The last month has been our most successful yet at our humble boxing blog, in terms of traffic. I won’t share the number of visits — it might look like I was bragging, and besides, in some corners of the blogging universe, they would be considered laughably small — but I can tell you this: We started the year with a fairly small audience. By late summer, it had tripled, and by fall, it had quadrupled. We had a huge drop-off in our visitors when we switched over from the old platform at Ring Report to the new one at The Queensberry Rules — even regular readers had trouble finding us! — but we rebounded very strongly between late November, when we began tracking again, and now. As of today, our number of visits is quintuple that of January. Some of that has something to do with the fact that the biggest fight of 2008 was this month, but some does not.
Sean and I are constantly surprised and delighted by the attention we get here. This year, our first full year at MVN, we interviewed an ever-increasing number of boxers and figures in the sport. We attended three major fights to provide live coverage, and we’re beginning to live blog a little more, where dozens of folk have written and shared their observations in real time. We get news releases (and lately, even tips) from some of the biggest movers and shakers out there. We’ve had boxing authors leave comments. We’ve had a couple writers for the biggest news organizations in America offer remarks. Management teams for boxers have written us to respond to our work. Family members of boxing judges have left us feedback. We’ve been linked to by everyone from Deadspin to The Village Voice. Hell, an official with a sanctioning organization we regularly rag on even commented on the site a few times.
OK, that paragraph definitely sounded like bragging. But it’s a roundabout way of saying that this has been a more fulfilling project than I ever anticipated, and the back-and-forth with visitors to the site is a great deal of what makes it all so very enjoyable. I’ve even kinda liked the mean stuff, truth be told. We’ve been called everything from Martians to baby killers (no exaggeration) by people who disagree with us, and maybe it’s a weird attitude, but I relish the challenge of convincing people so bent out of shape about my point of view, and I’ve occasionally succeeded. But it’s also tremendously fun getting corrected and convinced of someone else’s point of view.
Most of all, I appreciate the regular folk who drop by and debate us, ask us questions, make suggestions, offer their assorted observations and crack us up. I’ve never met or talked to you in person, but I feel like we’re friends, if you don’t mind me getting a little sappy for the holiday season. I want to thank everyone who’s stopped by, but a special thanks to those of you who keep coming back and participating. I’ve got one more big 2008 post or two in mind, but travel and family obligations will prevent me from blogging much if at all this week. Afterward, that once-promised second redesign and a couple other changes I’ve been thinking about are ahead for 2009. Until then: Happy holidays!