February 19, 2007

Two years, 2,182 posts, 189,000 visits and counting

I neglected to point out that as of February 14th, The Inside Dope has been alive and kicking for two years, an eternity by blog standards.

Thanks to all who have left constructive comments, contributed information and tips, shared your knowledge of topics and issues and your rational opinion. Thanks as well to those who have shown your support by donating to the cause or patronizing the ads. It's all been greatly appreciated.

I'm always open to constructive feedback, good, bad, or otherwise. So as always, you're encouraged to offer any suggestions, ideas, or constructive criticism to improve the blog. Simply click on the e-mail link in the sidebar or send a note to theinsidedope@gmail.com. Suggestions via comments can not be posted or responded to and so will likely be overlooked.
I look forward to hearing from you via e-mail.

Probably the biggest thing I've taken away from this experience is that in two long years here I've found out regrettably that much of local politics on this side of the river and some people involved in it are even uglier, more petty, unethical, dishonest, and dumber than how ugly, dumb, unethical, dishonest, and petty I'd expected going in. And that's saying something.

I knew politics wasn't bean-bag, and I have no problem with that. But wow. Talk about really disgusting. Not all, mind you, but some.

I started out giving them the benefit of the doubt, but they blew that almost immediately with their obsessive bluster, threats, attacks and bizarre attempts to destroy, take over, and/or control this blog by repeatedly issuing threats and trying to scare me off. (not to mention the crazy lengths they've gone to attempt to dig up dirt on who they seem to assume I am and try to blackmail me with it, which has gotten to truly insane and very creepy levels.)

Clearly, when it comes to an outlet such as this, if they can't control it, they fear it. Needless to say, 99% of their daily rants are too weird, disjointed, false, disgusting, or simply out there to print - you've been spared the bulk of it, but they're all there by the hundreds if not thousands.

The few ankle-biters and misguided self-styled tough-guys who don't know any other way to get what they want other than issuing threats and behaving like childish bullies have been both amusing and a distraction, as has been dealing with some folks pre-conceived notions of what "blogging" is and isn't and their lack of understanding which has lead to their unrealistic expectations for this blog.

It's also been an unbelievable amount of work. There's much more time and work involved in writing and maintaining a blog than most readers could imagine. (Maybe that's why one person continues to scream (dozens and dozens of times) demanding that I give my blog to someone else (them? Who knows?) when any sane person would simply start their own. A few times they've demanded that I give my blog to someone who has already attempted and failed at running a local blog. Hey, I didn't say it made any sense.)

But beyond all that, it's truly been a lot of fun, interesting, enjoyable and rewarding. And it's certainly been an education. (look for my book in the future. ha!)

And more than anything, I'm grateful for having so many really excellent commenters and supporters over the two years of the blog and "meeting" and talking with a lot of great people. I'm sure that will continue.

Thanks again, and remember, YOU collectively with the other readers can make this blog into what you'd like it to be by participating and sharing your knowledge, information, and insight while following a few common sense rules (which should be self-evident. It's not rocket science.)

A sincere thanks to all who've made TID such a success, and I hope I'll have your participation to improve and evolve and make TID a place that you continue to find interesting, informative, and enjoyable.

And remember, if you don't keep stirring the pot, the scum will rise to the top. ;-)

Some TID stats:

- Average number of daily visitors: 300 plus

- Highest one day visit count: 4,412 on July 11, 2006

- Number of posts written: 2,182

- Number of reader comments sent: Far over 10,000

- Visits as of this moment: 188,881 (oddly symmetrical, eh?)


At 2/19/2007 6:16 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Happy belated birthday, Dope!

At 2/19/2007 6:35 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks... I've got my pointy hat on now, a cake that looks just like the blog with two giant candles. Woohoo!

(not really)

At 2/19/2007 7:45 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

First, Happy Anniversary Dope! Interesting numbers you've racked up.

Second, you mentioned some people involved in local politics are even uglier, more petty, unethical, etc. than you'd expected going in. I think you could make that claim about anyone around here connected with any major issue. Just read D/A's Speak Out section some time and you'll get the basic Neanderthal thinking around here. (Yeah, and I'm probably guilty of that at times, too).

Third, keep up the interesting posts. While I disagree with some of what you say, you get me thinking (that can be both good and bad), but I usually look forward to whatever you're going to post every day.

At 2/19/2007 7:51 PM, Blogger Rawk Eyelund said...


What happened on July 11?

At 2/19/2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Dave said...


At 2/20/2007 2:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I appreciate both your kind words and your sharing your views and outlook here from time to time.

Not to patronize you, but you're the sort of commenter that I wish I had many more of. I value people who can think and lay out logical arguments, or failing that, at least make me laugh.

Whether they happen to agree with me or not is secondary. I'd rather have 10 commenters like you who generally don't agree with my views but who are engaging, thoughtful and do a good job laying out your points than 5000 people who agree with me but add little to the discussion.

Thanks for your contributions here.

And you're forgiven if you've been prickly from time to time (though I don't recall that.) Believe it or not, I sometimes get a bit feisty myself. Shocking, but true. ha!

At 2/20/2007 2:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I hate to admit it, but July 8th was when the verdict came down in the second Sarah Kolb trial I believe.

Even though I only did a couple short posts on the subject, it comes up in a google search on "sarah kolb". The case drew truly international attention and the terms "Sarah" and "Kolb" are the two most used search words by visitors.

In looking through the domains of visitors that day it was simply stunning. Visits from all around the world and from all sorts of large corporations and government agencies and a lot of college domains of course. Even visits from major D.C. law firms. I think I compiled a list of some of the most interesting. Don't know if I've saved it or not though. (I'll have to look.)

