When I realised that this milestone was coming up, I thought long and hard about how we should mark it.
Should we make up a greatest hits post, highlighting the five or ten best or most read of the 1,000 posts so far? Nah, done that before. What a yawn.
Should we dedicate the 1,000th post to some of the unsung heroes of our game like volunteers, parents, referees, photographers, bloggers… Nah, too soppy.
Should we do a potted history of ITBOTN? Why I started it, how it’s grown, how wonderful we are? Seems a bit too self-aggrandising.
The future then! A rundown of our long term vision for the site and where we see it heading in the next five years… And allow our enemies to know our plans? I think not!!
What about a gushing thank you post to all of you, our wonderful readers, who have made this site what it is today? *BARF*
I don’t want to do any of those things.
So I’ll just say this. 1,000 posts is quite a lot. Research has shown that the average lifespan of a blog is just 100 days. ITBOTN has managed to outperform that average by 2,629 days.
The key to this is stickability in the face of literally nobody reading for quite a while at the start. It took a good three years to build any sort of audience, and another couple of years after that to start earning the right to be taken seriously as the reasonably formidable part of both the football and the New Zealand blogging scenes that I like to think we are now.
Some people start blogs and they immediately go viral, but that is very much the exception rather than the rule. For the rest of us there is a lot of hard work that goes into making it worthwhile.
And it is so worthwhile.
In the last few years I have:
- Been an official photographer at a FIFA Under 20 World Cup
- Met some of my heroes
- Gotten to know legends of the game
- Won a football writing award
- Been called “the biggest football fan in New Zealand” by a former All White
- Drawn the Chatham Cup
- Drunk beer out of the Chatham Cup with the winning team
- Scored a goal at Newmarket Park
- Seen my photos pinned to dressing room walls as motivation
- Written for Al Jazeera
- Written for When Saturday Comes
- Been featured by the BBC website
- Been featured on the AS Roma official website
- Been featured in a local newspaper in my Dad’s home province in Italy
- Had my photos published in major newspapers
And, best of all, I have made a lot of great friends, seen too many cool things to list and chatted to a heap of great people on sidelines all over the country.
So my message to aspiring bloggers is this – stick with it, it’s totally worth it!!
It’s also important to acknowledge that this is not my 1,000th post. It’s my seven hundred and somethingth… I haven’t done all of this on my own, not by a long shot. The other posts have been superbly written by John, Ella, Helena, Phil, Niall, Tracey, Rod, Cordwainer, Michael, Ezra, and many others who have supplied guesties plus Roz Palethorpe, Grant Stantiall, Garry Konings, Cameron McIntosh along with Michael Welsh and others who have supplied photos. Thanks must go to them for their enormous contribution to making this place what it is.
And just like that, I’m gushing like I said I didn’t want to.
I’d better stop there then!
See you all on the sidelines.
[* I should disclose that I have deleted a couple of posts over the years so strictly speaking we are already past the thousand mark. Still though…]
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.