According to the statistics on my blog, this is my 1,000th published post.
That’s a lot of blog posts.
No matter how much ones blogs, that’s one significant milestone. I realize that people will get to this milestone a lot quicker than I did (some blogs do many posts in a single day, so it’s quicker that way!), but I’m still pretty stoked. I have had a few guest posts along the way, but each of them have to be edited, formatted and placed in the spot by me, so they obviously count!
This blog has had several stops before settling in here. The posts have always followed me, however, so I have a strong history of what I’ve done. From a blog on my former message board, to blogger to here, it’s grown in many ways.
I’ve had lulls where posts were few and far between. And I’ve gone times where I’m posting daily or more. But the past year has been the best with my blogging because writing is fun again. Despite my situation in the work world, I’ve realize the joy of putting words together and having them make sense again.
And not just talking about Johnny hitting a three-point basket to win a game.
It’s oh so joyful!
Sprinkled throughout this post on the right side will be a few graphics I created with some interesting statistics and numbers. Enjoy those!
Allow me to first give you the history of HooHaa.
Though the “word” or “words” of HooHaa have been used in movies and other places, my use of it stems from softball. When I was a wee bit younger, some of the local players used to give a “HooHaa” during the games. It was catchy. I liked it.
As I started to get bigger in softball, I also used it. And it became a rally cry for us and, actually, we used it as a name for our team at tournaments. The HooHaa’s never won a tournament, but we did place fourth at one with some really big-time teams, so that was nice.
It grew from there.
I even, at one point, had vanity plates that said “HooHaa.” No kidding.
So when I first wanted a website, I purchased the domain hoohaa.com. That was in July 1998. I’ve owned that ever since (and if you go to that domain now, it will direct you to this site).
The HooHaa family of websites was born.
At that point, however, I had never thought about blogging. Heck, I probably had no clue what blogging was. It’s a shame, too, because a year later, I returned to college and I have a feeling it would have been an awesome time to be blogging!
I honestly don’t know what originally got me into wanting to blog. Maybe it was the freedom. Maybe it was the ease of things. I don’t know. But I started one. And I didn’t expect much. I just wanted to have a blog.
I wasn’t quite the blogger yet, however.
Check out my first post by clicking here.
Stellar stuff, right?
That’s kind of like looking back to the first article I had published in a newspaper when I was in seventh or eighth grade. Awful!
My blogging in the early days was awful. I wasn’t afraid to cuss a little here and there (not that I’m afraid now, but it just doesn’t fit with what I like to do) and I just rambled on about silly things.
I was still trying to find my way in the blogging world, you see.
Eventually, I moved to blogger. That was June 2006, a year later. There, the blog started to take a little better shape. It was named “P.J.’s HooHaa,” so it’s getting closer to the eventual name of this blog. I was a little more regular there, but I was still trying to find my way in the blogging world.
That lasted until November 2006 when this version came around.
I bought this domain, figured out WordPress and the rest is history, as they say. I took the time to go back to get every post (and comment) I ever received on the other two blogs and put them on here. I wanted a permanent timeline and archive of everything I had done with this blog. I have a photo blog as well, but in regard to words, this blog has everything I’ve ever done.
And so it will be here through time.
I don’t intend on shutting this blog down. Will I continue to do this for the rest of my life? Who knows. Only time will tell. But it will always be a part of me and will remain online.
Growth of a blog
I’ve learned a lot through my years of blogging. I’ve done the silly short posts, I’ve done some in-depth posts, I’ve done series of stories and journalistic-style pieces.
And I like it that way.
Sure, I’d love for more followers. And more comments. But in the end, I enjoy writing and doing the blog, so that’s what really counts to me. It’s a place to document things in my life, as well as still have a place for me to work on other things that I enjoy writing.
The idea of this blog, when I started, was for me to write different things. Being a full-time sports writer (at the time), all I wrote was sports. I wanted to branch out. Though I still write about sports on here, it’s not in the same context as one would write for media.
This has also given me a place to be able to talk about regular things in my life. Whether battling a cold, hitting a deer with my car, going on vacation or something else, it’s an avenue where I can post things about life. I’ve covered so many topics and I’ve enjoyed each of them. Having a wide variety of topics has really helped me with the blog.
As the blog has grown — and gone through a few makeovers — I’ve gone in different directions. I’ve enjoyed each one. The most recent, of course, is the past year and change where I’ve updated a lot more regular. I’ve tried, and for the most part succeeded, in bringing something new on this blog each day. That’s a big difference from when I started in 2005 and over the first six months of having a blog only having 32 posts.
So I’ve grown as a blogger and as a blog.
