PHOTOS: Some of the high points … This one was taken about the time I broke the story that Danielle Smith would be running for the leadership of the “upstart” Wildrose Party. Below: chats, and photos, with Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, Jim Prentice and Rachel Notley.
On this day in 2007 I sat down and began writing this blog – which means that tomorrow, in addition to being the start of what I hope will be a happy new year for all of you regardless of your political views, will mark the start of the 10th year of publication of AlbertaPolitics.ca.
Or maybe it actually began on Dec. 27, 2007. Whatever. The record is slightly murky. The first couple of years of posts have slipped into the cybervoid. The first reference mentioned comes from a post published two years ago. The second from a note on the page of the original text of the first post – which was lamentably lame and had precious little to do with Alberta politics.
It was called “Death & Taxes: 14 gloomy lines of welcome.” Let’s just leave it at that except to say that it involved poetry, which rhymed moreover – I’ll let readers figure out what kind of poem was involved from the headline. That post was, admittedly, a pretty eccentric way to kick-start a political blog, which may explain why readership hovered in the low dozens for so long.
Nevertheless, in Alberta politics as in all matters, nature will take its course. The original version of this blog – called St. Albert Diary – is mercifully gone. It was replaced by Alberta Diary, which lives on in vestigial form as an email address. That title was replaced again on this date in 2014 by AlbertaPolitics.ca. That domain name was originally registered by the estimable Mark Lisac, who kindly sold it to me after his retirement from writing non-fiction about Alberta politics.
Over the years my readership has grown, from the few dozen each day in the first year of publication, to a few hundred, to, every so often, days when I might hit a thousand or so if I was lucky. Later on, those numbers improved a bit more.
In the past two years, since I started using the AlbertaPolitics.ca domain, the blog has had 1.5 million views – many of them, of course, by repeat visitors. That averages out to better than 2,000 a day, which isn’t bad at all, although I’d certainly like it to do better.
Readership rises, naturally enough, in the run-up to elections and when I take note of right-wing politicians saying really, really foolish things, though even then it tends to crater on Friday nights and statutory holidays. I’ve had a couple of posts that have gone viral and attracted 40,000 or more readers in 48 hours.
As I have observed in this space before, my opinions are bound to shift from time to time as my thoughts about various topics evolve. So there’s no value in pointing out to me that I said something different 10 years ago.
All this said, there is seldom a lack of entertaining political topics to pursue here in Alberta. When there is, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or someone like that is usually available to step into the breach. Apparently, moreover, there’s an appetite for analysis about Alberta politics elsewhere in Canada and the world as well.
I had the opportunity to begin also publishing this blog on Rabble.ca in March 2010 – something that has extended my readership considerably and for which I am very grateful. Since Rabble keeps better records than I do, I can tell you with confidence that over the past six years I have published a little more than 1,750 posts on various topics – maybe quite a few more, as posts of purely local interest unlikely to engage a national readership or that are extremely self-indulgent like this piece appear only here. I think it would be safe to calculate I have have published more than 2,000 posts since I started writing this blog.
Well, enough about me. What do you think about me? (That, dear readers, is what the comments section is for. Wait! I’m just making a little joke. If it’s late and especially if you’ve been drinking, no matter how much you hate “socialists,” I don’t actually crave a personal note from you.)
Happy New Year!