Anniversary!

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Congrats!!! So many things in life to celebrate. I’m glad you stopped to enjoy a milestone and share your thoughts.Report

  2. Avatar Murali says:

    Yeah, receiving commentary does give me a rushReport

  3. FYI, your ‘Waterworld’ posts are some of my favourites.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Many happy returns old boy.Report

  5. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    You are gentleman and a scholar, sir.Report

  6. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Happy anniversary, Tod. And FWIW, your growing up with guns post was one of the most compelling pieces of writing I’ve ever seen on a blog, hands down.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Happy Anniversary! This place would be somewhere else entirely if you weren’t here.Report

  8. Avatar Plinko says:

    Congrats, on a year, Tod!

    I want to echo Jonathan’s admiration for a lot of your ‘Waterworld’ posts, that’s been a lot of great stuff. I find it hard to believe you’d not been writing all those years, the stuff you’ve published has consistently been quite excellent by any standard. I think there often just isn’t much to argue about in them, hence the relative silence from the commentariat.Report

  9. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Congrats Tod. I echo all of your thoughts. Writing here makes me feel equally lucky. Your posts are among my favorites and I’m glad we are ‘colleagues’. I share your frustration about ‘Waterworld posts’ (you’ve probably coined a new term) but the important thing to remember is that they are all being read and enjoyed. Your stuff is great and you should feel very proud of the work you have done in the last year.

    Looking forward to year two.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Let’s not get too carried away with the analogy Mike. Waterworld the movie received zero attention because it was horrible. But lot’s of posts – many that you write for example – are very good, and reading them is a pleasure, despite the lack of commentary they engender. Sometimes there isn’t any easy entry to commenting other than to say “Nice post”.

      If you want comments, try writing a post linking the second amendment restrictions caused the global warming hoax while simultaneously justifying abortion.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        True dat. Every once in a while I feel an impulse to try and create a super-comment post like that but merging hot button topics. I twirl my mustache and then come to my senses.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Judiciously applied abortion policy could easily get the planet back down to a much more manageable 2 billion people which would have a much smaller global footprint, much smaller energy needs, and open up a lot of space that could then be returned to nature and grow plants that would sequester CO2 *AND* provide hunting ground.

        It’d take fewer than four generations to do this, by my back-of-the-envelope calculations.Report

        • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

          The other way, besides abortion, is mandatory carry of fully automatic weapons. See Burress, Plaxico, for the likely effect on male fertility.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            If you say “NO FOREST FIRES” for a hundred years, you’ll get all of this debris and eventually the forest fire will be an unstoppable crown fire instead of a pleasant and healthy ground fire.

            World Peace is exactly like that.Report

            • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

              I think you thought I was trying to say something profound.

              I just meant that a lot of men would be stupid/clumsy/careless enough to shoot their genitals off.Report

  10. You know how much I love your writing. It boggles my mind that you’ve only been here a year, since I simply can’t imagine the place without you. And I am incredibly happy to call you my friend, as well.

    Happy anniversary.Report

  11. Congrats, Tod! It’s been a “space awesome” year! Though I believe the correct title for this post in internet lingo is supposed to be “Blog-iversary!”

    And on the whole “Waterworld” phenomenon, I’ve been trying to figure that out myself since this joint started. Before the commenting culture had fully developed, and a good chunk of the feedback we got was from outside links, I had made it my mission to figure out exactly why certain posts got a lot of linkage and traffic, and others didn’t. Included in that mission was trying to figure out why, when we got Dish links, certain of those links resulted in thousands of pageviews, while others resulted in just a few dozen. It took a solid two years before I just gave up.

    Once you reach a certain level of bewilderment, the temptation is to conclude that the number of pageviews/comments is in inverse proportion to the quality of post*, but that’s not correct, either – a lot of times, you do wind up with lots of pageviews and comments on posts that you put a lot of effort into. The next temptation is to figure that it’s largely a function of subject matter – hot button topics obviously will get more traffic than other topics. This is surely a big part of it, but even there, I’ve had throwaway hot button posts that have gotten little traffic, and throwaway hot button posts that have gotten massive traffic; I’ve also had really considered hot button posts with lots of traffic, and really considered hot button posts with little traffic.

    I’d like to say that at some point, you just accept that it’s not possible to figure it all out (because it’s not!) and stop getting frustrated and flummoxed when that post you worked on for days gets 15 comments, no links, and 200 pageviews. But that would be a lie.

    The best I’ve been able to do is to recognize that there are certain commenters whose opinions I hold in especially high regard, because they usually disagree with me, but also usually do a great job of really honing in on the weak spots of my posts when they do. If just one of those commenters provides positive feedback on a post where I presumed they would disagree with me, then I can feel confident that it was a good post. Of course, the next problem is, having concluded something was a good post, it’s a little annoying to see that no one outside the site is reading it.

