A Portland Freelancer Memory: The Christmas Spike of 2006
Okay, when it comes to blog traffic, I'm not exactly Jack Bogdanski. In fact, the first few times I ever had a spike were courtesy of a link from his site. There was also a link from Fark, and then a recent bit of mine that was linked by the Denver Post, if you can believe that. Naturally, it's fun when my visit counter starts going off, but that wasn't the reason I started blogging in the first place. I just wanted a forum where I could keep on being a columnist, especially after the Portland Tribune let me go. I like writing columns - they're perfect for my attention span. I also wanted the freedom to say exactly what I was thinking, and get better doing it. Massive numbers would be okay, but it's not the driving force here.
This past week's post called "Presidential Profiling" - in which I examined our leader's psyche - really went places. It came out in the morning, and nothing much happened, but that meant I had a chance to tighten it up. As it turned out this was very fortunate.
It used to be so aggravating when I'd think of a better way to write something in a Tribune column, after it was too late - the paper had already gone to press. Sometimes I would make a flat-out factual error and there was no way to correct it. I would come out of the door in the morning and see the paper on yards all up and down my street - very frustrating. I can't remember how many they used to print then but it was probably over 100 thousand. That's a lot of little mistakes lying around like dog turds on people's front lawns.
Here's a funny note: One time the Tribune even misspelled my name and it was in my own column. I should have known right then that I wouldn't be sticking around for long. Of course, nothing compared to a factual error in one of my televised jokes that led to the late night leader in talk shows apologizing the next day. No offense, but the Trib could never deliver one of my errors with that kind of reach. That little TV joke meant I had screwed up in over 70 countries.
In the blog world you get to fine-tune things for as long as you want - even after a post is out there - which is what I did with "Presidential Profiling". Around 4, Jack Bog picked up on it, and the next day Blue Oregon featured it as well. Since then around 4 or 5 other sites have linked to it and it's been quite fun. A big thank you to Jack Bogdanski for the initial support and Kari Chisholm of Blue Oregon for following through soon after. Also thanks to the many sites including Bush Watch, BuzzFlash, BartCop and others who linked to it from there. It was a really cool feeling, especially coming during the holiday crunch. This became my Christmas Spike of 2006. It's the type of response that really encourages you, so thanks to everyone involved.