of a
backpacking trip. But that one was a very unique, focused continually
updated website. It made me see blogs in a new way.

There are a million comic-based blogs
out there, but I think Dial B for Blog is lovely and unique. I'm not
actually a reader or collector of contemporary comics. But I love the
stuff that I loved as a kid. My love has grown for those old books.
Dial B helps keep that old stuff fresh.

Mr. Bali Hai's Eye of the Goof is
another blog I've checked in on for a long time now. It's usually
very centered on the tiki thing. I love the sort of "special
interest" blog. I think I'm blogging about his old crap, while
he blogs about his parents' old crap.

I like Jart in My Head. It's similar in
theme to Bubblegumfink, but it's written by a girl, which gives it a
unique perspective, I only wish she posted more frequently. Her
blog description is "1960s and 1970s. Kid and Teen Pop Culture.
Records. Movies. Bubblegum Cards. TV Shows. Teen Idols. Books. Games.
Junk Food. Toys. Advertising. Amusing Things Found in My Closet."
She nailed it with that.That's really what my blog is about, but
she's got it right there on the header, so I've never been able to
swipe it.

I visit This is Pop everyday. It's
like one stop shopping for cool new stuff.

I dig the Mego Museum, man. Talk about
special interest. A frequently updated blog attached to a gorgeous
website and a thriving forum.I'm still praying they'll send me some
of those trading cards they make.

Have you ever totally lost interest in a blog that you once really enjoyed, and if so, why?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: Um,yeah. Of course, I'm not gonna name
names. It's usually never a quality issue. It' mostly about the
cyclic nature of my interests. I can be heavy, heavy into horror
films this month. Next month I'll be obsessed with, I dunno.. anime.
Horror films will sit on the back burner for up to a year, but the
stuff always comes around again for me. My problem is getting my
current interest to sync up with what ever convention or event is
going on at the time. Kind of like when they put tickets on sale for
a concert 6 months early and I'm all excited, but then 6 months
later, I'm just not in the mood for that band.

Many bloggers say that the best thing that's come of their blogging
experience is the connections they've made with people - meeting new
people and sometimes reconnecting with old friends. Has this been your

BUBBLEGUMFINK: It's a very positive aspect. It's an
amazing way to connect to often a really very limited number of
people that may also be into the same sort of stuff you're blogging

Hand_writingBELLA: What kind of person is the likeliest reader of your blog? What would you hope they get out of reading you?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I think it would be fun and interesting
to take a survey someday. Off the top of my head I would guess the
average reader was a male nerd between 35 and 55. I mean nerd in a
very good, geek-power sort- of- way. I also think that at 34, I
myself am probably the youngest Bubblegumfink reader. I can't see it
having any appeal to anyone younger.

Are there people in your life who don't "get the whole blog thing?" How
do you explain it to them without feeling as nerdy and defensive as I
usually do?

I don't explain or mention it to them.
It's my personal thing. Only two or three people I know have any idea
that I have a blog.

BELLA: What's your relationship with your readers? How much interaction do you encourage?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I would love a hundred comments on
every post. As far as relationship, I often get people saying "hey
dude, check this out" Which is very cool. I've put something out
there, and now the internet occasionally comes to me.

BELLA: How much do you self-censor, knowing that your friends and family might be reading?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: Never. They're not reading.

Have you ever heard yourself say something like "If you really cared
about me/were really interested in me, you'd look at my blog"? Is this
a fair thing to throw at, say, your sister, during an argument over who
gets the nicest drumstick at Thanksgiving?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: No. There's not really any deep
personal shit going on at my blog, anyway.

BELLA: Do you video blog? Would or will you? Are there any video blogs that you look at? What would you video blog about, if you did?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I'm not sure I understand the term
"video blog". If this means taking videos of yourself
talking and doing stuff, then no, that holds no interest for me. I do
enjoying adding stuff from youtube to my blog. The more variety of
media, the better. Video's a good one. I usually post stuff that's
right in line with the theme- stuff like old cereal commercials, etc
Here's another secret- while Bubblegumfink is promoting Super Sugar
Crisp, I'm currently eating organic flax seed raisin bran with soy

Have you ever blogged something that later you regretted and/or deleted from your blog?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I frequently delete posts from the blog
anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks later, just becuase I feel
like they detract from the whole, or they're not relevant enough to
the blog. I've got a lot of other interests, and they seep in
sometimes, but I try and keep the blog focused. I think people have a
good idea what they're in for when they show up. I try not to throw
too many curve balls. I never discuss politics or Hurricane Katrina
or whatever. I want it to always be a place of escape.Not that I
don't have strong opinions on world events. I could always start
different blogs if I wanted to.

Of course, nobody will let me forget
that I've actually deleted the entire blog a couple times, just out
of boredom or whatever. Many months worth of posts are now long gone,
so the blog does not appear to go back anywhere near as far as it's
been around. Having received lots of angry or regretful emails, I had
to keep bringing it back. That felt pretty good, though, I gotta
admit. I promised last time I'd never delete the whole blog again.
That button was just so tempting.


What are your thoughts on the phenomenon of "doocing," wherein someone
loses their job because of things they posted on a personal blog? Are
you careful to maintain a clear line between your online self and your
real world self?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: Well, there's losing your job over
content, or just the simple fact that your sitting around blogging.
Both can be relevant, I suppose. It's like speeding on the freeway.
Just don't get caught, dummy.

BELLA: Are you conscious of creating an online persona? How is that persona different from the real world you?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: Y'know, I guess I never thought ahead
far enough to create an online persona. Who I am on the blog is the
same way I am in real life. I even say "groovy" a lot.

How long have you been online, and what kinds of things have you done online (chat rooms, message boards, games, aimless surfing, etc.)? How has this changed your life, for the better or worse?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I've been online about as long as
everyone else, I guess. I'm no pioneer, but I'm not screwing around
on dial up AOL, either. I love the internet. Mainly for shopping.
Whether it's eBay, or some tiny Japanese record company, every
obscure thing I'm after is at my fingertips. I honestly cannot
remember the last time I was, say, in a mall. Retail stores suck.

Do you think blogging is a viable way for people to make money? Have
you ever been able to earn any dough from your blog? If so, will you
give me some?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I'm sure someone's smart enough to make
some money. It ain't me.


BELLA: How long do you think you will continue to blog? What are the circumstances under which you can imagine yourself quitting?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I dunno. Assuming I never get tired of
doing it, I would expect blogging to become obsolete in some way in a
few years. We'll see.

BELLA: What's the coolest thing that's come out of your blogging experience?

BUBBLEGUMFINK: I'm not sure. My blog is militantly

Thank you for thinking I was worth
interviewing. It's very flattering, though I'm sure I've bored the
hell out of everyone.


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