Today is the One-Year Anniversary of Joanne's Journey. I am trying to remember what drove me to begin this journal, but there are a few clues in my early entries.
First was my frustration with the previous government. I needed a place to vent and MSM had a limit as to how many of my angry letters-to-the-editor that they were willing to publish (the previous year I had managed to have about 35 published in various newspapers including the Post, Globe, Sun, Star and others).
Also, we were gearing up for the final leg of the election race. CTV had a terrific political blog going and I was a prolific contributor. I believe it was David Akin who casually suggested that I start my own blog; perhaps as a way to get a break from his Blackberry going off every time a comment had to be approved.
All this plus my son's encouragement and assistance gave birth to this journey. I haven't regretted a moment. Along the way I've met some interesting folks and had some lively and informative debates. I've learned a lot and I hope that I've provided a useful forum for others to express their thoughts and frustrations.
And since this is a mélange of Canadian politics seasoned with a dash of real life, I have occasionally included some of my own musings on life in the moment.
Sometimes the two worlds mesh.
As my technical savvy increased, I learned to link to some of my favourite blogs, including Platty, Sara, Molar, Chuck and so many wonderful others. At this time I changed my signature to "Joanne TB" to differentiate myself from the "Liberal" Joanne, thus proving that I did not have a split personality.
March provided a few memorable highlights - notably a dispute with Garth Turner that culminated in a phone conversation where he won me over (for the moment). I'm still not sure exactly where he stands on my love-hate meter right now.
However, the most significant milestone was my Innocence Lost story where I became so enraged with MSM bias and lack of accountability that I actually contacted the reporter who had covered the infamous YWCA daycare report. The telephone interview only fueled my distrust of MSM, leaving me even more jaded and cynical.
On the plus side, that post did attract Stephen Taylor's attention. I was invited to join the Blogging Tories, which has been great fun and increased my readership substantially.
In April of this past year I signed onto Sitemeter. Since then this blog has been hit over 47,000 times with over 86,000 page views, with more than 300 posts and over 6,000 comments since March. (Some of those comments were even from people other than myself!)
In May I took a brief time-off and wandered the web for a while. I met Red Tory during a heated discussion about abortion at Calgary Grit, and stupidly invited him back to my blog to continue the debate. Life has never been the same since.
My little blog really came of age in June, when I had to learn how to deal with trolls. (This is indeed a sign that you've hit the big-time in the blogging world.)
In August I discovered some fellow MSM watchdogs, Canada Free Press and CBC Watch. (Memo to CFP: Lose the pop-up ads pul-eeze! They are so annoying!!!)
Then I started joining in various blogbursts, some of which began to take on a life of their own.
October saw another huge blogburst calling for an end to the Court Challenges Program.
In November Joanne's Journey had the dubious honour of being mocked by Bill Doskoch on his CTV political blog - another baby step on my journey to the Bloggers' Hall of Fame.
If you're still reading this sad piece of self-indulgent navel-gazing, you are either a true and loyal reader or else you just don't have a life. In either case, thank you so much for accompanying me on my journey. It would have been lonely without you.