Yes, it’s true– Famous and Nonfamous Strangers is two years old today! Our first post was written November 20, 2002.
I never imagined how successful–or how much fun–this blog would be when I sat in my bedroom on 61st Street struggling with HTML and CSS getting it going. And needless to say, I had no idea all of the amazing changes in my life I’d end up writing about–proposing to David in Maui, buying a home we’d call Casa Nonfamous, visiting Moscow, Paris, London, Sydney and Adelaide, Vienna, and Florence with him–let alone the immeasurable joy of getting married in Vancouver. I could only imagine the pleasures of reading Paulette’s posts from Spain. Swallow Don’t Spit wasn’t even a glimmer in my (slightly intoxicated) eye.
There was no Pam in our lives, no Jamie and Mike, no Jason–can you imagine? We’d never loved, worried about, or mourned poor little Dozer. I never dreamed that a post would get David profiled and photographed in the New York Times. And who can forget the time I lost on Jeopardy! While I did expect we’d all have quite a bit to say about politics, I did not really expect the quality of writing and depth of commitment the site would bear witness to. Needless to say I never really imagined that 51% of Americans would turn the site into an extended exercise in group therapy/platoon activation. But I did hope that it would reflect, as fully as pixels can, the passion that all of us bring to the business of living, loving, eating, drinking, traveling, working, and politicking. That it has done, and I am so proud and thankful.
So what are our vital statistics? With almost 1,000 entries, we’re humming along quite nicely. Our most recent author additions–Terry, Marti, Jamie, Jason, and Erik–continue to post amazing stuff, joining David, Paulette, Pam, Gary, and me. (Nonfamous, for its birthday, really wants to get Anika and Julie Anne posting, not to mention Rachel if only she could conquer her fear of the Internets.) These writers are being read by 300-500 unique visitors a day, and our Google AdSense revenue is trickling in at a rate that pays for the site’s hosting. But most importantly, we have proved that a group blog can do exactly what I hoped it would–replicate online the amazing sense of community, conversation, and convivality that our group of friends demonstrates in the flesh. Our family and friends in Australia, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York, England, and Poland can see what’s happening in Seattle and hear the thoughts in our heads. We get the occasional reader from Finland, Japan, and even Saudi Arabia. It is an amazing thing, and I want to thank every person who posts to, comments on, or just reads this site.
So what of the next two years? I honestly believe that the quality of writing and commentary we offer is as good or better than sites that are read by thousands, or tens of thousands, of readers every day. While I don’t mind staying, well, nonfamous… I think we can take it to the next level. Blog strategy is increasingly part of my business–helping companies use blogs to connect to their best customers and most honest critics–so I’m going to be talking to more of those “A-list” bloggers and raising the profile of nonfamous.com in the blogosphere. I’m happy to stay nonfamous… but I really do want to launch Paulette’s cooking-show career. More on that later.
But to sum up, thanks for reading, thanks for posting, and thanks for passing our link around. Thanks for keeping paranoia at the lowest healthy level, however high that may be. I think Jeannine would be proud (though still crazy).