Sunday, February 12, 2006

All is quiet on New Year's Day

366 days ago, on a Friday night when my now wife was out with friends and I had nothing to do, I decided to throw my hat in on this blog game. I'd been reading blogs for probably 2 years, starting with mostly those focused on politics. I discovered a blog written by two friends of mine from high school just before one of them got married. Strangely, until then, I considered blogs to be written by that nameless, faceless "someone else". See, I've always been a consumer rather than a creator. I read, listen, watch, taste, not write, record, film or make. But over time, my thoughts have started to fade. The chalkboard of my brain has gotten to the point where so uch has been written on it, there's just dust and clutter. I kept having conversations with friends and said things like "yeah, I once thought about this in detail, and I did some research on it and..." but it was just thoughts. I needed something written down to preserve the thoughts. Example of that is the post I wrote about Dale Murphy and Kirby Puckett. That's about 4 years old, but I never wrote it down before.

So on this Friday night, I decided to figure out how to keep a log of these thoughts. I spent like 4 hours formatting the template (because I'm so inept at this). It was hunt and peck style. I probably used the preview function a hundred times trying to get the colors close. And I still don't really like the look. It was probably after midnight before I actually wrote something, and that was primarily some meme stuff.

My idea of what this would be is actually pretty close to what it was. I wanted to write mostly about sports and movies and bullshit. The things that I consume, I guess. And that's probably what I have written about. The seasons have definitely changed the focus, but that also changes my personal interests. I'm quite glad that the General and the Wrangler have joined up, and their posts have been better than mine, without a doubt. I hope they continue to post.

I suppose I didn't expect this to last a full year. Or maybe I did. I know I wanted to get to football season. I most definitely didn't expect to get readers from across the country. Seriously. I thought at best, a few close friends would read and post comments. I never expected the modest readership I have, and I'm grateful for it. With a few of the college football posts garnering thousands of hits, I've been asked why I haven't added ads before. Well, to be honest, I don't want to alter my writing, and I would if I had ads. Also, I still think that the vast majority of the posts I write aren't interesting to anyone, really. So I don't think I'll ever add something like that. Also, the anonymity thing... Again, I think blogging anonymous provides the freedom to write more honestly without concerns of the real world intruding. I'm sure a lot of the regular readers might know me personally, so that's why I do it. I definitely don't think that anonymity confers some sort of weakness in the writer, like he or she doesn't want to stand behind the words. Instead, I think the focus is much more on the words. The credibility of what's written depends on what's written, not the person who writes it.

A few highlights from the past year...

I suppose the post that received the most views and discussion was "The Narrative". I still like that post, even though I'd rewritten it about a dozen times before publishing. Normally, I prefer "hit and run" blogging, without much revision and watering down. But in that post, I actually think the editing helped narrow the focus.

The posts that took the most effort and research are probably ones I look back at with some more personal pride less shame. Those would be my attempt to be Bill Simmons during the NFL Draft, the several Harris Poll Revealed posts, and the other football wonk posts (here, here, and here). The Gameday Recaps probably needed much more revision and clarity, but that shit took forever to do. By the time I'd get through watching and compiling the statements, I'd be so sick of it that I'd just publish it.

The last year for me personally has been pretty crazy actually. I got married. I got a dog that destroys the shit out of everything. When I started this, I'd just started a new job. I try not to write much personal stuff on here, and in some ways this is a way to organize my thoughts on everything that doesn't particularly "matter" so I can use the rest of my brain to focus on what really does. That might not make sense to anyone else.

Since it's a year-end and a new year thing, I thought I'd compile some best and worst lists of the things I've consumed over the year. Sometimes I've written about them, sometimes not. Since they're kind of long, I've broken them into separate posts.