We'll return to covering the news shortly, but I hope readers won't mind a brief self-indulgent interruption.
Exactly 10 years ago tomorrow, I began my blogging career, making this my "blogoversary." My very first post, published on Feb. 23, 2003, complained about the guest list on "Meet the Press," which reinforces the thesis that some things never change.
Of course, some things change quite a bit. Ten years ago, I was 29, a job opportunity had just fallen through unexpectedly, and I suddenly found myself in an awkward professional position. My wife suggested I start a blog -- if I had an online outlet, maybe I'd stop droning on about politics in our kitchen -- and it seemed like a little side project I could tackle until a "real" job came along.
At a minimum, I thought at the time, blogging would offer me a chance to keep up some writing chops and perhaps get a couple of writing samples out of the endeavor. I was already closely reading some blogs -- Drum, Kos, Josh, Atrios -- and it looked like they were having a good time, so I jumped in.
And I liked it more than I thought I would.
As much as I was enjoying myself, though, finding an audience was difficult. My reader base was initially so small, I'd check my traffic and realize that I knew each of my readers individually. Promotion was tricky -- there was no social media in 2003 -- and I was reluctant to create a comments section for the first several months because I didn't want a series of posts followed by a series of zeroes.
But I kept at it, and in time, readers started to appear. The keep-me-busy side project slowly evolved into a full-time career, which led to opportunities -- like joining Rachel Maddow's team -- that would have simply been unfathomable to me when I hit "publish" for the first time in February 2003. Ten years, two wars, three presidential elections, and a global economic crash later, I turn around to discover that I've devoted a fourth of my life to a non-traditional profession that didn't even exist in the not-too-distant past -- and I'm having an absolute blast. Indeed, the passion I felt for the work a decade ago hasn't abated in the slightest, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to digging in, writing long-winded tirades.
All of which is to say, thank you. Whether you've been reading for 10 minutes or 10 years, I appreciate your time and support.
* Update: I added a link to my first-ever post in the second paragraph, but keep in mind, the old site is on a modest server. Don't be too surprised if it crashes.