Blackfive is one year old today!!! It's been a great year. I've been able to meet some great bloggers, make new friends, and put the spotlight on some of the best people this country has to offer.
My wife still wants to know when I'll make money at blogging. I think that, if that would happen, I would have to change how my "voice" is delivered. When you are paid to do something, then it becomes work. This is more like a mission for me. Maybe it will change, but right now it's both fun and satisfying. John Hawkins thinks blogging will only get bigger, better, and more lucrative, and it would be very cool if he is right.
First, I need to say thanks to a few people:
To Frank J. - Thanks for being the first to link to Blackfive! IMAO was the first blog that I read every day. I would write something funny here but that's your gig, Frank. And don't try to hug me...
To Bill Whittle - Thank you for your wonderful essays. I'll never forget the day a friend of mine said, "Have you read History at EjectEjectEject?". I remember reading the comments and thinking that I've just stumbled across some of the smartest people in the universe (G.H.S. is one of them). Inspiration for a lot of content here is from you.
To Glenn Reynolds - Thanks for all of the support of MilBlogs and Blackfive. I think that, everytime Blackfive is linked on Instapundit and the Instalanche is over, I net about 50 new readers that come back every day. More people to meet Someone They Should Know...
To Greyhawk - Thanks for starting MilBlogs. This blog would NEVER have gotten very far without the Air-Ground-Naval support of the Military Bloggers.
To Hugh Hewitt - Thank you for mentioning Blackfive and MilBlogs so often as the place to go to get real information about the military fighting the War on Terror.
Total Number of Posts: 1,010
Total Number of Comments: 5,959
First Week: 150
First Month: 1,200 (avg. 40/day)
First Six Months Total Visits: 112,000 (avg. 600/day)
Last Six Months Total Visits: 516,000 (avg. 2,800/day)
Total unique site visits: 628,000
Ecosystem Ranking as of August 2003: Marauding Marsupial (#740 by links)
Ecosystem Ranking as of December, 2003: Playful Primate (#99 by links)
Ecosystem Ranking: Mortal Human (#22 by links, #42 by traffic)
Blogger Most Missed: Darren Kaplan (very smart guy) who may or may not be really coming back to the 'sphere.
Best Original Blackfive Posts
Blackfive's Encounter With a French General
The Warrior Caste
Me and My Muslim
Major Mathew Schram's Memorial Day
T-Minus One Hour
Racism Sucks - Especially When You Are Drinking
Goodbye Howard Dean
Best Spotlight Posts (Good For The American Spirit)
Taking Chance Home
Saving Specialist Gray
Email From Participant at President Bush's Thanksgiving
I've Got A Blog And I Know How To Use It!
Finally, I never thought that a few thousand people would visit this site every day. I figured that 150 was good enough to keep going. I never thought that I would spend hours on email every week. What's next?
Who the hell knows? What I do know is that I'll continue to focus on the great Americans that are defending our nation (and the world - you hear that, France?). Of course, I'll throw in more stuff about scotch and Guinness, too.
I hope to do more work for Spirit of America - maybe locally, and I hope to bring more attention to the good people in our military - maybe through broadcast and periodical media. I might organize a Chicago Blog-Fest for sometime in the Fall (I would say Blog-Meet but there'll definitely be a pub-crawl in there so maybe Fest is a better word). I'm not running for office, and I'm not writing a book. I've been accused of both goals on this blog.
So, I hope to have you around for another year. One thing that you can count on is that our military men and women (and their wonderful families) will provide some inspiring stories to share....
Thanks for visiting Blackfive. Remember - if you can't pick up a rifle to defend America, then do something.