I discovered blogs probably about the same time you did. I checked out the whole scene; random strangers writing about their political views, travels abroad or the crazy thing that just happened ten minutes ago to them on their most recent trip to the grocery store. I quickly sized up the movement and determined it to be stupid. Some loser pretends to be Jack Kerouac once a week and thinks I actually want to read what he's got to say just because he's posted it on his own website. Please.
Then the New Orleans Hornets started winning basketball games. I followed them on TV, attended a few games and got to know the players. I finally became a fan of basketball in New Orleans along with a lot of other people in the city at the time. Helping fuel my new found addiction was my friend, Jordan, a certified basketball head. It was he who introduced me to Hornets247, a well written and regularly updated Hornets blog. I loved checking in every day and reading what they had to say about the same team and the same games I was watching but in a creative way that was different from anything I'd ever seen. Even more, I could voice my own opinions right there as well. In short, Hornets247 completely shattered my notion of the term blog. I had never even thought about sports blogging. If you're trying to nail down the birth of Canal Street Chronicles this moment would be a great place to start.
It wasn't long before the light bulb went off in my head: I can write my own blog about the Saints! I'm fan enough. I go to every game. I read the sports section every day, listen to WWL's Sports Talk every afternoon and watch all the local Saints TV shows. I know just as much about this team as the next guy. About five minutes after this realization I had already come up with the perfect name for a Saints blog that was too good not to act on. On March 23rd, 2008 Blog and Gold went live using the Blogger platform. I was now one of those idiots who thought I was worth listening to. You can read my first ever post right here. Prepare yourself.
Not knowing what to expect I was surprised and excited when I received fifty or so hits that first day. Who were these people? How did they find me? What did they think? Are they coming back? I'm scared...hold me. Of course it wasn't until a few days into starting my own Saints blog that I ever thought to to look for other Saints blogs already floating in the blogosphere. It was then that I discovered Canal Street Chronicles. At that time it was merely a shell of it's former self. The original author, Sunil, hadn't posted anything in over two months. It was obvious he was gone and CSC was in need of a little TLC. The whole network format of SB Nation intrigued me and I thought the Diaries (that's what they used to call FanPosts) set it apart from everyone else. Looking at the other blogs in the network I assumed you had to really know what you were doing to be a part of this gig. Nevertheless, enterprising soul that I am, I shot an email to the contact address I found on the main page of SB Nation. They need a Saints blogger and I blog about the Saints. Perfect fit. Shortly thereafter I received an email thanking me for my interest and telling me that I was being watched. This was moving along quickly.
Of course I tried writing my best stuff. About a week later I received another e-mail from SB Nation telling me that if I'm really dedicated to doing this, the job is mine. After only 31 posts, Blog and Gold was handed over the keys to Canal Street Chronicles. Maybe these people didn't know what they were doing. Here is my first post ever on CSC from April 8th. For a while I felt like I wasn't supposed to be here. Surely there were better writers than me. It was slow going at first but I worked my butt off. I gained popularity by doing a daily links post called "Saints News" every single day. I would usually follow that up with an afternoon post. A few kind, supportive e-mails from thankful readers every now and then made sure I never quit even when I wanted to. Getting people to comment was like pulling teeth. nolastyle was the first person to comment but he has since disappeared. Stujo was the first regular visitor. He showed up every day, commented on every post and helped me encourage more users to speak up. I knew I could count on him. In my mind Satchmo26 became CSC's second regular reader. Then M-E and M_T showed up onto the scene curiously around the same time. New members began to pop up here and there on a regular basis. The monumental Shockey trade provided a huge boost in traffic and by season's start, things were humming.
It's now a year later and I cannot believe how far it's come already. CSC currently has 620 members and gets thousands of hits every single day. Last month alone we blew away previous traffic numbers and acquired 120 new members. We reach new milestones on a regular basis. You actually might not even believe this but Da Chronic has had it's highest traffic these past two days. Our blog can now be found on Yahoo! and Sports Illustrated and our staff has doubled to two writers. I'm also amazed everyday by how far this little hobby and silly website has taken me in my personal life and allowed me to do things I never thought I would ever do. In the last year I have made new friends, done radio shows and podcasts, travelled the globe and had the honor of interviewing players and musicians all in the name of blogging.
And so I've come a long way from the person who thought not too long ago that blogs were stupid and I now laugh at my naivete. As a card carrying member of the movement, I am definitely proud to say it's probably the coolest thing in the world other than the thought of a Saints Super Bowl. I understand why people blog and read blogs though everyone has their own reason. Some bloggers like the amateur sports reporter side of it, others like being able to inspire fans with their writing while others still just like running off at the mouth. I do it for the community aspect of it all. I enjoy the fact that I am a uniter of sorts. I like creating conversation and presenting different sides to all the issues. I get to do all of this while having a small voice in the Saints community. It's always interesting to see the reactions from each and every post.
Thanks to anyone who ever had anything to do with me getting us this far, especially SB Nation. Thanks to all of you who come here everyday and call this place home. It's an old sports cliche but it's applicable here as well: I wouldn't be here without you. Really, what would be the point of me writing if nobody was going to read it. As amazing as the last year has been I can't wait to see what lay ahead in the upcoming year. As CSC, SB Nation and blogs in general continue to gain popularity the possibilities remain limitless. I can't tell you where all of this will lead or what the future holds for CSC but I can tell you it's going to be fun as hell to get there.
As usual, I now turn it over to you guys. Tell me how you first found CSC or maybe some of your favorite posts. You know what this site means to me and I would love to know what it means to all of you. I invite you to celebrate with me.
Happy Anniversary Canal Street Chronicles!