Sunday, August 03, 2008

Second Anniversary Of Being Chosen Yahoo Pick Of The Week

It was two years ago today when the phone woke me up about the time it was starting to get light out. Wrong number I figured. WRONG. It was Jon Sinish so excited that I could barely understand what he was saying. My brain cells took their sweet time coming out of the fog. Sinish got frustrated. I got frustrated. After a few minutes of trying to make sense of his excited babbling I realized it was something like "Have you checked your blog yet this morning?"

"Hell no! I was sleeping. I'm STILL sleeping! What the hell do you want?" I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a YAHOO Pick Of The Week, but Sinish lives by the internet, putting websites together for a bunch of commercial clients. He'd been a bit jealous for awhile that gets more hits most days than his best paid efforts, and from all over the planet. Well, it seems that YAHOO! picks what they consider a top blog every month, and I was it.

He went on to tell me that I should check my hit counter becaus I was going to get a lot of hits that day. He was right! I got congratulatory emails from people that I barely knew. The site was getting dozens of hits an hour. Now I was excited! I got about nothing done that day between checking the hit counter and replying to emails. After a few days the heavy traffic died down somewhat but I was, and still am, getting about double the trafiic I'd gotten before being chosen.

Then it hit me. It scared the crap out of me in fact. Now I had a new standard to uphold! It could never again just be a fun thing to do for an hour a day. I had readership and I wanted to keep them happy. I never really enjoyed writing. I hated it in school. My journalism teacher in college told me that I should choose another major. Yet here I was writing a top blog.

At first it was a major pain to sit down at the keyboard every day, but then people were telling me that they liked my easy conversational style. Jim Kukar, my old editor from decades ago at the North Dade Journal, recently confessed that the reason he always tricked me into writing the copy to go with my photos was because I was the best writer he had on the staff. I'd always thought it was because it was cheaper than paying a reporter.

Now I just sit down at the keyboard with a don't give a damn attitude, look at the photo that my computer savvy buddy Todd Frederick has posted, and let that mysterious uncontrolled part of my brain pour out the words, making my finger hunt 'n peck at the keyboard until I've satisfied the Holy Five W's: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. About the only thing left to do is correct some hurridly mispelled words and click the curser on PUBLISH POST.

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