Somewhere, in the distance…

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.


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  • I had thought I should write on the mothballing of the Yamyam, but quite frankly, it’s not worth it when all the rest of Walsall’s bloggers have already done it so well. The only thing I have to disagree with is

    Tonight, this thing I do obsessively became almost unbearably sad, old and pointless.

    Because you’re wrong. One look at your stats and comments RSS will tell you you’re wrong :-).

    While the local blogs will all sadly miss the Yamyam- it’s a great loss- we should take advantage of the fact that it brought many of us to each others attention, and build on that.

  • john webster

    thanks for all your hard work mark..look after yourself..

  1. Welcome back – The YamYam returns… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  April 1, 2011

    […] Just a quick note to point out that popular local news and opinion site, The YamYam has returned. Thanks in no small part to the dedicated work of Mark Blackstock, the curator, @Hapdaniel a real live web wizard and Tim Brown, ace net developer, the site has been wonderfully and spectacularly automated. Once again, Walsall has a one-stop local news service that aggregates local news, sport, blogs and press releases in that familiar, easy to read form we all loved so much. […]

  2. The hyperlocal life cycle - Talk About Local  July 18, 2011

    […] isn’t a new thing – The YamYam your source for all things Walsall went away and then came back again (see comment at link).  The Stirrer, an excellent West Midlands politics site also died and was […]


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