Back in the early days of the blogosphere, when traditional news outlets were still doing stories about these weird “weblogs” that people were writing on the interwebs, bloggers would celebrate every anniversary of their blogs.

It might sound like a hackneyed act of self-congratulation were it not for the fact that blogging consistently, over the course of years, while maintaining any sort of measurable audience is really hard work. I think some of the regular contributors to SAB in recent years, who write just one post a week, can attest to how difficult it is to meet even that content schedule over time.

So early on I was happy to celebrate every anniversary of SAB’s existence, because each new year has taken me by surprise. What I had originally intended to be a personal blog where I could experiment with writing and express my feelings about current events has become a journal of consequence. Recently political columnist and former Grand Forks Herald publisher Mike Jacobs – a nearly 50 year veteran when it comes to covering North Dakota politics – described SAB’s impact on a recent story as “seismic.”

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]…let me use SAB’s anniversary date not as an opportunity to puff myself up (though I suppose I’m guilty of some puffery here) but as an opportunity to thank you folks for showing up to read.[/mks_pullquote]

I am certain that this reality angers people who see blogging as a shallow medium, or who mislike my politics, but I think I can say safely that nobody is more surprised by the reality than I am.

Still, after more than a decade of blogging, celebrating a yearly anniversary has started to feel a bit too vain. For a while I thought that perhaps I should just note the milestone anniversary dates and leave it at that.

Except, the reason you’re reading this post today (should have been yesterday, SAB’s actual anniversary, but I forgot) is that I think it’s important I take time every year to recognize why SAB has become consequential.

It’s you, readers, who show up every day and every year in steadily increasing numbers. It’s you who share SAB stories on social media, and email them to your friends, comment on them here on the blog, and talk about them in restaurants and coffee shops. It has happened a few of times over the history of the blog that I’ve overheard people discussing SAB in my earshot without the speakers knowing that the author of the post they’re discussing was sitting nearby. I cannot tell you how fantastically gratifying that is.

So let me use SAB’s anniversary date not as an opportunity to puff myself up (though I suppose I’m guilty of some puffery here) but as an opportunity to thank you folks for showing up to read.

I started SAB not caring about audience. That was a good thing, because the first few years it was just me sending posts into the digital void.

I think that I would write even without an audience because I enjoy writing and appreciate how it helps me organize my thoughts on the subjects I write about. But it’s a whole lot more fun when people are reading. So for that, a sincere and humble thanks.

And if you’d like to support the continued existence of SAB, please consider doing your Amazon shopping after clicking on the widget on the sidebar or, more importantly, consider [tinypass_offer text=”clicking here”] and getting a subscription to the blog.

It doesn’t cost you much, and each subscription makes a big difference.