Today is the last day of that wonderful Walsall institution, The YamYam. Yes, I’m afraid that the site that was instrumental and continual in support for The Brownhills Blog, is being mothballed as Mark, the chap behind this king of local news sites, is knackered after two years of producing a daily wonder with little funding.
Broke, tired and weary as he is, I’d just like to wish Mark all the best. He’s a lovely chap and has been a real friend to me, to this blog, and to the wide community of Walsall bloggers he nurtured and promoted, and Walsall itself. Walsall will never see a better champion. Tomorrow, without the YamYam, we will all be the poorer.
Much has been written about The YamYam and it’s talented and charming creator, and there’s nothing I can add really to the eloquent, affectionate tributes that are already out there, by blogs as diverse as The Bloxidge Tallygraph, Bob Piper, Jayne Howarth, Pheasey Views, The Plastic Hippo, Andy Holyhead and Derek Bennett.
I will always remember long dark nights, early in the history of this blog, when Mark waited for me to finish stuff and post it up; his warm, gentle encouragement; his conviction contrary to mine that The Brownhills Blog was something worth persuing. I recall assembling controversial pieces about old journalism and the new media, and sometimes felt a bit like an attack dog for the local online community. We often compared notes on important local stories and gossip. I will miss all of that – and all through twatter or email. Mark never challenged my anonymity, happy to accept my reasons for keeping my head well down.
Somewhere down the road – when all the wrinkles have been ironed out of this new media thing – when all the anodyne, faceless overhyped hyperlocal crap has died – we’ll all be nostalgic for what Mark did, and just what he showed us. I’ll miss you, mate, your influence on this blog was big, but on me, personally, it was massive. I think you know that.
Take care, old chap. Stay in touch. Tonight, this thing I do obsessively became almost unbearably sad, old and pointless. I wish you well, that monster you created out of nothing but a handful of angry people and a remarkable vision tilted the online world of Walsall on it’s axis. It’ll never be the same again, and never be the same without you at it’s heart.