Monday, August 4, 2008

Milestones

Today marks both the fourth blogiversary here at The Political Game as well as the 1,000th post. That's right, four years ago today this blog was created with one simple post that would spawn nine hundred and ninety-nine more.

With all the talk about blogs and bloggers of late, I feel today's milestone is one worth noting.

When I joined the Idaho blogosphere in the summer of 2004, I was the youngest, most politically inexperienced of the Idaho bloggers. Just barely nineteen, I sought a platform where I could both write about the things I'm passionate about and a place where I could urge discussion of political issues that matter most to me and many Idahoans. At the time I was reading DailyKos, Red State Rebels, and Idahoans for Dean with some regularity, but all of those places seemed to be looking at national-level politics, small-d democracy, and issues that didn't really apply to me, a young college student. It was a friend, Nick Speth, who at the time was running Nick's Daily News, that really encouraged me to become a blogger. If for no other reason than to combat Nick's conservatism, I dove head first into the blogosphere.

In time, I have gained my own credibility. Some of my proudest moments as a blogger have come when my voice has led the way to exposing hypocrisy and hate at all levels. Treating Addiction, Racism on the Airwaves, and The Senior Senator From Idaho have all marked more recent issues that I, and my fellow Idaho progressive bloggers, have posted about numerous times. I don't think I've ever scooped the mainstream media, but I certainly feel I've been close a few times (think The Kempthorne Strong Hold and Cooper Endorses Jim Hansen). And there have been happenings I covered that nobody else did--the building of Bright Tomorrows (here, here and here, with a complete listing here) and most, if not all, Kennedy-related happenings.

My place in the blogosphere seems to be as the go-to for Idaho political history. I keep up with new music releases and baseball news. I am one of few political bloggers based out of Idaho State University and one of the only bloggers keeping up with news out of the Mini-Cassia area. Presumably, I have a unique perspective when it comes to higher education issues. This as a direct result of my status as a college student, me paying my way through school, and my desire to one day be employed in academia. As the youngest member (still) of the Idaho progressive blogosphere, I don't bring as much to the table as other bloggers, but I hope I do and will continue to bring a voice to the table that promotes discussion.

In four years I have made friends via this blog that I will forever be thankful for. I have stayed in touch with friends all over the country from Utah to Arkansas to Texas and Ohio because of this blog. In four years my readership has expanded to include not only my friends and fellow bloggers, but state leaders, former professors, journalists, and even my younger brother. In four years I've become closer to a few of my fellow bloggers than I am with some of my own family. This was no more apparent to me than yesterday when in a room with three of my siblings I couldn't remember the last time I was with more than two of my siblings at a time. In four years I've come to know intimately the truth that what I say matters.

Whatever this blog is for those who read it regularly, that cannot compare to what it means to me. For me this is a place to go when I need a place to write out my thoughts on the issues that impact me most. For me this is a place where the random commentary I accumulate throughout the week can appear in smorgasbord format. For me this is where music videos and lyrics can be shared with a wider audience, if not to promote particular artists, to release the song from my head where songs inevitably get stuck. In four years this blog has become my salvation in dark hours, questioning moments, and on the most sleepless of nights.

These four years and one thousand posts would not have happened without the subtle urging of Nick Speth, the guidance of the original red state rebel Julie Fanselow, the editorial wisdom and motherly doting of Jill Kuraitis, occasional a/v assistance from the guys at 43rd State Blues (not to mention the friendship and brilliance of d2, Serephin, and Sisyphus), and the sounding board offered to me by the Mountain Goat. For all the conversing we do via the blogs and email, I remember exactly where I was and under what circumstances I met each of these people for the first time. Meeting all of my fellow bloggers has been a milestone in itself. When we all get together it is like a big family reunion, minus the awkwardness and with some heated debate.

Four years and one thousand posts later, I am still the naive, politically inexperienced blogger I was when I created this site as a nineteen year old. In the past four years I've been elected to and served a moderately successful term on the ISU Student Senate; I have had a front seat to party politics on a local and state level; I've undertaken one of the biggest and most amazing projects of my life--the complete processing of the Richard H. Stallings Papers at Idaho State University; I've attained my bachelor's degree in History; and, I have become semi-confident in my writing abilities. All of this while constantly reminding myself that I need to post about this or talk to a blogger about that. This blog has become a constant in my life.

Thank you all for coming along on this ride and may the next four years and one thousand posts be as eventful and rewarding!

8 comments :

Julie Fanselow said...

Congrats, Tara, and keep up the good work.

"In four years I've come to know intimately the truth that what I say matters."

That goes for you and for anyone else out there who knows he or she has a voice to counter what passes for conventional wisdom. ALL of our voices matter, whether expressed on a blog, in a letter to the editor, or even just to a neighbor, co-worker, or family member with whom you might disagree.

I hope your blog, and mine, and those of our colleagues, will continue to give courage to those in Idaho and beyond who feel unheard, unwelcome, or unimportant.

Adam said...

T-Rowe, happy blog b-day. Good to see you this weekend gotta go that again soon. hope your feeling better. talk to you soon.

Bubblehead said...

Happy Blogiversary, Tara! While we haven't always seen eye to eye, I've always enjoyed your well-written and informative posts. You've accomplished a lot in 4 years; I've been blogging about the same time, and I've probably regressed as a person. Ah, to be young again...

Adam said...

T-Rowe one more thing, if you want I could sing the "Bicycle Race" to you again if it wuld make you feel better about this crappy summer. Sounds like youve gotcha some admirers in the blog world. Good work!! :-)

Sisyphus said...

Ain't you sweet.

Hey are back issues contagious? Got my unremarkable x-rays yesterday. Headed to the specialist today. I blame you.

Sage Word said...

Mad props for your Anniversary. Linen or silk, the wiki sayeth. Um... Can we get by temporarily with "Sass that hoopy TR, that frood really knows where her towel is at" and I'll buy you a dishtowel soon?

Thanks for being there. The Cubbie in me rails against your Bravian ways (not this year... we-sa winnin!). I always learn from your historical blogging, and your willingness to stand up frankly to the nitwits in our dear Magic Valley deserves an award by itself, whether it is calling Darrington to task or mocking whatever that freak on KBAR's name.

I learned about Bright Tomorrows from your blog (and appreciated your photoblogs, since I played kick the can among those trees and buildings and flagpole). Was tickled when you passed biology. Worry like hell when anyone tells me you're sick. Enjoy visiting when we get into the same neighborhoods, or roadtrippin' from Bwah. And that doesn't even get into my respect for your help back before you blogged.

Just remember, S & I are always gonna be a year older. Especially if that sort of competitiveness keeps you energized to keep up the good fight.

alan said...

4 years and a thousand posts; a notable achievement. Nice work. I started blogging in 2004 when I was mobilized. After I returned, yours was the first Idaho political blog I came across and it got me started in the Idaho political blogosphere. So thanks, congratulations, and keep up the good work.

Nick Speth said...

FORMER conservatism. What's up. Keep writing. You rock.

BTW I made the move to teaching in Baton Rouge LA. Cool right?