I was looking at my latest blog stats and was taken aback by something I’ve not paid much attention to lately – hits.
I’m sure I mentioned that one of the things that inspired me when I first ran for the state legislature in 1976 was the notion of writing something like a diary of my legislative experience and putting it in the newspaper. I was thinking partly of Eleanor Roosevelt who had a regular column in many daily papers across America.
There were a great many things working against this goal getting elected for one. It took me six elections to take any office. Also there was finding a newspaper willing to risk letting a politician get free publicity that would almost certainly have been self serving. Most tellingly there was my limited experience and skill as a writer.
When I finally got elected to the School Board I was eager to take advantage of something called the Internet which was a new phenomenon beyond the little computer sitting in my room with no connections beyond the diskettes I stuck into it. I remember telling my buddy Frank, a computer whiz at UMD, how I really wanted to start a web page. I dreamed about a website for a couple years before my high school daughter badgered me into letting her use her era’s FACEBOOK, the pokey dial-up connection AOL.com with its dangerous “chat rooms.”
Finally in 1999 I set up my own webpage. For the first time my half dozen followers (no oldsters were on AOL.com) could read me, Harry Welty School Board member, unfiltered. I set up a hit counter and was amazed after a few years when it would register 100 hits in a day. I created the equivelent of a blog and wrote about the details I faced daily as a Board member and in my personal life. Heck Patty, my first serious co-campaign manager read something I posted and recommended that the Reader Weekly publish it. It was my first piece of non-political published piece. It was called “Monkeyworms.” Take heed! Its been nearly eleven years and they are reportedly gathering for the next mass attack.
I set up the blog in 2005 to use in a planned run for Congress the following year. Still, oldsters weren’t using the Internet and my district, not counting the college students, was full of oldsters.
So, today I’m a few thousand hits shy of a quarter million hits and we are just finishing up the 8th month of the year. The campaign season will attract more folks to my blog so that September and October will be the big hits of they year. November will have an election on the second Tuesday and the parade will slow down drastically after that.
However, if I’m elected a new larger and more savvy Internet population will certainly stop by Lincolndemocrat every so often to see what I’m ranting about. Next year could be even busier. I’ll have to buy a new welcome mat.