Wednesday, January 01, 2014

From then to 2014 and beyond

The Seminole Democrat started in the summer of 2006 as the official blog for the Seminole County Democrats. I was taught how to blog by the creator of the Boiling Mad blog, which is apparently now defunct. Our URL was, as it is now, I loved writing for them, but I was very careful in what I wrote because I was representing an organization.

One year later, I split from the Seminole County Democrats but kept the blog. (They created their own on a revamped website). The URL remained the same but I dropped the "s" and just became "The Seminole Democrat" in the title.

I also started posting on the largest political blog on the planet, DailyKos to build an audience and refine material. I posted off and on as a hobby.

In 2010, the unthinkable happened where we elected a criminal and a supermajority of conservative teabaggers to the legislature. This prompted a new feature of documentation called MY STUPID STATE (we are up to #81 and counting). I noticed my writing started taking an angry edge because I was so disappointed in our state. Almost every post you see featured in that series has been featured as a Recommended post on DKos seen by hundreds or thousands. In 2012 I was asked to be a founding writer for DKos Florida when that started. I also finally got around to updating the SemDem website.

This was an interesting year. I took a new job that required most of my time so the blog was essentialy on hiatus for the first 8 months. I did manage to make a few posts, like one in early August where I asked people to donate to a conservative editor at RedState. The story was picked up by outlets across the nation, including Mediate and Breitbart.

In late August I unfortunately became very ill and was rushed to hospital several times. I am still being tested for issues at a research hospital. I was in a bad place and did something I promised I would never do: I asked readers to donate. I was hoping for maybe a couple hundred bucks to take care of the smaller bills. But I raised 4K in a few days through GoFundMe and PayPal. Although I am still deep in medical debt, I was touched by the outpouring of support.

I started writing more regularly. I received two emails from the General Manager of Daily Kos who thanked me for driving social media traffic thanks to two stories I had written. One on "afflueza" received almost 73,000 facebook shares and the other about the bigoted Sheriff of Pickens Co received 28,000. Markos Moulitsas, the owner, also let me know that he appreciated the social media traffic to his blog.

SemDem has moved to the blogroll of several prominent Florida blogs such as Pushing Rope and the #1 political blog in Florida, FlaPolitics. Our posts are featured among their Fl Netroots column and I thank them for their support.

I also gave in and created both a Facebook page and, very recently, a Twitter account. If you haven't yet, I encourage you to LIKE or FOLLOW. I also created a button to make it easy to put SemDem on your mobile device.

At any given time, I enourage you to click Worldwide Visitors to SemDem, which is always located on the right column of this blog. It's very cool. Every few seconds it updates to show who is on and reading. Obviously Florida is always the most swamped but our posts are read worldwide as you can see.

I went from having a few dozen readers to hundreds to thousands. Last month we had almost 20000 unique page views, which was a record. Considering I had a few dozen three years ago that is quite a change. My Stupid State series along with the post on the Miami man arrested 258 times for no reason drove a lot of that traffic.

This year I am honored to have Independent Thinker on board as an author. I will probably ask for one or two more authors.

Also, early last year I was asked by two private companies if I took sponsors. I had absolutely no idea how to do that and they both asked within a month of each other when I was on hiatus, so I said no. Now that I have more time and figured out how to do it, I may solict for sponsors especially since 2014 is an election year. Email me if interested in either sponsoring or writing.

My Stupid State series continues to grow. My ultimate goal is to kill this series this year, which I will most likely do if Rick Scott is defeated this year. That will show that there is hope for this state. If he wins again, it will unfortunately grow for years to come.


  1. I'm pleased and honored to be part of the blog!!

    I'll have a little something for it later today, too...which will hopefully go far in allowing you to write an epitaph for My Stupid State by November 2014.