more or less a one year anniversary

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” -Johannes A. Gaertner

I have been writing Brip Blap for slightly more than a year now in its current incarnation. For those of you who never saw the old site (which is probably 99.999% of you), I did maintain a Blogger blog with this name for about four years. It was, at best, a giant linkfest for political articles, primarily about US presidential politics. I would get readers occasionally but it was first and foremost a personal venting forum. I restarted Brip Blap last June with a focused plan to write useful, informative and hopefully sometimes funny articles about life, family, personal finance and whatever else crossed my mind – but always on the general topic of self-improvement. I decided to write this post early on to make sure I would never forget to thank the people who helped me at the beginning. I actually wrote this post last summer (in August 2007).

This version of Brip Blap has been far more satisfying to me, both as a writer and as a person, than the first version. I have been very lucky to receive some encouragement early on from people who had no obligation to help me out, but did anyway. Each one of them kept me motivated when my total number of visitors were tiny and my struggles with learning how to write a coherent post and how to use WordPress were killing me.

So as I hit my one-year anniversary, I would like to first say thank you to: Lazy Man and Money, who was the first person to link back to Brip Blap. His link spurred the first surge in traffic – basically providing the first readers who weren’t related to me. He has continued being exceptionally helpful, both visibly and behind the scenes, and most importantly providing a lot of encouragement over the last year, without which I never would have really gotten started. I owe him a great deal. Thanks to Patrick of Cash Money Life, who used StumbleUpon to ‘stumble’ an early post of mine which then exploded into tens of thousands of page views and expanded my blog’s reach by huge amounts. I would also like to say thank you to Penelope Trunk, who took the time to write me, the author of a tiny little blog, several very kind and encouraging emails out of the blue when I first started. She also linked to a post of mine from her Yahoo! Finance column. That one mention drove a huge amount of traffic to my site. I am still amazed to this day that she did all of that.

But that’s not all! Thank you to Saving Diva, who started commenting on my site when nobody else was. Thanks also to many of the other bloggers who have provided content that inspired me and whose thoughts on my work, both in comments and emails, have helped me improve my writing (I hope): Moolanomy, AskDong, Four Pillars (now Quest for Four Pillars), The Digerati Life, and many, many others. My Two Dollars and Finance Is Personal were the first sites to feature guest posts from me, which I really appreciated. Thanks to every blogger who allowed me to guest post, and thanks to everyone who has given me a guest post. I have also drawn a lot of inspiration from Millionaire Mommy Next Door, and the support of other bloggers like Guinness416 and Mrs. Micah. Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar were real inspirations early on for me, too.

Thanks to my network, The Money Writers. I joined a few months ago and since then I’ve received tons of encouragement from them, plus a lot of technical advice. It’s a great group and if you like my blog they all have the same mindset as I do:

The M-Network blogs have been great. I have some great interactions with all of them and I think they are a great bunch of people and bloggers. Almost all of them have helped me out in one form or another from the beginning and I really appreciate it.

Commentators here at brip blap have been fantastic. If you are a blogger you’ll understand what I mean, but if not let me tell you – the first few times you have someone make a reasoned, thoughtful response to something you wrote … well, it’s a rush. I am terrible about responding to comments, I know, but I read all of them, and I couldn’t be happier to see everyone having an opinion on my blog. It is absolutely amazing as a writer to get that feedback.

A special thanks to anyone and everyone who has read brip blap in the past year, comments or no. I enjoy writing enough that I would do it for my own entertainment, but obviously it’s a lot more fun when someone reads what you write! I was happy when I hit 100 visits and now I am approaching a million. That is quite – for lack of a better word – cool.

If I’ve forgotten anyone, forgive me! I have enjoyed every exchange of ideas over the last year, and every bit of correspodence, traffic, suggestions, good wishes and constructive criticism has been priceless! The blogging community has been terrific. So many people have been so good to me it’s impossible to list them all. There is hope for this world…

I’d also like to thank the advertisers on the site, who I am sure are also faithful readers…

And of course, most importantly I have to thank my family (thanks particularly to you, Mom) and above all my wife, Bubelah, who encouraged me to start writing and who in her relentlessly positive attitude never, ever expresses a second’s doubt that I will succeed at this or anything else I do. Ti moya sertse.

Thanks, everyone. On a personal level, I really appreciate it. I never expected this. You are great.

Creative Commons License photo credit: joeltelling