Sunday, February 22, 2004

Happy (Belated) Birthday to On the Fence

One year ago on February 9, a young student journalist in Montreal began keeping a weblog. In his first entry, aptly and succinctly titled "Hi", he wrote:
Well, this is my attempt at a Blog. Really, I just wanted to create a space where I could archive my McGill Daily column and other writings online. But now, the allure of web-celebrity is slowing pumping up my ego. Now I have dreams of becoming the next Jennycam or whathaveyou. Soon, The New York Times will write a story about the charismatic young Montrealer who captured the world...
So to those of you who know me, hi. Please make gratuitous fun of me in whatever way you can.
To those of you who do not know me, what the hell are you doing here? How did you get here? Also, hi.
(Thankfully, soon after, the young man stopped capitalizing the word "blog.")

Today, as per his prediction, the "On the Fence" blog -- sometimes known as the J. Kelly Nestblog -- is indeed an international phenomenon. Its readership may not be on the level of say Metafilter or even Andrew Coyne, but the important people read it. People like my friends and family -- and the various Canadians I make fun of who then Google themselves and end up here.

Much has changed in the past year: I'm in a new city, Toronto rather than Montreal; I'm still a journalist, but now sans the student prefix; blogging has moved from out of its subculture status to become so mainstream that every pundit and politician from Prague to Peoria has one. (Actually, it was already well on its way in that direction last February.)

But enough wankery. So far in February, On the Fence has already received more visitors than it has in any other single month. Thanks to those who have visited since the beginning. May there be many more years of self-indulgent blogging ahead.

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