Bloggety Blah Blah Blah — January 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Eclectablog: Looking back (with thanks) and looking forward (with excitement)


As we move into the new year, I want to take a moment to thank the many folks who have supported Eclectablog over the past year and to give you a look at what’s on the horizon for this blog and my writing, in general.

First, I must first begin with thanking my beautiful life partner and wife, Anne C. Savage (pictured there on the left). When people talk about “living the dream”, they are talking about my life with Anne. She is beautiful, smart, funny as shit and talented as all get out. If you haven’t seen her photography, stop reading right now and go have a look. I’d walk away from everything I do if I had to in order to keep her but, because we are such a perfect match, I don’t need to and she, in fact, encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. I am crazy silly in love with her and count myself as the luckiest person I know to have her has my partner. That’s not hyperbole.

Moving on, I’d also like to thank the various places that serve as outlets for my writing.

Christine Barry and Blogging for Michigan have been an important outlet for me this past year. As Michigan has been front-and-center in the national news, people turn to sites like BfM for Michigan progressive news and analysis. The stable of writers there is most-excellent and I’m proud to be among them. I’ll have more to say about collaborations with BfM shortly.

I must also give my profound thanks to Markos Moulitsas and the Daily Kos website. To the extent that I am known nationally, it is because Daily Kos gave me a national voice and for that I am very appreciative.

Many thanks, also, to Pat Lesko at A2Politico. Pat has a vision for a credible online news site with content provided by paid citizen journalists. She’s put together a great team and I’m happy to be a part of it. The coming year will be an interesting one for A2P, for sure.

I am also extremely honored and thrilled to be part of Team Fuck Yeah at Angry Black Lady Chronicles. The list of writers there is one to watch: Allan Brauer (@allanbrauer), Minna Hong (@asiangrrlmn), Bon the Geek (@bonthegeek), Emily L. Hauser (@emilyhauser), Extreme Liberal (@extremeliberal), Ian Boudreau (@iboudreau), Nicholas Wilbur (@muddypolitics), Roadkillrefugee (@rkref), and Zandar (@ZandarVTS). These are some amazing writers. They are funny, smart, and they don’t suffer fools lightly. I keep waiting for someone there to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to leave (“Sir, I’m afraid there’s been some mistake…”) The Angry Black Lady herself, Imani Gandy (@angryblacklady), is an inspiration and keeps us all in stitches at the same time.

Thanks, also to Spandan Chakrabarti (aka Deaniac83) at The People’s View. I have a great fondness for TPV’s readers and their dedication to our president and cherish the friendships I have developed there.

Now a few shout outs to my Twitter pals. These aren’t in any particular order and please don’t be offended if you aren’t mentioned. I just wanted to thank the folks who have spent a lot of time helping me out by retweeting my stuff, often to critical media players, and working to get our message out to a larger audience. Lynn/@wavingcrosser has been one of my most ardent supporters and for her, I am most appreciative. Rock/@tigerfists88 retweets pretty much every one of my tweets to his tens of thousands of followers. Dionne/@marabout40 will always be one of my favorite Obama-supporting pals (and so cute!) Then there is Jennifer/@daroswene, Cecil B. Demented/@cb_demented (with whom I go WAY back), David/@dprindle, Becky/@beckybakeroo, Andy Kroll/@andrewkroll (journalist at Mother Jones), Brit (keeper of the @AnnArborEA twitter feed, president of the Ann Arbor Education Association, and good, good friend), Pete Nicely (aka LOLGOP) (@LOLGOP) – the funniest guy on the Twitterz, and, finally Pamela/@p_o_e. Pamela has been a real pal for me both online and in real life and I was thrilled to meet her and her sister Terree, another very good friend and big Eclectablog booster, at Netroots Nation last year.

