looking back at 2003: manning the post
I was looking through my archives for 2003. Blogging is a great way to keep tabs on your life. Things I swore happened in 2002 happened in 2003. It's nice to be able to fact-check yourself.
So many things happened this year; good, bad, funny, sad - the usual span of emotions and motions one goes through in a full year.
One of the best things that happened in 2003 was the creation of The Command Post.
It started here on March 20:
So many of us are blogging minute by minute about this war. We are all basically posting the same news links, with our own comments added in. We should have come up with something like The Corner to blog this war together.
Two minutes later I received an email from Alan saying let's do it. Less than two hours later, he had a Blogger Pro account set up and the first draft of the Command Post was born. Two hours later, ten bloggers had joined our ranks.
In the first few weeks, we broke one million visitors. We were featured in Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Newsday, several radio shows and a myriad of other publications I can't think of off the top of my head. We were being fed tips by important people at important locations. We were linked to by major media outlets. It was an interesting time.
Once the war started winding down people wondered what would happen to TCP. Alan and I never really thought about that; I guess in our minds we always figured it was something we would keep going. We added different sections, started covering the war on terror, Iran, North Korea and later the race for the White House. We added an OpEd section so our contributors could state their opinions while keeping the rest of the site bias free. Mostly.
My father was reading TCP and so were all his friends and business associates. My boss was reading it. My whole family was keeping up with the war through this site.
Our contributors made the site. Each and every one of them put hard work and long hours into covering the war in return for not a single penny, and most of them are still going at it.
Nearly a year later TCP is still going strong. We cover news as quickly as it happens, sometimes beating the major sites to the punch. A good day for me is when I beat Drudge to posting a major news item.
Yes, TCP consumes me sometimes. I am constantly reading news sites, newspaper, magazines, listening to the radio, scanning weblogs and watching news crawls. I like the rush of trying to get a story posted before it's already stale. I like being able to use TCP to reach out, to point our readers to things like Operation Give, Books for Soldiers, or any kind of disaster relief when it's needed. I like taking part in something that is here and now, like when we covered the blackout this past summer. I've always been a news junkie; Command Post just feeds into that information addiction I have and I thrive on it.
I like to think we are performing a valuable service. Many people have written to tell us that they head to TCP whenever there is breaking news. Some have said that they like the varied information they can get there. Others say that they enjoy the heated discussions in the comment section. Whatever your reason for coming there, if you do, I just want to say thank you for making this happen.
TCP may or may not exist well into the future. It may or may not become a source of steady income for Alan and I. It may or may not help me land a writing job. Whatever it does or doesn't do, the one thing I'll always be grateful for is the friendship with Alan that came out of this project.
Alan, thanks for making TCP what it is, for putting up with me and for making 2003 an exciting, if frantic, year. And Kate, thanks for graciously allowing me to eat up a lot of your husband's time.
I hope all of you TCP readers are still around when we cover the 2008 election, the realization of world peace, and the Red Sox winning the World Series. In other words, for a long, long time.
Update: I want to thank Jeff Jarvis for pointing something out in this post. : TCP doesn't report the news. Our real strength lies in "finding, editing, selecting, and presenting the very latest and best news..." He says, They edited the world and did a great job of it.
And I should thank you, Jeff, for your strong support of TCP right from the start.