A Blogging Birthday

It was on this date eight years ago that this little blog began.

I’ve talked a good bit lately about how it came into being. I was looking for an outlet where I could post a few short columns every now and then, something Andy Rooneyesque, but on a schedule that I could completely control.

That idea became “A Dose of Common Sense,” a little website that has long-since vanished from the face of the blogosphere. It wasn’t really even a blog, but rather a static webpage that I was going to update manually whenever the mood struck me.

Then I stumbled upon AOL’s “Journal” community, and decided to give the same idea a try in a different format. From there, Patrick’s Place was born. Eventually, I tired of the constant drama that was AOL’s J-Land, and moved to Blogger. From there, I went the self-hosting route.

Admittedly, I lost some readers when I left AOL. The majority of these readers were childish people who decided that anyone who left their little playground wasn’t worth playing with. But in the years since, I’ve slowly built up an alternate audience that is definitely more loyal. And the nice part is that a few of the more rational members from that original AOL J-Land community still drop by from time to time, too.

I must, of course, address the obvious question: Did I have any idea that eight years after publishing my first post, I’d still be writing this blog?

The answer is absolutely not.

I thought I might write a blog for a few months, then just delete it and move on to some other hobby that might strike my fancy. For some reason, though, this little thing has stuck.

It has stuck through many designs over eight years, though I think I’m pretty happy with the current one because every time I go searching for a design I like more, I keep finding enough wrong with that potential replacement that I end up appreciating this one that much more.

I’ve learned a lot about writing, even though I was a professional writer and editor long before this blog began, and I’ve learned a lot about debating. I have a sneaking suspicion that blogs are good for the brain, especially when they inspire others to debate an issue. They say that keeping the brain active is critical to avoiding dementia in old age. I’m hoping to avoid that condition, in part, because of readers like you who have no problem with keeping me on my toes.

There’s nothing like having a community of folks who aren’t afraid to say what they think, even if what they think is quite different from what you do.  To put it another way, if we all agreed on everything, the world would be a quite boring place.

So thanks for your feedback and your loyalty over these eight years. I hope you enjoy what I come up with in Year 9!


  1. This post made me chuckle re Aol-J-land. What drama? Just like real life and maybe a lit too much. Eight years…that made me count. Wow. I am at eight and 1/2!.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.