    *For example, compare the number of comments I got on two separate posts I did on Honduras:
    https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2009/07/honduras-wtf/
    https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2009/11/honduras-reclaiming-the-american-sphere-of-influence/

    The second post has since actually wound up with a lot of pageviews, but only because of Google Images searches; it got only a handful of pageviews on the substance.Report

  12. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Happy anniversary and keep up the great work, my friend. Your participation in our community is intensely valuable and you embody the ideals of the Gentlemanly spirit to which the blog as a whole aspires.Report

  13. Avatar Maribou says:

    Happy anniversary! You are a delight to read and to know.

    As far as Waterworld posts, what I told Jay once (and I think Patrick has said the same thing on MD): You have to be at least a bit wrong to get comments. By which I mean, commenters here are reluctant to just say “Oh, good show, old chap!” – they want to have something substantive to contribute. If a post is nigh perfect, it’s hard to find a substantive response, beyond appreciation, and so the people who read it don’t tend to comment; while if it’s got obvious flaws, well, time to dig in! The way the comment system works is great for foregrounding comments and thus encouraging discussion. However, it also tends to obscure posts that haven’t gotten many comments yet, making pageviews less likely. People are less likely to link to perfect things, too, than they are to things they wish to disagree stridently with.

    Jaybird doesn’t buy this theory, but I am increasingly confident of it.Report

    • Avatar Miss Mary says:

      I agree and I’m wondering if the obviously male dominated population has any thing to do with it.Report

    • Avatar Plinko says:

      I agree as well. There have been some posts where I do comment just to say ‘good show’ but it feels a little cheesy to do so. Maybe I need to get over that.

      There are other times I make a trifling comment just to get the comment string subscription so I can get the updates via e-mail because I think something interesting might get discussed.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      This gives me comfort and hope that my posts which have not garnered much linkage or comments weren’t dreadfully boring.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      My that’s a clever theory. I’m gonna have to noodle it over a bit before I can weigh in on it tho.Report

  14. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    Hey Tod — congratulations from a fan. I have really enjoyed reading your posts.

    When are you getting started on that novel?Report

  15. Avatar Erik Kain says:

    Tod, it’s obvious to anyone with an eye for talent (and I believe I do have that) that you’re a natural born writer. You’ve got the gift, and I could see that plainly after you’re first few guest posts. No bewilderment from where I’m standing.Report

  16. Avatar Michelle says:

    Happy first anniversary, Tod. It’s been a delight reading your posts. You’ve covered so many different subjects so well, although my favorite will likely always be the post on your parents’ second date.

    Looking forward to year two.Report

  17. Avatar MikeSchilling says:

    I used to enjoy your writing, but ever since I learned that you think they’re called “Volgons”, I can no support you. I am canceling my subscription.Report

  18. Avatar Wardsmith says:

    Happy blogoversary Tod. Not only do I enjoy your writing I even enjoy your freudian slips. Keep up the great work. And don’t be so harsh on Waterworld, Kevin had to do /something/ to make Postman not be his Worst movie 😉Report

    • Avatar wardsmith says:

      Speaking of Freudian slips, can someone with frontpage rights please add a after the word slips above? Didn’t work so good from my smartphone. 🙁Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        Got your back.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

          Wait, what’s supposed to be the front half of the link? You’ve got an open a and a close a but no link in there.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith says:

          And thanks Patrick. When is YOUR anniversary BTW?Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            I have no idea, to be honest. I wouldn’t know how to count it. First comment here? First time I posted at MD? First post on the front page?

            This is the problem with these newfangled “live together before you get hitched” relationships, you don’t know what you ought to call your proper anniversary and next thing you know “first kiss”, “first naughty bits in the back seat”, “first real estate purchase together”, “signing ceremony with the judge”, “public affirmation with parents who didn’t know we’d been married for six months”, “first offspring”… they clutter up the reminder calendar.Report

  19. Avatar Johanley says:

    As primarily a lurker, I do indeed often read your post. Happy one year of writing here!Report

  20. Avatar ktward says:

    Those who despise personal reflection, navel gazing and gooey acknowledgements of gratitude would be wise to turn back now.

    Granted, the penchant for navel gazing around here occasionally gets under my skin. But I’ve largely come to accept it as an inescapable by-product of the Extraordinary stuff that happens here among the Ordinary folks. Gotta take the good with the bad.

    I don’t get the chance to stop by nearly as often as I’d like, but I am a most reliable lurker and I do indeed like lurking on your posts, Mr. Kelly: writing is fab and always promises a fascinating thread. Many thanks to your family for sharing you.Report

  21. Avatar Rose Woodhouse says:

    Tod, I’m part of your Waterworld problem. I read and think “dig the post,” but don’t say anything. And I, too, am a lousy predictor of which posts will take off. Kids with special needs and philosophy excepting aesthetics are not very hot topics, and abortion is not quite as hot as one would think. That’s about all I’ve figured out. And who could have guessed about Rush?

    I love reading your posts and your comments on mine. You’re a big reason that I’ve really enjoyed writing here. You are a rare combination of very kind and insightful and funny.

    Happy anniversary!Report

    • Avatar ktward says:

      [Tod, you] are a rare combination of very kind and insightful and funny.

      Dang, wish I had said that. So simple, so obvious. Put me down for an official +1.Report