We’re officially a teenager! Thirteen years of South Dakota War College.

Just for the sake of marking the milestone, as of today, South Dakota War College is officially THIRTEEN years old, having had the first post go up on February 5, 2005.

Good gosh, thirteen years of this stuff? Who would have thought? (I’m wondering if I should start to be sullen, and refuse to pick up my room?)

While Sibby Online has been around a little longer, but having had taken a break for a period of time,  South Dakota War College is the longest continuously updated independent website devoted to politics and government in South Dakota.

13 years – In the world of blogging, it’s literally an eternity.  There are a study or two out there that show the average life of a blog is actually a brief 100 days, until people lose interest because they fail to find their audience.

Love it or hate it, I’ve been pretty fortunate that Dakotawarcollege.com has been able to find it’s niche in South Dakota’s political landscape, and I’ve had the opportunity to do some truly fun things that I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to do.

When I, or SDWC, came on the scene we had just come off of the Thune/Daschle race where conservative blogs had vexed Tom Daschle and challenged some of the media coverage of the day. The fallout from that race was an explosion of political blogs on the right and the left, and as I read them, they focused almost exclusively on federal races.

But having worked a couple of times for the SDGOP as their legislative coordinator, as well as working with campaigns from school board to Governor, I wanted to talk about more street-level campaigns, about the state legislature, about things going on in cities, etcetera.  And since no one was writing about it, I thought I’d give it a go.

The website started off as being a bit of this thing that people didn’t understand, and as many people who enjoyed reading it, there were those who were scared of it, or even hated it. I’ve had people physically turn away from walking in my direction because they didn’t want to come close to being quoted on the blog. I had an employer question my doing it, and try to push me against doing it, but luckily their boss enjoyed it just fine.

In the blog’s early days, the State GOP Chairman once called me out in a GOP Central Committee meeting warning everyone “There’s a blogger in the room.” That was fun.  (Things are on a bit better footing now.)

As social media has evolved over the years, and with SDWC becoming the go to source for South Dakota’s political scene, we’ve gone from being viewed as a sort of ‘GOP conservative rebel radio’ to where people now accuse me of being an ‘establishment liberal.’  Which I view as kind of funny, as all it means it that the conservatives who came to run the GOP over the years are more comfortable with social media and they’re the ones in charge now.

As always, there’s another group who wants to be in charge in their place.  Kind of like the circle of life. (Hopefully no one is getting eaten.)

Over the last thirteen years, I don’t think too much has changed. I’m just been me being me, and trying to tell things from my point of view based on my experience and skill set.

Personally, I’ve gone from being someone who was hypercritical of my own writing to someone people have sought assistance from.  That’s kind of cool to me.

More than anything, I’m truly honored by the readers of this website who have given me their time and attention over the past decade and a third. And their friendship.  As we continue down the path of life, it’s always better to have a companion. Even if we’re talking politics, which can be contentious at times.

So here’s to thirteen more years! I could not do it without you.

17 thoughts on “We’re officially a teenager! Thirteen years of South Dakota War College.”

  1. Congrats on 13 and I hope you continue for the foreseeable future. I enjoy this blog and enjoy taking part in it.
    I remember when this was just one of several that I participated in. Another one from a paper out west was also interesting until they lost their focus. Keep your focus and I suspect my hopes will be fulfilled.

  2. Congratulations I don’t post yours frequently as I’d like to I can’t imagine keeping up with it everyday including holidays thank you for all your efforts

  3. Pat, Congratulations! Just a few years from SDWC will still be posting and the Dakota Free Press will have long changed to the Portland Free Press. Blogs come and go but SDWC will be here.

  4. Congratulations Pat, and thank you for keeping all of your readers, including me, informed!

    1. I’d love to… I’ve done it in the past, and I’d like to produce something regularly.. but time is my limitation.

      I’ve got to shoot & edit, etc, all the while I’m working 8-5, plus doing my campaign material business, writing the blog, and not completely ignoring my family.

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