Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Moi

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.


vicki said...

Happy Anniversary Joanne! You are one of "5 favourites" so I have been watching this journey of yours...and it sounds like we both got hooked on blogs at the same time last year!
Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

sydney said...

Happy Anniversary Joanne!

Looking back over the past year your blog has certainly captivated the history of our great nation. The various responses and follow-up posts from everybody has certainly provided great insight and is a real eye opener to those narrow-minded people.

I know that I have learned a lot by reading your blog and I would like to thank you for putting together the perfect blend of politics and as you say "dash of real life". You certainly keep it enjoyable and interesting.

I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2007! Happy New Year!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for helping me celebrate, Vicki & Sydney! All the best to both of you in 2007. ;)

Zac said...

All that and you forgot you mention our occasional dust-ups. Sheesh. What am I? Chopped liver?

I return to my cave now, insulted and feeling rather rejected.

In all seriousness, cograts on your milestone. While I rarely do agree with you, it has been fun debating and arguing with you and your posse. All the best.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Awww, Zac, I'm sorry. See, you were included in this phrase and so many wonderful others!

Emphasis on wonderful!! I think you are my best sparring partner, Zac. It's always a good debate and usually respectful on both sides, although we both do tend to get a bit stirred up at times. ;)

There are so many who contribute to this forum... Gabby, Mac, Brian from Hespeler, Dark Blue Tory, Liberal Supporter, Riley, PGP, RGM, Soccermom, Omar, Dr. Roy, Swift, Suzanne, Kunoichi, Kelly, Steph, Mary, Gerry, Debi and so many countless others. Thank you for your participation and support.

You guys have all been great.

Red Tory said...

I’ve always wondered about your “journey”... these treks usually start with a point of origin and a destination of some sort. So what is your ultimate destination?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So what is your ultimate destination?

Seeing the day that Stephen Harper and George Bush team up to establish a joint dictatorship in Canada.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Serious answer to Red's question:

So what is your ultimate destination?

Who knows? That's the beauty of it. I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!! I'm still in the first year of my official blog! You've had a quite an eventful year! Keep up the great work!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Spitfire! There's another one I forgot to add to my list of faithful contributors. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad you're keeping up with yours as well. All the best in 2007!

Steph said...

Happy anniversary! At this point I really don't know where I'd be without your blog. Believe it or not, it is my main source of what's important that is going on in the country and lets me know what I should be up in arms about. My least favourite times are the times where you take a break from blogging but hey, I guess everyone needs a vacation now and then.

Keep it up!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Glad to be providing a useful service, Steph. And trust me, at this point you couldn't shut me up! Maybe someday when I've vented all there is to complain about...


Jim said...

Congratulations Honey, on your 1-Year Anniversary!! I truly believe that your efforts in this forum, as well as your thoughtful Letters-to-Editor, have contributed to making this Great Country of ours a better place.

I know I've been a 'lazy lurker' with regards to your blog, but what the heck, when we are pretty much always of one mind, when it comes to important issues that matter, what more could I say? :-)

Anyway, here's hoping you continue with your blog, and keep those MSM types accountable for what they spew day in and day out. Go get 'em!

vicki said...

Joanne! jim sounds like THE "#1" fan! He's a keeper!
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Love / Hate Meter???
I'm surprised Jo I thought you were all about the love! ;)

Anyway congrats on a year and I hope you continue to enjoy what you do.

BTW - Garth......I think he's only registering on the irrelevance - o'meter!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Vicki, he's a "keeper" alright! ;)

PGP - I think he's only registering on the irrelevance - o'meter! And when Garth is sensing that he is approaching that point, he quickly pulls the next rabbit out of his hat. Didn't he win some kind of award recently though? Most important MP or some crazy thing like that?

Maybe it was just a nightmare. I think Garth has a good heart though.

Soccermom said...

Congrats, Joanne TB! Your blog was declared a must-read for me the first day I checked it out! We see eye-to-eye on most issues, and I enjoy the respectful banter that happens here. You can't say that about a lot of blogs.

A Very Happy 2007 to you, Joanne! And keep up the good work! I will continue visiting.

liberal supporter said...

Happy Anniversary Joanne! I think I first commented here in April. You've outlasted the average statistic, I read the average blog goes inactive after 6 months. Interesting stuff, about your earlier letter writing and blog commenting activity.

Stay with it, take breaks when you need it and I look forward to future jousts with you and the crew here in 2007.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're still blogging, Jo... and thanks for the mention.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Stay with it, take breaks when you need it and I look forward to future jousts with you and the crew here in 2007.

Thanks, L.S. Interesting stats about blog duration.

You and Mac both have been an important part of this meeting place. We have all had our disagreements, but for the most part it has been respectful and in good taste.

To be able to debate and have intelligent discussions without degenerating into a name-calling slugfest is the ultimate goal here. Some of us have risen to the challenge; others have not. You guys are good models for the former. Thanks for your encouragement and for keeping me balanced.

kelly said...

One year already! Wow! Congrats Joanne. I've enjoyed reading your 10 Life Lessons From Blogging in the magazine! Way to go!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Kel! I should probably reprint that article sometime for the benefit of my readers.

Gabby in QC said...

Belated Happy Anniversary, Joanne!

Yours is a comfortable stop among the myriad choices available.

I once likened your blog to a casual dinner party, where guests feel at home, able to discuss difficult issues amicably.

You always try to make your guests feel welcome by addressing a personal remark to them, even the ones who misbehave, whom you always treat with good humour.

Congratulations and continued success in 2007.

Brian said...

I'm late to the party, sorry Joanne

Congratulations on a great year.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Brian. Your blog was one of the ones that caught my interest right from the start. I loved that toy gun spoof you did last year!