Just shy of our three-year anniversary, we celebrated our 10,000,000th visit on August 3, 2005. As co-owner of Blogcritics.org, I am especially proud of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make this site a success. A group of 16 volunteers work with Eric Olsen and me as Section Editors, Assistant Section Editors, and Editors-At-Large, as well as on specific tasks like maintaining the database of items available for review and enforcing the comment policy.
But as important as the behind-the-scenes work is for keeping the site running, I think all Blogcritics should be proud of what we’ve accomplished in less than three years. There is a team of more than 1000 writers here now, and more than 60 new articles are produced every day. The quality keeps getting better and better, and the world is noticing.
A steady stream of materials comes from labels, publishers, and resellers, all of whom recognize that Blogcritics.org is a place to find out what’s hot and what’s not, what works and what doesn’t. And people are visiting, and coming back for more; Blogcritics.org hovers in the neighborhood of the 15th most popular blog on the web right now!
With dual milestones in view (10,000,000th visit just behind and third year just ahead), I poked around in the database to see what sort of things might be interesting to remember.
In the first month of the site’s existence, 80 writers posted articles. Eric Olsen posted 226! Among those first 80 pioneer Blogcritics were Aaron Hawkins (deceased), Henry Copeland (creator of Blogads.com), and local favorite Jim Carruthers (recently deceased).
I was happy to be included (twice!) on the very first day of the site. I remember being so eager to be included, and so concerned that the book I reviewed must be a recent one and not just something off my shelf, that I went to the library and checked out something from the New Releases section which I happened to really enjoy. My wife thought I was crazy to make a special weekend trip to the library, but if she had known how heavily involved in the site I would eventually be, I think she would have hidden my keys.
Unless my SQL skills have completely fled from me, 13 of those first 80 writers are still posting articles here at Blogcritics.org. The somewhat arbitrary date range I picked for this was simple: Anybody who posted within the first 30 days of the site and also within the last three months is a pioneer and a long-termer. And here they are, the pioneering long-termers, in alphabetical order by last name:
- Michele Catalano
- Marty Dodge
- Ed Driscoll
- Sean Hackbarth
- Kevin Holtsberry
- Shannon Okey
- Dawn Olsen
- Eric Olsen
- Chris Puzak
- Solonor Rasreth
- Steve Rhodes
- Mark Saleski
- Phillip Winn
Surprised? I was. I need to get to know a few of those names a little better. A couple of them, I hadn’t realized had been around that long. One or two I didn’t realize had come back.
It was also interesting to see that none of the current volunteers were were during those first 30 days. The site continues to reinvent itself and grow to new heights as more people get involved and our collective image of what Blogcritics.org can be grows. The days of a “sinister cabal” have given way to days of a collaborative online magazine published by a “sinister cabal” and the cabal has grown.
Perhaps by the time we hit 15 million, or 20 million, more of those initial pioneers will have returned!
We’re all celebrating, so be sure to read more about our 10,000,000 visits!