Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two Years Before the Masses

I am hard at work assembling my end-of-the year round-up of what bloggers on my blogroll believe are their best posts of 2007 (if you are on my blogroll -- or want to be -- and you haven't sent me a link to what you think is your best post this year, get to it). But I didn't want to let this milestone go by without some comment: This week this modest blog turned two, which is practically middle-aged in blog years.

I'm usually not very good at remembering anniversaries. I got in a bit of trouble one year when Mrs. Swift asked me if I remembered that today was our anniversary and I answered, "Anniversary of what?" It only occurred to me that this week was my blogiversary when Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters interviewed me for his Heading Right radio show and asked me when I started this blog, and even then I got the date wrong. Oh, did I mention I was going to be interviewed? See, I told you I was absent-minded. Anyway, if you're interested, you can listen to the show here. I make my entrance shortly after the half-hour mark.

This blog was born on December 17, 2005 with three short posts -- "War on Hanukkah," "Intelligent Design," and "Gay Mariage" -- which still remains my record for number of posts in one day. The "War on Hanukkah" piece was written when I was still Jewish, before I saw The Chronicles of Narnia and became a Born-Again Christian. I am still looking for the chapters in the Bible about the talking fauns and other magical biblical creatures. Although I received my first reader comment the next day from one Dottore Nicolo Fantutti, The Hospital of the Broken Salve, Rome, Italy, an early hint of the international impact my blog would soon have, my first big influx of readers came when Jonah Goldberg linked to my "Google Searches" piece at The Corner. I can't tell you how much it pains me that a rift has come between us since my attempt to help him write his book Liberal Fascism was so coldly rebuffed. I wonder if he thought my attempt to lend a helping hand was itself somehow fascist.

But I soon began making other friends on the Internet. Nevada Thunder, Streak's Blog, Jesus Politics and Mark Crispin Miller's News from the Underground were the first to blogroll me. Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice, Glenn Greenwald, Mike Finnigan at Crooks & Liars, Pierre Tristam at Candide's Notebook, Polimom, Kevin Hayden at American Street and the folks at Bad Attitudes were early supporters. To them I will always be grateful.

My Amazon reviews soon proved popular with many non-readers if not with Amazon itself, which set about deleting as many as it could find. Alas, my reviews were also not very well received by Thomas Woods Jr., who was a bit unhappy with my review of his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and this commenter.

But as I once advised Oprah, even in the face of harsh criticism, a conservative never admits mistakes, though there are a few things I might have done differently. This year I was forced to delete my notorious April Fool's post to avoid a nasty lawsuit and I still haven't been able to confirm my exclusive report on the death of Michael Ledeen, though I think a lot of people are hoping that I will be able to confirm his death someday.

But what can you expect from a two-year-old? I prefer not to dwell on my occasional setbacks but to focus on the good things that happened this year. There was my battle, with my good friend skippy the bush kangaroo at my side, to encourage the big liberal blogs to make their blogrolls more truly liberal and help out underprivileged blogs instead of leaving it up to the government. There was my citation as the Best North American Blog in the Blogpower Awards, which were started by the U.K.'s greatest gift to the blogosphere, James Higham of Nourishing Obscurity. There was my very respectable showing in the Weblog Awards, which declared Jon Swift to be the third-funniest blog on the Internet. There was my first place award in the Writer's Block Contest for my piece "Who Needs Books?" There was my controversial but ultimately rewarding stint guest-hosting the Blog Round Up at Crooks & Liars (thank you, Mike, and welcome back). And there was my victory over Facebook, which was a victory for all Pseudonym-Americans.

As my blog enters its terrible twos what can you expect? More cat pictures? More one-line or even one-word posts? More YouTube videos? More Top Ten Lists? We are constantly innovating here and there is no telling what Jon Swift 2.0 will look like. I hope to continue violating every rule in Atrios' very helpful "Why Your Blog Sucks" post, which I fear will doom my chances of ever getting blogrolled or even linked to by him. And I hope we continue to have lively discussions in the comments, which I am forced to admit, are often better than the posts themselves. I do hope I have written a few good pieces but in the end a blog is only as good as its blogees. So to all my wonderful blogees I extend a warm and heartfelt thank you for making this blog what it is today and I hope we have at least another two years together.


Anonymous said...

"there is no telling what Jon Swift 2.0 will look like."

Don't you mean Jon Swift 3.0?

Jon Swift said...

