Do you really have to be the ice queen intellectual or the slut whore? Isn’t there some way to be both? - Susan Sarandon
Anniversaries are one of those times at which we’re inspired to look back at the past to see where we’ve been; it’s a bit like sitting on top of a mountain and surveying the route one took to get there. And when I consider all that’s happened here since July 10th, 2010 all I can say is “wow”. Well, that’s not all I can say, or else the column would already be over, but I think you know what I mean. And what makes it even more impressive is looking at the figures I recorded in last year’s anniversary column: then I had written 365 columns, now it’s 731 (not counting the ones in queue you haven’t seen yet or the guest columns I’ve written for other blogs). But while the sheer size of this site has just slightly more than doubled (counting the indexes and other supplemental materials), all the other figures are far more than double. Last year there were about 8300 comments; now there are over 19,000. Then I had just under 250,000 hits; I reached 750,000 late last night and (Athena willing) should hit a million by the end of the year. 87 subscribers have grown to over 300, and that’s not counting the 500+ people who follow me on Twitter. My Google page rank is “5”, which I’m told is very good for a personal blog (Jezebel is only a 7), and that has almost certainly contributed to the number of researchers, reporters and other interested parties who approach me almost every week now with questions, interview requests and the like. I still haven’t managed to make any money from this gig yet, but that’s not why I do this anyhow; the important thing to me is helping the general public to understand that most whores really aren’t weird, scary, criminal, stupid, unethical, emotionally disturbed, victimized by men (except by those employed by governments to persecute us, of course) or any of the other dumb stereotypes with which prohibitionists and other moralists constantly libel us. And judging by the numbers, the fan mail and the reputation I’ve gained among activists, I think it’s safe to say that I’m achieving that to the extent that any one person can.
Last year at this time I started a new feature, “One Year Ago Today”, and though it’s been successful I also think it’s time to retire it as such. I’m still going to call attention to old columns when the text calls for it, of course, but I really don’t want to have to do both “one year ago today” and “two years ago today” features, so I’m going to shift those recaps to two other places: Every day I’ll do both of those on Twitter (non-users will be able to see them in the Twitter feed in the right-hand column), and “That Was the Week That Was” will have a “This Week in 2011” and “This Week in 2010” feature. Another change to TW3 will be a reduction in the number of items I feature there: it takes some doing to keep those columns at under 2000 words, so it will reduce my workload considerably if I extract a few bigger stories and feature them separately in another column (since I can nearly always manage to relate a few to each other). Since the “one year ago” feature will be less rigid now, it’ll be easy for me to leave a gap in the schedule to fit that sort of thing into, and that, too will reduce my workload. Don’t worry, I plan to keep doing a column every day for the foreseeable future; I’ve become more comfortable with shorter columns, which means I’ll be able to turn out daily essays without having to be concerned about padding them or finding more to say than the topic needs.
And that, as it turns out, is pretty much all I want to say on this topic, except for a big thank you to all my readers: thank you for reading what I have to say day after day; thank you for linking me all over the internet; thank you for all the moral support and respect; thank you for many amazing compliments; thank you for the lovely presents; thank you for giving me the opportunity to marry my two beloved professions (harlotry and librarianship) together; and thank you for visiting often enough to amplify my voice so that maybe, just maybe, what I have to say will eventually start reaching the ears of those who need so desperately to hear it.