Wednesday, February 13

One Thousand, Four-Hundred & Sixty-Two Days.

4 Years of The CDP.

"Hey, you. This is my inaugural post to my brand new blog. It would be really nice of you to check back frequently for more updates and general banter. Feel free to then make an educated decision to continue to return here or not. Thanks."

With that, my introduction to the Blogosphere began on February 12, 2004. Unemployed, depressed, underweight and longing for a creative outlet, I decided to hop aboard a fad that I thought was already on its way out of popular culture. I had just turned 22 and had graduated from college, was in the midst of planning a wedding, scrapping for cash and quite certain that every decision I made was a huge mistake, along with every other decision I had made since graduating from high school.

Hey, what a perfect time to start a humor blog. I know; I'm just as surprised as you are that it stuck around.

2004 Design.
(CDP Screenshot - 2004 Design.)

At first, it was the very definition of a 'personal' blog, which is to say that it sucked.

I talked about what was on my mind; politics, music, television. The same stuff I talk about now, only with far less direction and far more unfunny bitching. My relatives would read and say nice things to me when I came home for the holidays, but that was about it. My audience was non-existent, my online persona wasn't established, and my 'real' life was still in figurative shambles.

On both fronts, things began to change slowly and surely with hard work and a clear head. I found my plateau. The traffic increased. I was married, got a nice job and started paying my bills on time. Sure, Bush was elected for a second term in 2004, but the Red Sox also won the World Series, so you have to take the good with the bad. As my personal life improved, so did the CDP.

2005-2006 Design.
(CDP Screenshot - 2005-2006 Design.)

People like to ask me if there was a specific point in time where I started to take the CDP seriously. As much as I'd like to tell people that I never take the CDP seriously, it's quite evident that I do. It's my baby. My chief hobby. I keep it as perfectly groomed as I can, I defend it when it does wrong and I speak highly of it when it's not around. I've always said that I'd shut the page down without a moment's notice if it ever became anything less than enjoyable for me, and I still reserve that right. However, four years later, and it appears as if everything is starting over again. I love it now like I did when I launched it, only now for completely different reasons.

Jerry Seinfeld once stated that there are 'four levels of comedy.' They are:

1. Make your friends laugh. (check)
2. Make strangers laugh. (check)
3. Get paid to make strangers laugh. (check)
4. Have strangers talk like you because it's so much fun. (does 'I can see your butthole' count?)

All I've ever wanted was to put on a stupid show and make people forget about how ridiculous life is, if only for a few minutes every day. As a child, I thought this would be accomplished through writing essays and books. As a youth, I thought this would be through a talk show or stand-up comedy. As I got older, I found limited success in music and live performing. As an adult, I realized that I should have just listened to myself as a child.

2006-2007 Design.
(CDP Screenshot - 2006-2007 Design.)

The Missus and other business-minded individuals beg me to attempt to maximize my traffic potential. Troll message boards, advertise everywhere, generate revenue by whoring out the CDP to whoever writes a check. The money is there, they tell me, I just need to snatch it up. I'd be a fool not to cash in on all of my hard work, readership and dedication.

Here's my theory on this. Some people write because they need content to support their business investment (ie: blog). I write because I'm a writer and I have to write. The content is first and foremost, and I don't feel it right to make money off of the Internet real estate I've delicately manicured over the past four years. If I enjoyed marketing and bothering people, I could increase my traffic by 500% in less than a month, but that's never been my goal. I'd rather have 1,000 loyal fans than 100,000 superficial ones. I don't want hits; I want a community that you'd enjoy being a part of.

So keep them entertained, answer every e-mail, respond to every comment, send those packages out quickly and let people know that you appreciate them as much as possible, because there are over a billion blogs out there, and for some reason, they've chosen you as their favorite.

2007-2008 Design.
(CDP Screenshot - 2007-Present Design.)

I'm fully aware that this entire post has been a massive ego-stroke, but it bears mentioning that the CDP has allowed me to do things I've always wanted to do. Last week, a huge interview with me was featured on the second page of the Wisconsin State Journal. The week before that, I was spotlighted on television. Strangers say hello to me on the rare occasions that I emerge from my cocoon and venture out in public. My debut book is currently on back order, with no signs of slowing down. This is all barely scratching the surface of what I feel I'm capable of doing, but it's already more than I thought would happen, especially considering how this whole thing started.

