The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy anniversary Iconoclast readers!!!


Taking a moment to reflect…

Where we’ve been…

Where we’re going?


Happy anniversary Iconoclast readers… whoever you are… wherever you are!!!

Yes, it has been one whole year… but not really.

I am fudging the one year anniversary date a little here. The actual one year anniversary date for the blog named "The Commonwealth Iconoclast" was June 29, 2006… a couple of months ago.

I was too busy at the time and forgot to take note of this significant milestone.

In the blogosphere, one year is an eternity. Things happen fast. Much faster than any one individual can keep up with. Lots of blogs don’t even last a month let alone a year. Those of you, who, like me, grew up with the Internet, know that we live in a brave new and scary world… move along with it or get run over.

The Commonwealth Iconoclast blog was started officially on June 29, 2005 with a little post entitled “Legalized bribery” which discussed the unholy influence of big special interests money on American politics… this is still a huge issue and a threat to American democracy as we know it. (We will talk about it again in the future.)

Believe it or not, since that time, the Commonwealth Iconoclast has had featured nearly 200 posts, totaling approximately 200,000 words, on subjects ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. The estimated 200,000 words counts only the original writing by our little team of contributing writers (including Tom, Lowell and myself, plus a few other friendly contributors), but the links to these posts add up to literally many millions of words… some written by, arguably, the greatest minds in history (some maybe not so great).

Since we started, we have discussed world politics, national politics, Virginia politics, local politics and a number of other issues that defy any classification. We have taken on issues with far reaching implications such as social responsibility, energy policy, gun control (gum control also), religion, abuse of political power, political corruption, government incompetence, partisan politics, economic development, shady land deals, voter fraud, pork rinds, constitutional law, coon dogs, personal and pujblic ethics, various sports related issues and a fair amount of trivia.

We have talked about many personalities including Kim Jung Il, Che Guevera, Dick Chenney, Charles Taylor, Jerry Falwell, Tom Delay, Tim Kaine, Joseph Geobbels, Russ Potts, Mark Warner, George Allen, Barney Fife, and an almost endless list of local officials who have “distinguished themselves” usually by some boneheaded behavior.

We have covered a “beat” that includes the entire known universe, the planet earth, various countries around the world, the good old USA, various states, and of course, the Commonwealth of Virginia.

That is the nice thing about the blogosphere: we can talk about whatever we want, whenever we want and nobody can say “you can’t do that” or “you are over budget” or anything else rain on our little “idea parade”.

I think of all the things we write about, the most rewarding are the posts we make closest to home… the ones about the goings on here in Virginia and especially in the little communities all around our wonderful Commonwealth.

Many communities have enthusiastically stepped up to the cyber-podium to speak about what bothers them: Harrisonburg, Rockingham, Richmond, Cumberland, Lynchburg, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Charlotte, Appalachia, Prince William, Buchanan, Prince Edward, Roanoke, Henrico, Lunenburg, , etc.

But to our good friends in Elkton a special thanks. There is perhaps no community in Virginia with more active in the greater community discussion. Thanks for your continuing contributions to the Iconoclast.

The inspiration for this little blog comes from our readers where ever they come from (even some from beyond the USA). That was not the original intent but that is what it has become. It is a discussion among civilized, but diverse people without animosity, without violence, without bullets, without IEDs. Just words… that is all it is… just words.

Your thoughts… your comments… your confidential tips… This is what it is all about... Without these, the Iconoclast would have certainly ceased to exist a long time ago, perhaps after only a few months.

But, since June of 2005, the Iconoclast has had nearly 40 thousand hits according to monster.gostats.com. Considering our limited operating budget, that is a fair number.

However, by blogging standards, 40 thousand hits in a year or so is not a lot of hits. Only a few hundred hits a day. The highest I recall was perhaps 600 hits in one day. We are not ready to go public. And our contributors still go without monetary compensation. Maybe next year… Our budget? That is classified.

But honestly, the Iconoclast probably has only a few hundred regular readers who have marked us as a “favorite”. For whatever reason, they come back to see what is going on here, there and where ever. Some of these folks send us confidential tips (we really appreciate this); some regularly submit thoughtful comments; some just watch.

That last category… the ones who just watch, they are the most interesting. They are the “voyeurs” who seem to carefully observe what is happening but never share with us their thoughts.

Amazingly, there are perhaps a few thousand “voyeurs” who keep checking in but do not choose to comment.

These people intrigue me. What are they thinking? Who are they?

Just anonymous bloggers … I suppose trying to understand the world they live in a little better. That's cool...

The Iconoclast thanks all those anonymous bloggers out there and invites all of them to take the next step… to participate in the great debate that is raging on in the blogosphere… where we peacefully challenge accepted notions and call for higher standards of social behavior. There is no censorship (so far). We don’t try to judge. The blogosphere is just about ideas… your ideas perhaps.

The Iconoclast may occasionally step on a few toes. If you personally have been offended in any way by anything appearing in this blog, it is my humble opinion that you may want to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if you did not play an important role in offending yourself. (Think about it.)

Hopefully you were not expecting an apology.

Somebody once said: “knowledge is power.” And this was way before the Internet and way, way before the blogosphere emerged as a phenomenon. Of course who ever said it was right… but what would they think if they could see the world-wide 24 hour news cycle now reduced to instantaneous “real time” discussion of the world we live in.

What would they think if the blogosphere was controlled by nobody and everybody? Scary thought to some perhaps?

Where is the Iconoclast going? Who knows? Who cares? The Iconoclast will continue as long as a few people care enough to keep it going… and not a second longer.

Where will Katie Couric be next year? And… wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had the same PR budget that Katie Couric has?

Thanks again to all contributors. You have been great. Keep on blogging!!!

Happy anniversary!

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