Thank you for continuing to hold my feet to the fire, Anonymous. You make it all worthwhile.

Carl said...

Mr Swift,

I remember you from before you blogged...was it Crooks and Liars?... which might make me a cheese-eating surrender monkey flip-flopper like John Kerry, since I now know you after you blogged.

Congratulations, sir. It is good to see you thrive in such an Islamofascistliberal medium

nikkos said...

Congrats on your blogiversary. Here's my best post (today at least):

kathleenmaher said...

Two couldn't possibly be middle-aged, though I've seen other bloggers proclaim that 2-years was either the half-way point or even the end.
But not for you. Jonathon Swift of "A Modest Proposal" (to whom you're pseudonymously related) first started publishing in the early 1700s.
Should the planet survive another 308 years (sounds impossible, but who knows?)won't you consider enlightening whatever life-form might remain, be they readers or even pretend-readers?

Fausta said...

Happy 2d anniversary, and many many more!

Joseph said...

While a relative newcomer, I love your delightful insights. You're my favorite conservative blog!

Anonymous said...

Two years and still going?

Mazel tov!

Chuck Butcher said...

A very happy and prosperous 3rd year to you sir. (avoiding all creditors and plaintiffs)

Jon is notorious for reviewing what he has not read, but I must tell you that occasionally he violates his own tenets. He asked me for the best of the year, I responded that I'd managed to winnow 450 personal posts down to two and he'd have to pick. I figured "eenie, meenie" but no, he went an looked.

What do you know, turns out he'll have to add "scholar" to the appelation of "reasonable..."

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Jon, flattery will get you everywhere. 2 years old, eh? Well, well - a force to be reckoned with, Congratulations, Mr. J. Swift and may there be many more!

Gentlewoman said...

Congratulations and Happy 2 Year Blogiversary!

I don't have a blog, and many of the comments I leave on blogs are made under the influence of powerful prescription medications.

So a 'Best of Gentlewoman' thing is probably not on.

Trust me, it's for the best.

I wish you many more years of success!

fish said...

Your blog sucks. Perhaps you could get some advice from Atrios. Or perhaps a lesson on version 2.0 from Avraosis. I hear he has been planning an upgrade (and asking for donations for it) for 4 years. He obviously has a lot of experience.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Going on your 3rd year eh? Congratulations!

I'm not a conservative but I enjoy reading your posts. It more or less levels off the pieces of the puzzle in my mind and stabilizes my liberal orientation.

Your posts are entertaining and funny. Whatever changes you decide to implement, don't go too far out too soon. --Durano, done!

ian said...

That was a good post to start my purging of blogs..

though I myself am a christian, i have to admit that made me smile- about you being converted to 'born again christian' after seeing Narnia..


WomanHonorThyself said...

Fa la la la la to u my friend!:)

Sean Jeating said...

Not sure, if I once saw it written on a wall of St. Patrick's Cathedral, but for sure you deserve this Irish blessing: May the devil not catch you before I shoot you. :)
In other words: Congratulations, good luck, and lots of inspiration. Slàinte!

The All Seeing Eye said...

Congrats on the 2 year anniversary!

litbrit said...

Congratulations, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Festivus my friend.

To the thrills of '08!

A toast, then:

May you live as long as you want to,
And want to as long as you live.

Warmest Wishes to the Swift Family

new day said...

Happy Anniversary, Jon! Before buying your present, I was checking the list of traditional anniversary gifts. It turns out the list has been modernized. I don't now who is in charge of authoring such things, but they showed substantial prescience. Where the gift for a first anniversary used to be paper; it is now Plastic.

The second year gift is now China. And frankly, you have probably had your fill of that. But if you make it one more year, your gift is Crystal. Party time for you and the Mrs!

Again, congratulations on your well-deserved success. You have my kudos and thanks for all of your hard work.

Micgar said...

congratulations on the first two years of hopefully many years to come!

The Sailor said...

Happy blogiversary Jon!

As a sailor I enjoyed your post title, anyone who can make a Dana Point has my admiration!

Michael van der Galien said...

You're the bomb Jon.

JasonC said...

congrats, jon.

you know, if you're not pissing off the a-listers from time to time, you're doing something wrong. too often the proglospere looks too much like a bunch of lefty dittoheads that defer to their betters, too afraid of pssing someone off, or getting the death-sentence of the de-link.

keep doing exactly what you've been doing, brother.


