This blog is one year old today. Its birthday is April Fools Day. Nice and easy to remember! Lemme 'splain how I started this and what has happened in the first 12 months.
Why did you start blogging? The two main reasons are the people picture above. The guy with the beard talking to the plastic moose is my pal Padre Mickey. His blog is older than mine, and reading his daily musings made me think about doing the same. The guy in the suspenders (or the real crying head on the plastic doll, I can never tell which) is Princess Sparkle Pony. I was a regular commenter on the Princess' blog, and I still am. I came up with the occasional clever comment, and I thought I might have enough clever comments to start my own blog. I had already been posting essays on the Smirking Chimp, but to do this every day I felt I would have to discuss things other than politics alone, though exactly what I didn't know at the time. It would be fair to say I still don't know.
I still post occasionally at the Chimp. Here's a link to one from this weekend.
On my first day, I posted a picture of Indira Varma. I got comments from both the Padre and the Princess, and I was on my way. (The first day was also the first time I used the voice I now call hypothetical question asker, who is here today as my interviewer.)
How have things gone this first year? Generally, pretty well. I definitely have more of an idea of what I'm doing now than I did twelve months ago. Also, the readership has shown a general increasing pattern, as we can see in the graph to the left. This Sunday, my 35,000th visitor showed up. Since the beginning of the year, I can expect about 5,000 visitors a month, though not all of them visit the front page. More on this in a moment.
Besides the overall increasing pattern, the two most noticeable features of the graph to the left is the very large spike in readership in May 2007 and the big jump from November's numbers to December's numbers, with all the months after December expanding on that new baseline level.
What caused the first big spike? In May, I published my picture of the current queen of gigantic child brides, Elizabeth Kucinich. Her scarlet hair, pale complexion and sky blue eyes mimic the colors of the flag of her adopted country, these United States, as well as the colors of the flag of her birthplace, the United Kingdom. I put my post of Miss Elizabeth up for the consideration of a site called BuzzFeed, and they took the bait. Lots and lots of people wander the internet looking for pictures of her to this day. I also got a lot of visitors looking for gigantic child brides. There will be a new gigantic child bride post later this week.
What happened last December? You might notice that readership decreased slightly from October to November. But then on December 1st, the number of visitors effectively doubled. What happened was Google. The search engine decided that my blog was a good source for pictures, though I borrow almost all my pictures from somewhere else. If you type the right words into Google and click on the images button, pictures from this website are prominently displayed. Among such "right words" are lolz, Indira Varma, Eli and Peyton Manning, tuatara, blue tooth phones and Alyssa Milano. Some of these things I have plenty of images of; others, not so much.
Have you enjoyed blogging now that you have done it for a solid year? Very much. I missed a few days last month when my computer was in the shop, and I felt terrible. It's almost like an addiction.
(Almost? Who am I kidding?)
In centuries gone by, learned people who wished to look clever would quote Dr. Samuel Johnson, well known 18th Century wit and compiler of one of the first authoritative dictionaries in English. There were no bloggers in Johnson's time, of course, but there were pamphleteers, including Tom Paine, whose name would be the best known today, especially to Americans. Dr. Johnson took a dim view of such people.
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."
Really, Dr. Johnson. Is that so? Allow me to retort.
Your mutha wears army boots!
Ah, go peddle your papers!
You ain't the boss of me!
The ball is in your court, sir. Oh, that's right, you're dead.
Point, Matty Boy.