Those of you who are relatively new around here might not know that I started writing things on the Internet way back back in 1999. It was just a hobby at the time, shared mostly with immediate friends. When I decided to hurl myself headlong into the business of freelance writing, I thought it was only appropriate to “relaunch” my writing in the form of a new blog. Thus, Beyond the Rhetoric was born. And here we are, some 3,500 posts later.

Odds are that very few of you ever read my first blog post in this space back in March 2006. The post itself isn’t especially noteworthy, aside from laying out what I thought was the mission of this blog at the time. The objective, as I stated at the time, was to go “beyond the rhetoric” in expressing “my thoughts, my ideas [and] my view.” I said it was “going to be pretty free and relaxed in here.”

I think it has been and I think it will continue to be. Looking back, I can say that my writing voice has evolved, matured even, in the last eleven years. I don’t think any writer, blogger or otherwise, looks back at their “early work” fondly. We can’t help but to cringe.

The topics that I approach on this blog (and how I approach them) have also changed significantly. I don’t really talk about video games anymore and parenthood has naturally become a much bigger part of my life, and thus, a bigger part of this blog. I once endeavored to review every movie I watched, dedicating an entire post to every film. That evolved into roundups and now, I hardly review movies at all.

Times change. People change. Just consider what the world looked like in March 2006.

  • Inside Man was the number one movie at the box office.
  • Crash won Oscar for Best Picture.
  • “So Sick” by Ne-Yo was the #1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100.
  • President Bush renewed the Patriot Act.
  • Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic died at age 64.
  • The top 6 best selling phones of 2006 were Nokia, with a 35% market share.
  • The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 was the top selling smartphone of 2006.

The iPhone wouldn’t be announced for another year. Barack Obama wouldn’t be sworn in as President for another three years. And it was only in 2006 that Twitter got off the ground, Facebook finally opened itself up to public registration, and YouTube was purchased by Google. It was a big year for the Internet.

Thirty-five hundred. That’s a big number.

When I first started on this journey, I wasn’t sure how long it was going to last or how many posts I was going to publish. I don’t have the exact total, but if we estimate that the average blog post is about 600 words, that’s a grand total of over two million words.

Two million. That’s an even bigger number.

I can’t say with any real certainty how much longer Beyond the Rhetoric will last and whether I’ll ever get to 5,000 or even 10,000 blog posts. What I can say is, with this fresh new design, I don’t plan on going anywhere. And I hope you’ll continue to accompany me on this journey.

Let’s see where this goes.