I independently published my first book in November of 2007. Since then, I've made countless trips to the Post Office, stuffed hundreds of envelopes, popped about a billion bubble wrap capsules and autographed books until the Sharpie ran dry. Some people can't believe that I work so hard at something that nets me only a little bit of money in return.

My response? This isn't work. Never was work. Never could be work. This is a dream come true.

In the month of February 2004, I received 4 hits from visitors. In January of 2008, I received over 20,000. I don't know how this happened, but I sincerely thank everyone that holds some sort of responsibility towards it. If you promise to stick around and let me entertain you, I'll promise to only improve and work harder. I will begin pre-production on my second book in April of 2008, and I'm currently shopping around for literary agencies and publishing houses that want to work with me. This used to be wishful thinking; now it's just on the horizon, and I promise not to drop the ball.

The CDP is 4 years old today. Sound off in the comments section and let me know what keeps you sticking around. Thanks much.

The disgusting, effeminate Love Parade marches on, with Valentine's Day!

Since I'm the worst 'first-commenter' ever I...well..ah..Congratulations!?
What keeps me sticking around?

The blog's fantastic smell. Of course.
Happy anniversary man. I still don't quite get the No Money Please thing, but I admire you sticking to what you believe in.
Ah, the fresh scent of pine and sandalwood, just like Jesus used to wear...

Don't get me wrong, I love money. I sell books, merch and take donations for the benefit of the site. I just know that there's some money out there that I don't want, and I'd rather it come to me based on the things I've personally done on a creative level.

"Hello, we're from KFC, and if we can put an ad on your blog, we'll pay you this and that and the other thing. Sound good?"

Well, not really. Thanks for being evil and whatnot, though.
Way to keep it going. Personally, I'm here for the free breakfast buffet.

And thanks for not cluttering up your fabulous, cohesive layout with crappy ads that no one will click on.
Back in 2004, before Blogger switched to the streamlined 'search bar' function, they had a huge self-indulgent banner in the top-third of the screen (see my 2004 screenshot).

I thought it was unnecessary and insecure on the part of Blogger, so I tweaked the template and got rid of it. I was then threatened with deletion from Blogger, and was forced to put it back, but they switched to the search bar a couple weeks later.

I don't know what the moral is, but I always back up my data.
I'd rather have 1,000 loyal fans than 100,000 superficial ones. I don't want hits; I want a community that you'd enjoy being a part of.

This is a great place to hang out buddy. You have quite a group already. I would really hate for this to be a place full of random smart asses and poor taste.
Thanks, Blu.

Yeah, nobody needs Fark 2: Electricboogaloo.

Although I am a pretty random smart ass...
My lovely wife brought me to this blog -- she saw a link on a friend's blog and started reading it and said I should, too. It took me a while, but I'm glad I did.

Even though the posts are entertaining, the comments are even more so. Like any good community, comments to a CDP rarely have anything to do with the post itself, but about whatever the commenter, or theCDP himself, wants to talk about. Fascinating stuff.

When you grow the community organically, you may not get a lot of people but your proportion of good people is higher than if you
advertised the heck out of it. So that is why it's good that CDP hasn't sold out -- the ratio of quality readership would decrease and the number of Lost fan-boys and girls would increase.

So happy anniversary. Live long and propser.
Thanks Maus, although I'll be the first to admit I've ripped off many a Farkism. As any community grows out of control, it's almost impossible to keep the ratio of winners to losers in your favor. Luckily for me, I'll never reach Fark-esque numbers.

Hoss, you nailed it. I wanted to earn one reader at a time, not random, faceless people with zero point of view and a ridiculous opinion to project. It can be done, and I'm seeing it every day.

As we speak, 24 mix-tapes are flying around the country, presumably on their way to people that know little to nothing about the creator. That's the difference between a Blog and a Community, and it's absolutely beautiful.
wut yer porblem with randum commenters? u r silly, lol!!!1

But seriously folks, I came here via dane101 (thanks Jesse!) and stayed for the penis jokes and abuse via Hathery.

CDP - Got the mix tape in the mail yesterday, and am currently listening to it. So far? Yeah, it pretty much rocks my socks off. Thanks!

Glad you're enjoying the mix. I'll be the first to admit that it's not one of my greatest (I was trying to do something that may have failed in premise), but the tracks are solid and there's a lot of them.
How can you call anything effeminate while wearing so many bracelets?
I kid because I love.
Beh-heh-heh. That's just it, Will. I was making fun of myself for being so mushy and soggy-panted today.
I would really hate for this to be a place full of random smart asses and poor taste.