I’ve never really done a lot of things with widgets and all until the past year, but I’ve added more things — such as the Twitter feed and the social networking buttons etc. One thing I’m glad I added was a counter, so I could see how many visitors I got. Now I’m sure this is just rough with numbers, but I would imagine it’s decent.
I added the stats bar sometime last February. It wasn’t the whole month though, so take a peek at last March when I got a total of 998 hits.
At that point, I was pumped.
But, I set myself a goal. I wanted to get to the point where I was averaging 2,000 hits per month. It was a slow crawl to that spot. I reached the 1,000-visit mark the next month and that held pretty steady until August, when I had 3,120 visitors.
Since that month, I haven’t been below 2,000 visitors.
And I thank all of you who have visited, even if just for a few posts that seem to grab your interest.
That’s the one issue with a potpourri blog. You’ll have the regulars who check you out, but you’ll also have people who will visit for a day or two and then come back to see something they might not be interested in and they’ll decide to move on and not return.
I just keep plugging away.
A great community
Bloggers are a great bunch of people, for the most part.
You can meet all sorts of people, too. Foodies, mommies, humorists, sports enthusiasts, outdoorsy people — there’s a wide range of people blogging. And it can be teens to 20-somethings, to 30-somethings and above. There’s no age limit for bloggers.
If there’s something you’re interested in, there’s bound to be some sort of blog on it. Who knows how regular it is, but there is likely something out there.
I love knowing that I’ve become part of that blogging community. I don’t make money on my blog (though I should probably look into some of those AdSense things people have on their sidebars, eh?) and I’ve tried to maintain it as simple as possible so I could blend in with the blogging community.
Though I don’t have a lot of links in my blogroll, those are some of the few I visit on a regular basis. (I should put a few more up there as there are others I visit regularly). I really enjoy the blogging community and the friends I’ve made through it. The most interesting part is that you may never meet these people. It might just be in the realm of the online world, but it’s almost as if you know them.
It’s a slice of life.
There are blogs that are only one topic. Though these are great blogs if it is of interest to you, it makes it so you might not see everything about the blogger. On potpourri blogs, many times you get a real feel of somebody’s life and what they are going through, whether good or bad.
Though there are aspects of my life I’ve shielded a bit on this blog, I’ve become more open in recent months. I share what I can about my life, because it’s good for me, too. And for the few comments I receive, I enjoy the feedback and thoughts.
The blogging community is a great place, for sure. It’s my hope that I can continue to grow in it and maybe, when things improve for me, get out to one of those blogger weekend things. I’ve seen several and all seem to be really wild.
I’m not going anywhere.
One thing I’ve always made sure was to keep certain aspects of my personal life off of the blog — mainly about employers — because I don’t see the need of airing things. Though I’ve documented my battle of unemployment and such, I’ve stayed away from saying things that could be bad for me or an employer. The reason? This isn’t a place to air anything.
This is my blog and I like to separate certain aspects of life. You have personal, work, and the rest. That’s the way I always thought of things. So I plan to keep it that way. Whenever I land something, I’ll make note of it on here. I likely won’t even mention what the company is. I’ll mention it and move along. That’s all that needs to be said.
Because I want to keep blogging.
Never torch a bridge so bad that someone can’t trust you. If you do that, you’re burning more than a reputation.
This blog will likely remain the same. I do enjoy the occasional journalistic piece or series, but for the most part I like just being off the cuff and coming up with different things daily. I have a little red Moleskine notebook I have been using recently so I can write down ideas as they come to me. I have, in the past, come up with ideas and then let them slip away.
That always stinks!
So, now I am making sure I have a place to write them down. Several of them won’t come to fruition until I get stable again and on my feet elsewhere. It’s part of the time that I need to do the items. Some are for a series of stories. Some are for weekly/bi-weekly features. But I have ideas to keep going forward.
I know this, however. Since I’ve become more and more regular with my blog posts, I want to continue doing so. And I hope you’ll be along for the ride with me.
I’ve had a few people ask me about the little thing at the top of my blog. The quote. “Good blog, let’s go eat!”
No, I’m not a foodie blog.
So, in honor of my 1,000th post, allow me to explain.
This past summer, one of my favorite non-Phillies, Hunter Pence, was traded to the Phillies. After a game where they rallied to win, Pence was interviewed on field. One of the questions he got was what he was thinking as he rounded third.
Pence said: “Good game, let’s go eat.”
The phrase caught fire in Philly. It’s on shirts (yes, I need to get one) and it’s been used in many different ways. I got chatting online with a friend one night and the line “Good blog, let’s go eat” was said among other things.
To which I said, I should put that on my blog.
In response, said friend (also a former sports writer), agreed.
Moments later, it was on my blog and there to stay.
That’s the story. And I’m sticking to it.
Thanks for reading and thanks for following!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook by clicking the button on the right side of the page!