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Living in Woog's World

Go into any town meeting and say the name Dan Woog and chances are you can quickly engage someone nearby on the most recent posting from the Westporter's namesake website. Woog has been sharing his thoughts with residents in one form or another for years and as long as the passion for writing holds out, so will he.

“I am very fortunate to have crafted a life that includes that which I am very passionate about,” said Woog in one of the few quiet rooms off of the Staples High School Library. When not wielding a pen Woog is the head coach for the Staples High School soccer team, ranked sixth in the nation.

When not on the field Woog engages in his other passion: writing. He wrote about the Brown University soccer team as a student who was in his own words “nowhere near good enough for the team.” His web site features 13 books bearing his name. His column, “Woog's World” has graced the pages of the Westport News for 25 years. Sometimes witty, sometimes tragic it has been a constant source of expression for Woog.

Woog said the silliest thing he ever wrote in a column was a list of dog names released by the town clerk. Despite the throw-away nature of the piece, it still comes back to bite him.

Woog said, “People still come up to me today, 15 years later, and say, 'you did a column about my dog!'”

The tragic moments were far more personal. A year after one of his players committed suicide, Woog wrote about the experiences of family, friends, teammates and himself coming to terms with the loss. “By writing it I put his life down on a piece of paper so it will always be there,” said Woog.

Woog began his blog as a new experiment in writing. He saw changes coming to the world of journalism and decided to be ahead of the curve.

“I saw a blog as a couple of things,” said Woog. “No. 1, it was a chance to continually deliver information and insights to my audience and to do it even more quickly and very interactively without being constrained by word count.”

He speckles the site with photos he both takes and finds which he said adds another level to the presentation.

“I think each blog is different. I think a good community blog has a distinctive voice that sometimes reflects the community and sometimes goes where newspapers and other media don't or won't go,” said Woog. “I think a community blogger has to be an integral part of the community, has to love the community but not be so involved that you don't see its warts or imperfections. And I think a community blogger has to be involved 24/7/365.”

Woog offers some pretty simple advice for anyone wanting to start their own blog.

“Don't talk about it,” Woog commands. “Do it. Nobody is stopping you.”

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