Jeebus, I can take a hint. Fine, I'll leave! could have just asked nicely.
Congrats on year four, also! Look forward to the coming year, the new book, and Ben's mix tape.
Thanks, JT. You should be looking forward to Ben's mix. He was telling me about it, and it's going to be epic.
CDP - Hey, your commentary about the tracks alone is worth the price of admission.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it before, so: congrats! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!
Darn tootin'. I always like to add the personal touch, which is why I made a point to bathe the contents of the envelope in my scent the night before.

If that doesn't turn you on, nothing will.

Four more years, 700 more posts, 1 more book. I'm ready to accept this challenge.
Fear not, Emily--I only abuse those that I love. For instance, I will share with you the first post ever put up on The Girl From Mars blog in 2004:

Thursday, February 12, 2004
I create this in refutation of the Communist Dance Party blog.

I retain the opinion that blogs are so three years ago, and that only losers like Ben Affleck create them these days.

No matter what TechTv says, blogs are not cool. Since when is TechTV cool anyway?

So, the Missus' blog is also turning 4 this week. All 40 posts of it. Zing!

Blogs are so 2001. Oh, and Tech TV was infinitely more cool than G4, Ninja Warrior or not.
Fear not, Emily--I only abuse those that I love.

Oh I know. Why do you think I gave it as a reason to stick around? ;)

Also, for the record, Ninja Warrior is bizarre and amazing. It's bizmazing.
Blogs will go the same way as Beta and VHS.

Anyone know where I can get a copy of Gigli on laserdisk? Can't find it anywhere!
It's snowing! Woooo!
EMILY - Unbeatable Banzuke is pretty crazy, too. I like them both because they don't dub over the language, like MXC did.

BLU - Ahh, the laserdisk. The developmentally disabled stepchild of the Format Wars.

CAVEMAN - Wisconsinites are about one more snow away from an all-out killing spree. It's officially the Snowiest Winter Ever here, and thanks to Climate Change, we'll probably get more next year.

Hell, let's just do away with spring and summer altogether, wouldn't that be great? Yeah, that would be awesome! That would be completely RAD! Let's just forget about everything that used to be amazing about the midwest and transform it into a year-round, frozen, hostile wasteland of a place with dangerous roads, deadly temperatures and an increasing society of further-detached psyches, eventually leading to either a mass exodus or all-out civil war. Bring on the snow! Bring it on all day, every day! I want so much snow that I can't see out my windows. I want every day to be a life-or-death hike to the mailbox to collect my unemployment check to compensate for the job that I lost because I can no longer get my car to the end of the street without crashing into sixteen others cars, an ice cream truck and a mailbox. If we're going to go, let's go ALL OUT. Blanket this hellhole; blanket it good, and make it so we never escape, EVER. 100 years from now, when Global Climate Change makes the Earth die, alien scientists will unearth the lost city of Madison, and discover 250,000 frozen husks, clutching their Brett Favre jerseys as they prayed for the apocalypse to arrive and melt the snow to under 20 feet and to let good-old Number 4 return for a 119th season of Green Bay Packer football.

...I think I broke the CDP
Happy Birthday CDP!!
I think you need to hug it out bitch.
Oh, I've got it bad, baby.

Usually in previous years, the beginning of February spells the end of my 3-month depression, but not this time around. I even released my book in December to give me something to keep my mind off of the upcoming raping of my soul. But that's all gone now, yet the Winter still remains.

I'm done. I'm freaking done with this snow.

I've never felt more trapped and claustrophobic in my life. I'm craving all sorts of weird fruits and vegetables to compensate for lack of sunlight. Every room in the house is cold. My jaw is making this weird popping sound every time I wake up in the morning. Each time it snows, we lose more real estate, roads get narrower and more of the Spring months are robbed from us. I used to think I'd dig those parts of Alaska where it stays dark for six months, but I'm quite certain I'd just become like every other guy up there; whacked out of his ever-loving gourd.

Okay. I'm okay. I've got this under control. We're going to be alright.

For the love of God, why did I buy all of this fruit?
Four more years.
CDP - Either because you have an irrational fear of contracting scurvy, or you're super gay. Those are my guesses.