It was obvious that if I wrote a post about the Kolb trial every day, I probably could have attracted that thousands of visits on a daily basis and really pumped up my traffic. But exploiting a lurid murder just for numbers isn't my cup of tea. And frankly the story wasn't something I wanted to wallow in anyway. It got plenty of coverage elsewhere and didn't need my help. I'm sure the local papers got literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of the curious on their websites during the trial.

Previous to that, the one day high was close to 3000 hits during one of the elections. I don't recall what post or posts were responsible though.

At 2/20/2007 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a liar. You get three comments a day, and you expect us to think you've had 188,000 viewers. Please this is crap!

At 2/20/2007 4:30 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

For the benefit of the chuckle-head above and all the other fine folks who can't stand the success this blog has enjoyed... here's my tracking program's summary page from about 10 minutes ago.

Take a look and then STFU.

(here's a hint. Click on the little square in the upper right corner of your brower to see it full size.)

PS. I get about 30 comments daily spread throughout the site, though crap like yours doesn't count and rarely gets published. You're just not looking hard enough.

At 2/20/2007 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think about the Iran situation? Tony Snow has said that the statement made by Iran's president wasn't serious or justified. He stated that the countries telling them to stop nuclear production, should stop production themselves. He also stated that he wants negotiations and talks with out pre-requirements. Personally, I think the statements made by the President are justified. All of these foreign leaders are speaking out against the U.S. and other countries trying to bully them around, and I actually kind of agree with them.

At 2/20/2007 4:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

It's hard not to see the logic and truth in statements by both the guy in Iran as well as recent remarks critical of the U.S. and it's reckless war policy by Vladimir Putin.

It's hard to argue that the Bush policies haven't destabilized the world and started a multi-nation nuclear arms race by clearly giving these countries a reason to believe that they're in danger of attack or invasion by the U.S.

The severe and global damage done by this administration and it's reckless policies has destabilized the world and will lead to global strife and warfare for several generations to come.

At 2/21/2007 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He probably did have that many hits on his blog....then he dumped their comments because he only posts what he wants to depending on if he likes what he hears or if you agree with his point of views.

At 2/21/2007 7:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You have that partially right, Bozo, which is doing good.

I do dump comments depending on whether they have anything worthwhile to say or whether they're just moronic garbage like yours.

What you have utterly wrong is the notion that I dump comments simply because I might disagree with what the comment says. If you bothered to read comments, you'd never suggest that.

Your comment would have went straight to the garbage because:

Nothing but a boring and witless attack on the blog or myself.

Completely untrue.

Contributes absolutely nothing intelligent to the discussion whatsoever.


It's really stupid.

So in your case, 4 strikes and you're out.

If you're still confused about which comments get dumped, try taking the time to read the ones which do get published and try to get a clue.

Others have no problem. Why you?

At 2/22/2007 8:36 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Congratulations and continued success.

Also, thanks for your help in support in my little effort getting off the ground.

It's funny. You attract the mouth-breathers, recognize them and rebut them (which is kind of what free speech is about)but the sniping gives a blogger some cautious and maybe even paranoid moments. Even in my little operation, I get 'em. Maybe the best example is our colleague "50 Miles Out..." A few months ago he was seriously channeling Jack Bauer.

Sometimes the truth just has stick out there a while to prevail. In the meantime, serious bloggers will often have to breathe into a brown paper bag till the lines and shadows hold still.

Best to you and proud to share the Basin.


At 2/22/2007 8:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

UMR... you're a peach all around and a fine American.

FINALLY, someone who gets the fact that a few hundred stupid attacks... eh... no biggy. But when they get obsessive, very personal, and creepy... then yeah... it starts to get to you and it's not a laughing matter. And when you have reason to believe it's coming from people in public office, then it becomes a matter of principle.

Thanks so much for your understanding and support.

I'll keep whacking away. Someone around here has to.

At 2/23/2007 7:22 PM, Anonymous HU said...

You are taking yourself too seriously.

At 2/23/2007 10:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And you don't have a clue. Sorry.

When I'm personally threatened and harrassed daily for almost two years by those in positions of power who want to try to shut me up or take over the blog, then yeah, I take that seriously.

Suggesting I shouldn't is idiotic, in my opinion.

I am 100% certain that were you subjected to even a fraction of the harassment and personal threats that I have, you would have run to the police or a lawyer long, long ago. I guarantee it.

I am NOT talking about attacks on the blog or on myself as the owner or the blog, nor am I talking about attacks or harassment due to what I write here or my opinions or political views.

This is entirely separate from that. I'm talking about attacks, threats, and the depths and lengths that people in prominent positions have gone to in order to attack and threaten me as a private individual completely apart from what I write or what I do here.

It is NOT acceptible for elected officials to try to silence or intimidate someone from freely reporting facts or expressing their opinion about them by the means that they've used to try to scare me off.

They don't address what I write. They don't write in disputing what I write or proving me wrong.

Instead they hire private investigators, spook around my private life, harasss my family and friends, and who knows what else.

Yeah, I take that seriously. And you should too.

Again, I'm not angry because some people attack me for my views or attack the blog in general. That's their right. It might be annoying, but that comes with the territory.

This is above and beyond that and concerns what public figures have done to try to bully a private and independent citizen simply because they wish to control what I do.

I have a big problem with that.

At 2/25/2007 11:44 AM, Anonymous FrankAllenWilson said...

I thought you were going to quit censoring comments simply because you don't agree with them? What gives Skippy?

Are you changing the rules again?

At 2/25/2007 12:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Where'd you hear that? Again, only reading what you want to hear or not reading at all.

Be more careful and you won't be so confused.


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