This is our 5,000th entry on The Scratching Post. We started on February 11, 2006 with this post.
The Scratching Post was started as an effort to make money. I was down on my luck to the point where it took me weeks to save up the $15 I needed to take a load of rubbish to the dump. Every last penny was precious.
I had free time in uneven increments, at strange hours and with a relatively unpredictable schedule. I had been reading blogs for a while, particularly IMAO, and figured I could give it a go. I posted for a while and built up links and then began hosting ads on the site.
Over about a year, I made $100 from Google and $50 or so from Pay Per Post. It worked out to something like a nickel an hour. I pulled the ads and stopped trying to make money. By then my financial situation had improved considerably and I no longer needed the money so desperately.
I kept blogging because the thing had gotten under my skin. It was a vehicle to explore and share and learn and rant. The blog became a ravenous beast, ever hungry for more information which was digested and turned into blog posts. Over the last 5 years, I've learned so much about so many different subjects all to feed the blog.
One of the most important things I've learned is how much I need you. I never felt I was writing for an empty room because you were there. You posted links to my site, you left comments or sometimes you just stopped by to look at a photo or two and wandered off silently. The hits and interactions kept me going, kept me learning, kept me looking for something new and interesting to post.
For Lent, Jacob's been doing a series of posts on things that make us smile. After five years, 5,000 posts and more than 430,000 hits, we've discovered that the biggest thing of all that makes us smile is you.