Happy 17th Birthday Cynical-C Blog! What I Learned Today – Monday, September 28

Today marks the 17th anniversary of Cynical-C Blog.  I started it out of boredom to be honest.  I had just been laid off from a job as a software developer and had started a boring admin job just to pay the bills which left me needing something more challenging.  Blogs were fairly new in 2003.  I remember having to explain to more than a few people what a blog were, “short for WEBlog,” I would tell them as they nodded their head and moved on to the next topic of conversation. There was no Facebook nor Twitter. I don’t  even think MySpace was a thing back then for that matter (I just checked. MySpace started in 2005). So I  decided one day that I would give it a try, thought of a silly name in a few minutes not giving much thought that I would be stuck with it forever, and started posting things that I would find on the web that interested me. I never expected anybody would actually want to  read it besides a friend or two. But blogs were still a small enough network back then that  other bloggers noticed when you linked to them. I started getting links back to my content. Comments slowly started to come in. Within a few months I started getting about 100 visits a day and traffic started to double every two months. I think the height of this blog’s popularity, about 2009, the Golden Age of blogging) I would get close to half a million visits a month regularly. When I started doing the “You Can’t Please Everyone” posts, traffic went though the roof and I hit the one million hits a month mark. It was a crazy time. I found that the larger the readership became, the more stressful it was to keep the blog entertaining on a daily basis. I had three jobs at that point. One was my day job, the other was posting content, and comment moderation became an enormous time drain just to keep things civil and remove spam. I was being compensated through google ads which were still lucrative at that point. (My memory is around 2009 when the audience was peaking, so were google adsense, which meant I was making about as much money through ads as I was at my day job.)

But the web started to change after 2010. Blog readers started to flock to Facebook and Twitter which were platforms that could give them an instantaneous outlet.  No longer did somebody need to create their own blog or make a comment to be heard. When somebody signed up for a Facebook account, within seconds they had their own personal blog and audience through their connections which Facebook served to them on a platter.  By 2013, Google ditched their rss reader (this was a huge death blow for weblogs since rss readers were the arteries which supplied our core readership) and also changed their algorithms pushing blogs deeper down in their search results. This had a tremendously negative impact on even bigger blogs such as Metafilter which had to start laying off staff. Megapopular blogs like Boing Boing started selling products in blog posts interlaced with their content, (I’m guessing it was because ad revenue was no longer consistent. I never understood readers who were proud of using ad blockers to circumvent blog ads.  Hosting got very expensive as web traffic grew. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford web hosting for my traffic without ad revenue. But god forbid they have to see an ad in the sidebar.)

I quit blogging sometime after that. I was just burned out. And tired of getting hateful comments and email after every single post. Even cat posts would get an angry comment or two. I took a break, and came back a few months later. But the landscape was different. And that was fine. Things change. And with the web, they change quickly as new platforms emerge and other platforms fade almost overnight. (Were we even talking about TikTok last year?)

And that brings us up to today.  17 years after starting this silly hobby that has been one of the strangest journeys of my life. I’ve grown quite a bit since 2003. My opinions have shifted a little.  I’m certain that opinions that you could dig up in posts from the past are no longer the ones I hold today. But basically, I’m the still liberal atheist cat loving curious blogger that I have been since creating the domain name back in the Autumn of 2003.

There is one thing I never took into account when I did start this blog up though. Something that caught me by surprise and the thing I’m most grateful for that has kept me going all these years.  The readers and commenters who have taken the time to visit me these years. You have added to this blog when I have come up short. You have kept me going and filled me with joy during the down days. You have help shift opinions and make me try to be a better person. Thank you for being with me on this crazy but fascinating journey that we all traverse online. And I hope you will be with me for the next 17 years.

Now, let’s see what kind of shitty fuckery is going on during another day of 2020.

Today’s huge story is the NY Times has years of Trump’s tax returns and it turns out, Trump pays virtually nothing in taxes claiming huge business losses and debts. He’s a tax cheat, a failed businessman, and a pathological liar. There’s something terribly wrong with a system where the gold toilet guy pays less in taxes than you or me.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager, the one who was replaced after saying that a million people wanted to go to Trump’s first rally after covid, seems to have had something of an episode after the NY Times story broke:

A new study suggests that opening schools up has led to 3,200 new cases per day in the US.

France is entering their second wave with a record breaking 16,000 new cases in the other day

In Florida coronavirus news, oh boy.  Ron DeSantis has lifted restrictions on bars and restaurants allowing them to go back to full capacity inside and out. My god! DeSantis also wants a full Super Bowl this year with no social distancing.

Well, this made me almost die laughing:

Lola paid the same amount in taxes as Trump in 10 of the last 15 years. She is irate about it and needs treats to calm her.

How to Steal Like Wes Anderson:

I’m posting this now but the day is young. Subscribe to the newsletter for any updates that may occur as all hell potentially breaks loose on an otherwise normal day: