On December 9th, 2005, I took the plunge into the blogosphere. Nearly 9,000 blog hits and almost 200 posts later, I thought I'd take a moment to look back on my past year as a Wisconsin blogger.
It all started with this post. It's Time For Progressive Humanity to Stand Up. This post seemed to immediately push me into celebrity status among the progressive WI community. It was reposted on FightingBob.com (as were several other posts). I had strangers walking up to me saying "I just heard you were the person who posted that blog. Thanks."
Not a bad confidence booster early on. I followed with this post The Martyr. It was about a man who had found true redemption after a childhood only found in horror movies. Stanley "Tookie" Williams was a former gangbanger who after learning to read in prison, became a leader in the movement to pull young men out of gang society. He was sitting on death row in California a year ago today waiting to find out his fate from The Terminator. Well, not only did the Terminator terminate Tookie's life, the state sponsored killing was horrific. It took 45 minutes of him screaming and writhing for mercy for the painful and cruel lethal injection process to conclude with a disgusting death.
Another early event that freaked me out was posting on publicly released torture and murder documents from the Iraq War and 20 minutes later getting a hit from the Pentagon. The latter is still one of my favorite posts.
I went on to blog on the many things that came to my attention over the next year. In June, I drove down the lakefront and started a blogger firestorm when I pointed out that our Sheriff was using taxpayer dollars to harrass minorities and at the same time campaign for reelection.
I've had a Congressman's press secretary who would never become Governor beg me to post his decision to support the Voting Rights Act to stop the phone calls to his office.
I've written poetry for years and never shared it with anyone including my family out of shear embarrassment. And yet, I posted one out here one day without thinking about the anxiety I've had about my writing.
I've also been asked on the radio. Sykes, NPR, WMCS and others have invited me on to discuss a blog or have referenced my blog in their work. One host even told me he was reading my stuff live on the air a week earlier without telling me!
I've made many blogger friends over the last year from all over the political spectrum and all over the country. Some of them I've known for years and never spoken to about a political issue only to find out we are complete opposites. Some I've just met by chance and they've changed my world perspective. I've found a world I only partially understood and that changes so fast, I'm not sure any of us really truly get it yet.
None of this works without readers. So today on the anniversary of the day I actually wrote my first post (it took me a couple of days to get up the nerve to actually post it after I wrote it). I wanted to particularly thank all those who come back regularly to read my blog. I care deeply about the issues I write about and I appreciate just as deeply that you care enough to come back. I'm still not sure exactly why people care what my personal take is on all of these issues, but to have a place to scream from the hills about the ups and downs of this last year has not only been one of the most fun activities I've engaged in, but also one of the most therapeutic LOL!!!
What we do know is this. Blogging has a power all it's own. We must as a community ensure that it is never quelled. December 9th is the official one year anniversary of my learning how to explore publicly my right to free speech. How exciting is that???