You know, today marks the one-year anniversary of River Ave. Blues. Well, technically it was yesterday. But we’ll just pretend that February 29th already happened and call it even, okay?
Back then, on February 20, 2007, this wasn’t quite the place to be. It was Ben, Mike, me, and a dozen or so readers from our previous endeavors. And I’ll admit, it was a little frustrating at first, seeing that no one was reading. We had all been fairly visible just a few days earlier. But we traded it all in for this.
So, as the venture capitalist who was promised the world but isn’t seeing a quick return on his heavy investment, I started to sweat a little. Yes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all those other clichés about patience and hard work. But I’d been patient, and I’d worked hard. I started doing this in mid-2005, thrilled that I got 30 people a day to read me. Mike entered the game first thing in 2006, and I’m sure he had the same rush. Ben’s been doing this longer than both of us.
Slowly, the audience started building. We were getting six, seven comments on posts. People were engaging each other with well thought-out ideas. I started to get that excited feeling again. We were talking, and not only were people listening, they were interacting. Hell, I can’t tell you how many times I took an idea from the comments and developed it into a full post. And because of this interaction and give and take, we continued to grow.
I don’t want to launch into some braggardly rundown of our traffic numbers — they’re freely available at the bottom of the right sidebar, if you’re so inclined — but suffice it to say that we have more readers that I could ever have fathomed. Some participate, some just read. (Some click our ads, which is always appreciated). But whatever it is that the readers are doing, they’re blowing my mind. Why?
Because you don’t have to read this.
This isn’t the old guard, where your choice is just among the writers in the daily papers. You can choose from dozens of outlets for your news and insights. Just check out all of the Yanks blogs listed at striketwo.net. And that’s not even all of them. I’ll go out on a limb and say you can get a reasonable level of coverage from at least 10 different Yankees blogs. Yet, for some reason, you come back here. And I can’t begin to tell you how cool a feeling that is.
Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do it the other way. Throughout college, I thought I wanted to be a sports journalist. What better profession could there be, I thought. You get to watch and write about sports.
Ah, to be young and naive again. Little did I realize at the time what being a beat reporter meant. Why would I want to hang around a bunch of people who clearly didn’t want me there? It was around the time I started asking that question that I started to think that there could be another way.
Of course, I had missed the boat by a few years. Things had been moving another way. Baseball blogs were a trend long before I jumped into the game. I’m just glad I realized the potential of this platform, and didn’t try to shun it as so many in the mainstream media have.
So we are here today to celebrate a year of working with you guys to create this community that I think is the best Yankees-related one on the web. We are here to celebrate open discourse and the exchange of ideas. Yes, we take stands on certain issues, but we’re always open to an debate — just as long as you’ve got your argument straight. Anyone who’s gotten into it in the comments can tell you, it can be a hell of a lot of fun.
We’re here today to celebrate many things. But most of all, we are here to celebrate our independence.