Finally, a couple of major thank yous to some media folks that have promoted my work along the way. First, Laura Conaway, a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show and blogger at The Maddow Blog has been unbelievably generous and helpful this past year. If my endless blogging about Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law was largely responsible for it getting national attention, it was Laura’s promotion of my work that got it on a LOT of folks’ radar screens. I owe her a very big debt of gratitude for that. And, of course, a heartfelt thanks to Rachel Maddow herself for her promotion of Eclectablog. I firmly believe that Rachel Maddow is the best political pundit out there so to be recognized and promoted by her is an honor, to be sure.

I’d also like to thank Jonathon Mahler of the New York Times Magazine. His allowing me to write what was basically a guest blog entry on The 6th Floor Blog was a great opportunity and I am thankful for his promotion of my work.

After the jump, a look ahead.

As I have written about before, Christine Barry from BfM and I will be participating in a segment on First Shift with Tony Trupiano on Monday mornings. Titled “Blog Role”, it will be a run-down on what’s happening in the Michigan progressive blogosphere: who is talking about what, what issues are on the radar screens of Michigan bloggers and what is coming down the pike.

From Christine’s post at BfM:

If you’re looking for some great Michigan progressive talk, check out Tony Trupiano’s show. First Shift with Tony Trupiano airs 6a-9a, Mon-Fri, on 1310am. You can stream it through the heart network, or download the podcasts.

BFM and Chris aka Eclectablog will be on First Shift at 8:35 a.m. Monday mornings. We’ll be doing a progressivesphere round-up to bring attention to the issues being covered by Michigan bloggers. Very cool stuff. […]

Very cool stuff comic up in 2012. Big BFM thanks to Tony Trupiano for bringing the blogosphere to his show!!

In addition to this, Christine and I will soon be doing a weekly podcast about Michigan politics. Local and state level politics as well as national politics that affect our state are all fair game as we blah blah blah our way onto the internetz. We hope to have some big-named guests to help us, as well. More news on that exciting project once we get it off the ground.

I am also pleased to announce that The Nation magazine has accepted a pitch from me to write a piece about Michigan’s Emergency Manager law. It will be a fairly short, 1200-word piece but it is great to see this issue getting widespread national coverage and I’m thrilled to be able to participate in that.

Finally, as I mentioned before, I have removed all third-party ads from the site. It helps the site load faster and it should end any antivirus warnings you may have gotten from time to time. The fact is, third-party ads are almost entirely useless. Unless you are getting huge amounts of traffic, it’s simply not a viable way to monetize a blog. I am trying a new model which involves two components. The first is a quarterly, week-long fundraising drive. Once each quarter, I will beg you for donations one time a day for a week. If you value what I do here and if Eclectablog is an important part of your internet experience, please consider making a donation. I get about 4,000-5,000 unique visitors here a week at the moment. If a decent segment of those visitors donated $10, $25, $50 or more, it would help out tremendously. The first fundraising drive will begin in a couple of weeks.

The second part of the model involves soliciting ads directly. You may have noticed the We Are the People and Dan Del Zoppo ads now appearing on my site. These ads are examples of this. The Dan Del Zoppo ad was actually a gift from Dan’s son David. For as little as $50, you can run an ad on Eclectablog for a month. Hey, union folks! I’m looking at YOU!

Also, if you are considering making a donation at that level, turn it into an ad instead! Plug your business, your favorite candidate or charity. Maybe you have a favorite website. Maybe it’s just a favorite quote. Advertising here is a very inexpensive and is a great way to reach like-minded progressives, particularly in Michigan. My readership continues to grow and that means your message will be seen by increasing numbers of people.

In closing, thanks mostly to YOU, my readers. I am pretty convinced that I have the best, most attractive, smartest readers of any blog around. The comments I get are often better-written than the blog itself and you all make me think on a regular basis. If you enjoy Eclectablog, I encourage you to (a) sign up for the mailing list in the left column, (b) suggest it to your friends, (c) follow me on Twitter, and (d) “Like” my Facebook page. The more folks we have reading it, the more successful we’ll be getting out the progressive word in Michigan.

Thanks for reading and have a very Happy New Year. I have good feelings about 2012 and I hope you do, too!

– Chris