Shockingly, this is my one-thousandth post to GatorUptown.com since its inception a few years ago. Yes, that’s 1,000 posts sharing my rants, raves, and adventures to anyone who wanted to take a few minutes and peek into whatever was on my mind that day… And I’m suitably shocked that my blog has kept going this long. THANK YOU, subscribers and long-time readers, for indulging me for so long.
So, a thousand posts later, what’s on my mind when I reflect back on the history of GatorUptown.com? Naturally, I’m here to tell you.
The site has quite a legacy, actually. I first published this blog in July of 2008, and imported some entries from my MySpace blog going back several months from there. I have every post from December ’07 until I stopped writing on MySpace, and even imported by beloved “Labor Day Weekend 2007” chronicles from September of that year.
The growth and sustainability of the site has really touched me, throughout that process. I’ve had more than a thousand “hits” each full months since I started publishing this blog here, with some recent months including more than two thousand hits. That’s humbling for someone whose major reader base comes from friends who are email subscribers and people on Facebook.
I think the tone of my blog has changed over time… Originally it was very personal, chronicles of what was going on in my life at any given time, stories of trips with friends, and updates on work and romance. There are plenty of times when I’d run into someone I hadn’t spoken with in a little while, and they would bring up things about my life that they’d heard on GatorUptown.com and want to discuss them in more detail now that we had some time together.
Some would argue that if they were really my friends I would have taken the time to call them about anything noteworthy… I’d counter that by saying that with a broad group of friends around the country, and in some cases around the world, blogs give friends a great opportunity to stay distantly connected in between quality catch-up sessions.
Stepping away from personal topics, I found my posts starting to take more of a political bent over time. In many cases I have been able to use this site as a way of expressing my opinion on various political campaigns, attempts at legislation, and so on. And even better, I’ve been able to pull in comments and discussions from readers to help collectively explore some of the more controversial discussion topics.
GatorUptown.com has also evolved to focus more and more on “current events” that may not even necessarily impact me. As I would read news articles that intrigued me, I’d often post a summary or commentary on the issue here. I’ve been told more than a few times that some common readers find out about all sort of news first on my site, and then dig in deeper to educate themselves on the subject.
I’ve shared opinions about arts and culture, such as movie reviews and discussions about local and Broadway theatre. I may not be a paid critic, but I’ve certainly been known to share an opinion here and there… Sometimes to performers’ and producers’ delight if I enjoyed the show, but more often to their outrage if my review was unfavorable. And in a few pleasant surprises, a mix of both on a complex show.
And of course, the site has been a great opportunity for me to discuss whatever is currently fascinating me, such as my series of posts about the iPhone, about the lunatics at the Westboro Baptist Church, and so on.
I could ramble on and on about how much this site, and its readership, has meant to me. (Longtime readers will attest to the fact that I can absolutely go on and on about nearly any topic!) But ultimately, the biggest thing that has made me happy about this site is the opportunity it gives me to communicate back-and-forth with friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers who find my posts through online search engines. I’ve enjoyed the voice this has allowed me, and the connection it’s helped me build or maintain with hundreds of people.
So thank you, GatorUptown.com readers, for helping this survive for a thousand posts. This blog would never have evolved the way it has, or probably even survived as long as it has, if it wasn’t for your support. I’m delighted that we could build this together.