Chuck Butcher said...

oh, yeah
Birthday wishes atmy home as well.

virgotex said...

Best? I don't know. But, here is most heartfelt.

OutOfContext said...

I didn't think I had a best post until you forced me to write this one: Jon Swift Be Damned.

a said...

This has not been much updated lately, and dates originally from before I knew of the estimable Mr Swift, but
here are my own eminently reasonable thoughts about abortion. Fans of the comments here should enjoy the majority of the comments in the guestbook.

There used to also be a link to Jon Swift ("an American HERO and Not the mean Man Who said we should eat Babies!!!") but the "Blogrolling" tool seems not to be displaying.

Robert said...

A couple of my posts which I like are
which is dated and


which isn't

Peach said...

hello, fairly new here, wanted to wish you a merry christmas and here's my best post of the year

I haven't had internet access at home for a while but for a few days I'm away with family so can use their wifi... after that I might not stop by so much, but when it's back up at home I'll be a dutiful stalker type...

best regards

sarah (aka peach)

Johnny Pez said...

I'd like to offer my congrats as well, and as a sort of librofascist holiday gift of my own, I offer this Jon Swift-style book review. They say flattery is the sincerest form of imitation, so I have decided to give the gift of flattery. If you find this gift to be too flattering, feel free to let me know via a cease-and-desist order.

skippy said...

happy blogiversary and merry xmas at the same time, mr. swift!

jurassicpork said...

Happy anniversary to America's greatest neoconservative blogger. Here's to two more years, and two more and...

Bukko_in_Australia said...

I don't know if congratulations are in order. Look what's happened to what is called "conservatism" in America during the past two years. It has not been a good biennium for the right wing. Do you ever entertain the thought, Dr. Swift, that YOU might be the cause?

Buck Batard said...

Thank you for posting the link to "Who Needs Libraries". While I would rather read reviews of what you have written rather than read you directly, I made an exception in this case and just read the post on libraries. I won't apologize for not making a comment earlier, but I do want to repeat it here, because I like repeating myself. I am just wondering if you are really as conservative as I thought. Here's my comment to your post on libraries, repeated here because like most closet conservatives, I like to repeat myself. I do hope you will address my concern about your conservative credentials, as you are apparently not as conservative as I am since you seem to want to consolidate playgrounds and libraries and I want to eliminate both.

"As a closet conservative, I partially agree with this blog post, but I think you don't go far enough. We simply need to get rid of public libraries entirely. Why should I have to pay taxes to support literary parasites who read free, all paid for from the public trough? After all, these funds are needed to support wars and the wealthy who pay too much in taxes anyway.

And it seems to me that those who can't afford to buy their own books are probably not of a mindset to get anything out of them anyway.

Also, public libraries are simply a way to steal money from authors who have to endure the disgrace of several hundred or thousands of people reading their books for free. Those people ought to be paying the royalties to the authors. The libraries allow people to cheat thousands of worthy authors, like JK Rowling, Anne Coulter, Hugh Hewitt, Laura Ingraham and other intellectuals who produce books that most of the public likes. Plus, what's the point in allowing the works of dead authors or books that are out of copyright to remain in circulation? The authors aren't getting any royalties any more, so what's the point in allowing them in libraries, or even in bookstores.
The author of this blog, John Swift's books are no longer needed because as I'm sure he knows, he can't get a dime in royalties from them anymore. I'm sure he would agree.
Everyone knows the literary business is all about making money and nothing more. We don't need a Dead Poets Society, we need a dead authors Society, which should actively engage in burning the books which are no longer earning royalties. It's really very simple.

Books are about making money and not about imparting wisdom, which we have too much of anyway.

And lastly, this blog should charge for it's content since Jon's books aren't earning him a dime in royalties since the government took away his royalties.

Anyone reading this blog and not paying money to Jon is a thief. I guess that makes me one too but I don't mind since I'm a closet conservative."

Johnny Pez said...

If it's not too late, I'd like to change my entry for best blog post of 2007. I've fallen in love with my latest post, a letter to Lee Siegel, and I'd like to see it put in contention.

Carl said...

The Sailor said...
anyone who can make a Dana Point has my admiration!

Some porn ought to do the trick.

Tom Hilton said...

Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

Buck Batard said...

I do hope that John Swift 2.0 will be more conservative than the last version and will piss off the liberals even more than your site has done already. Particularly that guy named Anonymous, who seems to get particularly upset with so many of your posts.

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