I have found something to cure winter blues, however, and I now proudly present it to you:

Does your hedgehog do this? I'd be entertained for hours, if so.
Thanks Kenny. You're an inspiration to my entire organization.

Nice profile pic, by the way. You've got a mature, elegant, sexy teacher/disciplinarian thing going on, and I likes it very much.

EMILY - I think my body is trying to compensate from lack of sun-based nutrients. I also think that my body has grown sick of my bitching.

I try not to look Laika directly in the eye, but the Missus can further direct you as to her strange behavior. She fell asleep in her shirt last night, while watching the Westminster Dog Show.

Beagles forever!
Well, erm, it's been a good 4 years...


I couldn't see the end of my road today because of the fog. My hands were like ice-packs by the time I'd cycled for 10 minutes to school, even though I was wearing gloves. Yet on Sunday, there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

What has humanitiy got itself into...
Fog? In England? Whaaaaaa?!?!?!?!

All I remember about England was constant, rolling fog and sputtering rain for weeks.

That, and a friend who cooked a grilled cheese sandwich in the Hotel's trouser press.
Four years and you're still not toilet-trained, Mr. Soggy Pants?

I was going to comment on the bracelets, but my husband has that covered.

I like to think of how long I've been blogging in terms of a percentage of my life so I can adequately assess how much of a freak I truly am. I'm currently at 31%, which is probably uberfreak. Although at 15%, you're well on your way. Congrats!
Thank you very much, Internet Crush. Although, I feel the strange need to stand up for my wrist-wear. You can't tell, but all of those bracelets match my shirt perfectly. Esquire magazine would be proud.

My OCD dictates that my wrists both be wearing something of equal weight. They also distract people from noticing how dainty my wrists really are.

Four years is a long time to blog, but damn, you're part of that previous generation of bloggers that I'll never catch up with. Thanks for paving the way.
Emily- Yes, that's what hedgies look like when they're eating. It's adorable. I'm not sure what that one was eating though--it looked like a serious choking hazard. Laika was curled up in my shirt last night, and she looked cuter than I can even explain to you. Every time I'd peek down at her, she'd lift her head up, and her mouth would accidentally open, exposing all her teeth. HI-larious.

BTW, what's wrong with men wearing bracelets? I think accesorizing is all the rage.
Another BTW...Kenny's profile pic is HAWT.
"Vintage Caveman"(my blog) is turning 1 on March 13th, and I expect you all there for the party. It's BYOE "bring your own eveything", and checks can be written out to 'Matthew Becker'.
CDP - IF the snow gets to be too much, you and the Missus are welcome to come down to SC, wgere I'm basking in the sun in my shorts sleeved shirts.
JT, I'm hoping that after a sip of your moonshine, I'll feel 80 degrees warmer.

HATHERY - the only guy with enough requuired testosterone to rock the bracelet is The Baio.

(Or Hellga.)
CDP and Julia,

Whatta think of that cover? Little Hoss took that when she was in her Photobooth stage on our Mac. Yes, at 2 and a half, she would start Photobooth and pose like that. Now that she's four, she's ready for nuclear physics.
You can't tell, but all of those bracelets match my shirt perfectly. Esquire magazine would be proud.

If I wasn't already really sure about you...
SLACK - I'll let this one go, but I can assure you that my testosterone levels are approaching 'steroid abuser' status.

Minus the shrunken testicles and wild mood swings, of course.

HOSS - Loved the cover photo. You're a true family man.

BLU - I don't know what I'm going to have to do to re-establish my masculinity on here, but it ain't going to be pretty, that's for sure.
CDP - I'd suggest we arm wrestle, although if there was money to be made, it would probably be in me and the Missus doing it. (Not IT.) (Although there's money to be made there, too.)(And your wife is hottie hot hot hot.)

I should thank you, because I may take a page from Ye Olde CDP Book and well, put together a book from that people have been telling me is a good idea for ages and I've been blowing them off. You have clearly set the bar, sir.
I think there's a goldmine in each of the ideas you presented.

Everyone should self-publish a collection of their favorite blog essays; you owe it to yourself.

Unless your blog sucks, that is. But yours doesn't; it's great, and there's a ton of material there.

Sorry, I'm still a little distracted. Happy Valentine's Day to me, indeed.
Slackyslack, I'm going to pretend you did not take a dig at my dear dear Hellga, but only because you said I was hot. Score 1 for the slackmistreess!

Post a Comment

<< Home