I'm getting a little personal in this post, which is unusual, but necessary in this case. Late last night, during Maryland's victory over Houston, Testudo Times received our 1,000,000th visit in our short year and a half existence. Perhaps it's just fitting that we also topped 1,000 comments in the GameThread (previous record was 492) - and, of course, that Maryland won.
I just wanted to take a quick moment to reflect on it. Less than two years ago, none of us knew each other. I started out as someone bored on the internet and determined that I could do a better job at blogging about my favorite team than anyone else. I kept bugging the guys at SBNation, namely Peter Bean and Tyler Blezinski, about adding me, despite minimal experience. After running a test blog for a month, they agreed to give me a shot.
For the first half a year, we received almost no traffic; I'm certain the majority of it came from me and my soon-to-be co-blogger, David Tucker. I'm not blaming anyone, you understand - we've come a long way since our old stuff. Honestly, I'm not sure it was worth reading. At some point around this time last year, we started to see an increase in traffic; a few weeks ago, we exploded. We went from received 500 hits a month to 10,000 a day in under a year and a half. Getting to 1,000,000 has been a great achievement for all parties involved, from me to David to Ben G., who we added later as the third writer.
But this isn't a post to brag about what we did. It's a post to thank you: the readers, the commenters, the posters. It sounds cheesy to say we do it for you, but to some extent, we do. Without you, there would be no visits, no comments, no community. Your involvement and support has blown me away; I can only express my gratitude for giving the blog a shot and sticking with it, because we really, really do appreciate it. So: thank you guys, and please stick around. We promise we'll just keep getting better.
I can't make this post without throwing out some thanks, too, so here goes: major thanks to PB and Blez, first of all, for taking a major flier on me. I'm not so naive as to think that I wasn't a longshot to turn out well, and I'm ecstatic that I could fulfill or even surpass my duties and become an asset to the network. Similarly, thanks to the entire network, because there's no way we'd reach this size without SBN behind us. Thanks to everyone that's linked to me and indulged me on Twitter conversations - this includes a lot of people, but especially The Steinz at The Bog, Matt Bracken at the Recruiting Report, Patrick Stevens at D1scourse, the Mottrams at Mister Irrelevant, and the good folks at InsideMDSports. Of course, thanks to all the commenters and posters that have left a major impression on the blog as a whole and kept it going.
David Tucker, though probably sleeping right now, emailed me with his thoughts.
I'm proud to have been a part of this and give Ben B. major props for taking this site to the next level where we've now been recognized by the Baltimore Sun as the best sports blog in the area, by Maryland's AD as being a great site ... Also props to Ben G., who's done a lot with the MD Minute and other features on the site. And thanks to all of you, the readers, for making this happen.
Sums it up pretty well.
Unfortunately, it's not all chocolate and roses here - because we're growing so rapidly, we do need to alter the rules for the community a very tiny bit. Most of them will stay the same, but the way we enforce them may change a bit. We've always been an extremely open forum, with lots of discussion, and we like to maintain that. You won't be punished or censored for your beliefs (unless they're inherently racist, sexist, or trollish in nature), and that won't change.
That said, as we grow, we need to crack down on certain things - namely, name-calling, disrespect, and trolling. If you disagree with someone, that's great - make a response. Please, however, be respectful about it - don't call the original poster "an idiot", "moronic", or the like. If they're a troll or are clearly out of line, then let loose, but if they're being serious, then keep the response clean of names. If you want to show the person up by showing their fault, that's fine - just don't call them "an ass" when you do it. We've let some of these go, but in the future, we will delete the comments when we see them. It hasn't been a big problem and 99.9% of you are clean, but in the future, if you see a comment deleted, that's probably why. So please, be respectful - discuss, don't argue. Don't be a ****, basically.
With that out of the way, it's back to happiness - thank you. I can say from experience that it's just not the same without you.