By Jay Hansen
I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary everyone. Today, In the Reddest turns one year old. It was July 26th, 2011 when my very first article was published, and today I’m very happy to say it’s been a whole year and I stuck with my plan of at least two articles a week with the exceptions of the one week we were down for site maintenance and one or two weeks where I instead opted for one huge article. To be honest, I’ve even shocked myself a little bit with just how much I’ve managed to write in the past year. Maybe it’s because I care so much about it, maybe it’s that it gives me an excuse to write, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m paying for this website and I don’t want to waste that money, but whatever it is I’m so happy I’ve lasted just this long.
As I said in my very first piece, and many more times since then, even a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step. In the past year, I’ve talked about corruption, campaign finance, taxation, education, libertarianism, progressivism, liberalism, the budget, health care, LGBT issues, horserace politics, political humor and satire, evolution, entropy, the meaning of life, and much, much more. I’ve written more non-fiction in the past year of my life than the rest of it combined, including what work I did as an English Education major in college. More importantly, I did it all while still maintaining a full time job and a healthy social life with my friends and wonderful partner Heidi, with whom I share a two-year anniversary only a few weeks from today, and I love very much (especially for her patients when it comes to me and politics). On top of that, I’ve also managed to be increasingly more active with Oklahoma BBW and the Oklahoma Brennan Society (see my links page). All in all, it’s been a very productive, and very good year.
At the same time though, there are things in my life I would like to focus on more, or that I miss. Perhaps most importantly I’d like to get back to writing some more fiction. It’s been a very long time since I’ve taken to the world of fantasy and imagination, and there are way too many ideas, plots, and characters rolling around in my head that demand escape onto the nearest blank page. I’m unsure if I would share my fiction here on this website, but surely I would share them on my DeviantArt page, which I also haven’t touched in nearly a year.
I also miss my World of Warcraft guild, and the friends I made in it. I’m a guild master (even if in name only at this point) to the oldest goblin role-playing guild in the history of the game, and am a founding member of the Trade Princess Movement. General boredom with the game isn’t really helping me get more involved, and even the upcoming expansion has me significantly less enthusiastic as I thought I would be. Nonetheless, I miss tinkering with character stories, getting involved with guild events, and just generally goofing around on my countless characters in the game. Right now, I don’t even know which I want to be my main character any more.
Hopefully I can find a better means to balance these things back into the equation of my life over the course of the next year. I’d still like to aim for at least two articles a week, save when I do massive, time-consuming articles, which are often so because of the effort it takes to hunt down sources, or if I’m on vacation which I will be on and off throughout this next week (eh, time to celebrate anyway!). I’m very happy, and dare I even say proud, of what I’ve accomplished so far and how my particular life is balanced, but there’s always room for improvement. First and foremost, I’m thinking of getting rid of the “around the internet” section entirely. In case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t exactly been updated a lot recently. In its place, however, I’ve been considering launching a facebook page for Inthereddest.com, which is where I would share all the little fascinating stories I find around the internet. On top of that, I’ve been giving more and more thought to getting some ads on my website to generate some revenue, mostly as a means to provide to the site’s upkeep. If someone has information on this, I’d welcome some advice, and as always, I’ll keep you guys up to date!
Finally, I just wanted to say I’ve been working on something else in my spare time. I don’t want to spoil, get my hopes up, or jinx anything, so I won’t divulge any detail yet, but this could be something big for my personal future in the field of political commentary.
I just want to thank everyone for reading this site. I’d like to thank you, staring at the screen right now. I know I did so at the end of my last piece as well, but it’s important. I don’t do advertising, so word of mouth is pretty much the only means of spreading my site, even if “by word of mouth” in today’s society actually means “by facebook post.” This site means a lot to me, even if it’s not yet doing a lot for me. I just keep telling myself each day to hang in there and keep on keeping on and eventually my day will come.
So let’s keep this journey going. I hope you’ll stay with me for another year and beyond.