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TAS is 3 years old

September 5, 2012

It’s been three years since I posted my first post on this Little Blog That Sometimes Can.

It’s been long enough that I barely remember why I started the blog (I wanted to write about hockey and not have message board misogynists laugh at me or call my views on hockey “cute”), or how the readership went from just me to all of you (the Barilkosphere-that’s still a thing, right?-had a lot to do with it), or how it turned into a ‘life stuff’ blog as well (I write my feelings so I won’t eat my feelings) or what I’m still doing here (I ask myself this a lot these days).

The hockey internet is completely different place from when I first started posting recycled Mike Milbury jokes. There’s a lot more good shit out there, for starters. So much more knowledge, insight, and analysis, from so many more angles. We’re pretty spoiled for hockey talk, now, and sometimes you can get lost in it all. Our standards for hockey writing are exponentially higher than they were just a couple of years ago.

It’s enough to make me consider shutting The Active Stick down at least once a day. Ask the long-suffering Cam Charron, I whine to him about it all the time. If you measure success in terms of page views and other numbers, this blog is an abject failure. The really popular posts will get a couple thousand reads, but most of the posts barely break 150, 200, if I’m lucky.  I’ve been on Twitter for three years and have yet to reach 2K followers, while most hockey bloggers managed that and double in a matter of months. Most of the time I feel like I’m posting or tweeting out into the ether, largely ignored. Cam always tells me to just keep writing, and to write more, and that numbers don’t matter (coming from a stats guy, that’s kind of hilariously awesome).

But you know me.

In any case, the wonderful Greg Wyshynski posted a link to this essay by golf writer Ryan Ballengee on  on the Twitters recently.  Wysh called it an “interesting Jerry McGuire moment for sports blogging.” For me it was a good lesson. From that post:

I want to tell stories. I want to talk about things that matter. I want to love my subject matter and convey that passion to the reader. I want to share the things no one else could learn with a refined Google search or a rudimentary Twitter session.

I guess if you look at it that way, I want that too. I want to write about things that matter, or things I care about, or things other people care about, and I want to write like I mean it. It is incredibly, incredibly hard for a girl like me to let go of the idea of success being measured in terms of reads and followers and responses and instead think of success in terms of whether I wrote something that mattered to me and whether I wrote it the best way I could. So maybe I won’t shut down the blog and try a little harder to stick to posts I can be proud of.

 I looked up the TAS stats for the past year. Hilariously, the posts that got the most hits this year were the ones I felt the most strongly about. Which either proves the point I’m making or proves that I’m wrong about everything. Here are the top 5 (in descending order of hits):

  • My rant on the ‘Sedin sisters’ joke. This was the most-read, most-shared, most-whatevered post I have ever posted, not just this year. It got a lot of support, but a lot of people said a lot of horrible things to and about me everywhere in the blogosphere for it. I’m most proud of the fact that instead of getting upset, I understood why they said those things and then decided those people weren’t worth my pity.
  • Ten people to follow instead of that fake insider dude. If you’re new to Twitter and like hockey, this is a list of people you should consider following.
  • The 2012 Playoff Bandwagon Guide.
  • My rant/essay on depression. This was a very awkwardly written post about something I wasn’t ready to talk about at the time that I posted it. It wasn’t my best writing and it was written in anger. I’m still not ready to talk about it. But I’m glad it’s there because now many of you know one more person that’s been through what you’ve been through.
  • My longass post about stats geeks and non-stats folks getting along. I actually like this one the best from this year. Sadly people listened for about five minutes and now we’re all back where we started.

However, if you’re going to read one thing and one thing only from The Active Stick, I would say, read this post. It’s not from this year. It was written shortly after a former co-worker of mine passed away. It might not be my best work, in fact, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. But today, for reasons most of you can guess, it’s the one that means the most to me. So if you have the time, give it a read.

Huge thanks to the degenerates at Pension Plan Puppets, Puck Daddy, Sean Fitzgerald, Sarah Connors, Andrew Berkshire, Kyle Roussel, Stephen Whyno, Down Goes Brown and especially Cam Charron for support, encouragement, advice, links, retweets etc. Thank you to everyone who’s shared something I’ve written, and most of all, thank you all for reading.

I think I’ll stick around, if that’s okay with you guys. 

 

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2012 11:16 am

    I saw this cupcake and then everything just went kind of blank….

    I read somewhere that a writer writes not because he/she wants to but because she has to. Page views are nice, but well-read and good are not always the same thing. Contribute to the discussion and it will be found eventually.

    At least, this is what I tell myself on days when 90% of my hits are clearly search-engine bots. :)

    And congrats on 3 years!

    Now I’m off in search of a cupcake.

    • September 5, 2012 11:42 am

      Not really all that easy to find cupcakes, but sprinkle doughnuts are an acceptable substitute.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      September 5, 2012 11:46 am

      First I made you want a cupcake but then you made me want one and now we’re both going to eat doughnuts.

      • September 5, 2012 11:52 am

        I think that sounds quite reasonable. Other than the fact I already ate mine. I’m not adverse to a second one….

        • September 5, 2012 11:58 am

          “aDverse????”

          Second doughnut is clearly not an option. It’s a requirement.

  2. September 5, 2012 11:34 am

    Happy anniversary, lady! I will be sticking around for as long as you want to be here, and definitely like I am a more inspired/educated/excited fan of the sport for reading. So thank you <3

    • theactivestick permalink*
      September 5, 2012 11:46 am

      Thanks, E!

  3. September 5, 2012 12:11 pm

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    Take it from someone whose old site’s page views could be counted by taking her shoes off – write as long as it’s fun, as long as it’s meaningful to you and as long as you have something to say. You have a wonderful, unique voice and there will always be someone out there who wants to hear it.

    Oh, and ignore the assholes. Because for some reason they come free with purchase on this interweb thing.

    Here’s to many more years of TAS, and if you ever need a couch on which to crash in DC (hint, hint) you know where to look :D

  4. September 5, 2012 4:38 pm

    “So maybe I won’t shut down the blog and try a little harder to stick to posts I can be proud of.”
    /breathes out sigh of relief
    Also, what ^ Becca said.

  5. September 5, 2012 10:42 pm

    Congrats! I’ve found myself blogging just because. I started out with hockey and combined it with some of my other interests whenever the moment hits. My biggest problem is that sometimes my muse or whatever goes on lengthy vacations that usually coincide with high levels of paying work. Oh well. I think as long as you enjoy writing, you should write. Because its something you enjoy. Cheers.

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