Two years young
Well, it was two years ago today that I did something I'd never previously planned on.
I started a blog. (This one, in fact.)
And considering the little hit counter in the sidebar is approaching half a million, I'm glad I made that jump — regardless of the fact the early days were filled with awkward posts that no one read.
Back in December, 2004, hockey blogs weren't really on many people's radar. For one thing, the NHL was two months into a horrendously dull labour mess that had sportswriters pulling their hair out and fans falling asleep. (Only a sadist would be looking to opine on such things as a 'hobby'.)
But it wasn't just the timing of the start of this site that was odd. Looking at the list of top hockey blogs, few of them existed even only two years ago, and it's really been just since last September that the explosion of the sport's blogosphere has occurred. Somehow, I managed to jump in early and ride the wave.
It's been fun.
The first six months I had this site, it averaged just 60 unique visitors a day — which is really too bad given there was some good stuff there. Back then, I was covering the NHL on a regular basis for the National Post, and was able to post things like transcripts and on-the-job anecdotes for the reading enjoyment of the tumbleweeds rolling through.
The traffic graph on the right gives you an idea of the way things have gone since, which is to say it's all been extremely positive. But without a doubt — and I'm not just blowing smoke here — the best thing about having this site is that it's opened a dialogue with dozens of other bloggers, journalists and readers. A full email inbox every day means you're thinking about and engaged in your subject all the time — which is never a bad thing when you're in an industry that trades in information.
In my opinion, the media had become too geared towards the 'we talk, you listen' model prior to the citizen journalism movement, and the adjustment that's taking place now is a pretty interesting one — and something I'm definitely glad to be tapped into, if only a little. Because all the emails and comments and death threats I've received the past two years have only served to improve this site, improve what I write and how I — and others — think and interact with people and approach the work we do every day.
It sounds downright ridiculous, but starting this site was one of the best things I ever decided to do. And while bloggers are part of a community that takes a lot of heat from all sides, there's a lot of brilliant, brilliant ideas being tossed around everyday. To me, this feels like ground zero for something bigger that's coming down the line and I'm glad I'm on board, on this side of the fence, for when it does.
Thanks for reading.
The highlights from 1,401 posts
- Coaches' meet and greet (January 2005)
- Andrew Peter's Swedish Odyssey (February 2005)
- 10 minutes with Dan Blackburn (February 2005)
- The death of hockey blogging (February 2005)
- Andrew Peters in Sweden (April 2005)
- Employment at last (April 2005)
- The next Next One (May 2005)
- The NHL lockout is over (July 2005)
- Who will get Sidney Crosby? (July 2005)
- A report from the player meetings (July 2005)
- Todd Bertuzzi: The Aftermath (August 2005)
- Carnival of the NHL #6 (August 2005)
- Mirtle's 2005-06 Predictions (September 2005)
- Day 4: Searching for Evgeni Malkin (December 2005)
- Hockey Night in Buffalo (February 2006)
- 2006 Trade Deadline (March 2006)
- The Playoff Preview (April 2006)
- The NHL's new breed of GM (May 2006)
- Carolina Hurricanes: 2006 Stanley Cup champions (June 2006)
- Stanley in the News: A Pictorial (June 2006)
- Pronger to leave Edmonton (June 2006)
- Playing the blame game (July 2006)
- Stanley pays a visit to the 'Loops (August 2006)
- Mirtle's 2006-07 Predictions (October 2006)
- La Presse's hockey blog expose (November 2006)
- Looking out for the little guy (November 2006)