Inspiration for blog posts can come from all sorts of places. Maybe You heard about something on television or you had an interesting conversation with a friend. One of the best places to get blog post ideas is from the rest of the blogosphere. This is especially true when you get called out by your fellow blogger. (Don’t worry, Nick, I haven’t forgotten about your headline.)

I recently got tagged by Damien Riley to write about someone that I admire. It has been difficult to narrow it down to just one person. Along the way, I considered authors like Bill Watterson and Michael Crichton. I thought about entertainers like Jay Leno and Robin Williams. And then it hit me that one of the most influential people in my life is someone with whom I went to high school: Joseph Planta.

Who is Joseph Planta?

Most of the readers of Beyond the Rhetoric may not be terribly familiar with Joseph, but I did post an interview with him in this space some time back. Joseph Planta is the Founding Editor of The Commentary, a site that is mostly focused on entertainment and politics.

Most of the attention on The Commentary is currently being paid to the On The Line interview segment. Among the guests that Joseph has had in the past are Rafe Mair, Grant Fuhr, Rachel Marsden, and Jerry Wasserman. There is also a column on the site where Joseph expounds his opinion on a wide variety of topics, most recently discussing Frank Sinatra.

Why is Joseph Planta Important?

If it weren’t for Joseph, I’m not sure if I would have ever gotten into journalism, blogging, and freelance writing in the first place. Let me explain.

The Commentary didn’t always have a website. It got its humble beginnings as an email newsletter back in our high school days. Inspired by Joseph’s column, I decided to start an email newsletter of my own called Now That’s Entertainment. That eventually matured into a Geocities site, which in turn became Beyond the Rhetoric years later. If I were not inspired by the original email version of The Commentary, I would have never started Now That’s Entertainment. NTE is my precursor to blogging.

In like accord, it was through The Commentary that I got my start with covering community events and trade shows. I attended a pet expo, a car show, a skateboard competition, and more under the banner of The Commentary. If it wasn’t for this experience, I would not have been as well equipped to cover larger trade shows like CES in Las Vegas and COMPUTEX in Taipei.

Considering these two elements today, it is perfectly fathomable that I would have never started blogging or launched a freelance writing career if it were not for Joseph Planta and The Commentary. Even though the latter is not nearly as monetized as it could be, Joseph remains motivated to keep the site updated. It is his passion, and for that, I admire him.

Who Inspires or Influences You the Most?

Is there someone in your life from whom you draw inspiration? It could be a family member, a close friend, or even a celebrity who you know through proxy. I encourage you to participate in the Amazing Visions writing contest being hosted by Damien Riley. There are free backlinks and great prizes to be won.