Monday, September 27, 2010

Sappy Anniversary?

It snuck by me so I'm sure it snuck by you as well, but this past September 12 marked the fifth anniversary of my blog. Begun during the last throes of my media withdrawal from the Michael Jackson trial, to the surprise of many, including myself, it has endured.

Hard to believe I've been at it for that long. For the first nine months I pretty much toiled away in obscurity. My blog didn't start to get any traction until July of 2006 when the Santa Barbara News-Press imploded and remained topic one on my blog for the next three-plus years.

There was certainly a vibrant blogosphere and commentariat that circled around the furor over the News-Press. But four years later, so many of those blogs such as  BlogaBarbara and Spendy McFlaw, are gone.

Of course, the News-Press isn't the target rich environment it once was. Editorial page editor Travis Armstrong and his sharp-tongued departed nearly a full-year ago. While I seldom agree with the paper's two resident "guest opinion" authors, Terry Tyler and Lanny Ebenstein, at least they're not mean-spirited.

Although some people complain that they are tired of reading about the News-Press, the fact of the matter is that a good juicy News-Press related post still draws a lot of eyeballs. In fact, the all-time best-read post on my blog is my account of News-Press owner Wendy McCaw on the witness stand at the NLRB trial in the summer of 2007. It attracted nearly 3,000 unique visitors.

In the non-News-Press realm among my more better-read posts was last year's account of my confrontation will a rude cell phone user.

The blog hasn't made me any money but it has sure made me rich. Rich with great experiences like getting to interview former vice-president Al Gore at the 2007 Santa Barbara Film Festival. Earlier that same week I had my bow tie straightened by Jennifer Hudson, who would go on to win an Oscar. And then there was standing on the stage at the Arlington Theater where I would have the honor of introducing the former journalists of the News-Press at the premiere showing of Citizen McCaw.

Rubbing elbows with well-known celebrities has been a thrill but the biggest reward for writing this blog has come from strangers. As when someone I don't know approaches me on the street and asks, "Are you Craig Smith?" to which I answer,"yes," and then have them say,"I read your stuff all the time." 

Well, that's the biggest thrill and the richest reward of all.

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