CEDAR RAPIDS — Todd Dorman, hired just six weeks ago as a full-time columnist at The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids, launched his non-awaited online blog to decidedly muted fanfare.
Dorman, 37, christened the new site — 24-Hour Dorman — at a lightly attended ceremony. But that lack of interest didn’t dampen his spirits.
He boldly predicted 24-Hour Dorman would soon attract a small but devoted following of at least 9 readers. The name “24-Hour Dorman” beat out “Shut Up Todd” and “Corridork” in worldwide balloting.
“I think it really fills a an unfilled niche,” Dorman said. “It’s truly rare these days to find a mainstream journalist desperately trying to remain somehow relevant by creating a blog. I’m sort of new media trailblazer.”
But an analysis of online records reveals that Dorman has blogged before, though he declined to comment on his past efforts. He’s particularly sensitive about his leading role in the short-lived and ill-fated politics blog “Statehouse Snippets.”
“The name was not my idea, man,” Dorman said.
He swears it will be different this time because of two magic words — “lowered expectations.”
“On one hand, this blog’s name conveys the notion that I’ll be working 24-7 to dig up interesting, provocative fodder for the site,” Dorman said.
“But it also conjures up images of a man oddly dressed in a fake military uniform standing outside a door, or maybe even visions of a 24-hour convenience store, with stale donuts, bitter coffee and old, warmed-over spinning hot dogs. I think all three images fit,” he added.
Dorman will blog on Cedar Rapids-area issues, politics at all levels, food, music and his infinitely fascinating life. He also hopes to showcase the opinions of readers who endure his print column.
His family has been a big inspiration behind 24-hour Dorman.
“Frankly, I’ve turned to blogging because I’d like to spend less time with my family,” said Dorman, a devoted husband and father of daughters age 2 and 5. “I can blog and watch football at the same time. That cannot always be said of child-rearing or marriage.”
Dorman said he’s under no pressure to make the blog a success.
“Hey, it’s OK if people don’t read it,” Dorman said. “They’ll just have to explain to my kids why Santa isn’t coming this year.”