Monday, December 28, 2009

Fifteen Hundred

Good morning Fackers. Hopefully everyone had an excellent weekend of food, family, tradition, presents and of course drinking (and if not, Chinese food and movies). It was a busy one for me, starting with a friends party on Wednesday night, then a Christmas Eve Wigilia at my aunt's house, Christmas Day at my Mom's and a huge annual gathering with my father's side of the family yesterday, scheduled squarely over the Giants' game miserable and embarrassing failure. Luckily there was no TV so I was spared the agony.

Amidst all the festivities last year, including a trip up from New York, I managed to find some time to write the first post for this blog (well, technically the second). Fast forward exactly one thousand five hundred posts and you'd arrive at this one.

I didn't have a specific goal in mind when I started Fack Youk other than to write about the Yankees and when we started off, it was much less Bronx-centric than it is now. We didn't have the Casey Stengel banner picture, the knockoff Red Sox font, the motto that turned away countless advertisers, the black and white photo policy and aside from me, the cast of characters here was totally different.

There was a lot I didn't realize about writing back then. I didn't understand that it wasn't as much about what you say but how you say it. And that who is saying it matters even more. The most important thing about maintaining a blog is establishing a voice and not coincidentally, it's the hardest thing to do. A lot harder than I expected.

The humble thing to do would be to say that we've come further than I could have imagined over the past year, but that's not really true. Success is easy to imagine. You write a couple of posts, people like them, you get a few links and it's easy to imagine that in no time you'll be rolling in pageviews and ad revenue. In reality, what look like ramps to untold amounts of traffic are really just spikes that return a certain baseline in a few days (at most). What makes a blog successful is the day to day grind.

As our pal Craig (then only of Shysterball) told me when I reached out to him for advice shortly after this whole thing began:
Work on pacing yourself and putting out regular, predictable content that people can come back to on a regular basis, and soon they'll bookmark you or put you in their reader, and from there things grow steadily.
The thing that I truly could not have imagined is how much content we produced over the past year - over four posts a day, including weekends. Those are the kind of details that you usually gloss over when you set out to accomplish something (even if you don't know what that something is). There was no way I could have possibly fathomed the amount of hours that I'd spend playing the role of Sisyphus in an attempt to put something new and interesting on the top of a web page. It's somewhat ironic that in a medium so instantaneous, true success and progress takes a long time.

Thankfully, the Yankees had about as good of a year as could be expected and have continued with a great offseason thus far, which has made all of the effort put into this blog seem more worthwhile. We all got awfully lucky in that respect.

Last but certainly not least, thanks to everyone for stopping by. There are a ridiculous amount of Yankee blogs out there and the fact that you choose to come here is what makes it worth putting in all the effort. Hopefully this time next year we'll have more to celebrate and be thankful for. In the meantime, we'll continue with the vulgarity and analysis.