Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Now we are six


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy biiiiiirthday, Pop Culture Junk Mail

Haaaaappy biiiiirthday to youuuuuuuuuuu!

PCJM turns six today. Six! A first-grader! And like mothers who retell the story of their child's birth, I need to retell PCJM's birth story.

I was living in Minneapolis, working as restaurant editor for the Microsoft-owned city guide site, Twin Cities Sidewalk. I loved my job and my co-workers, and I'd taken to emailing friends and co-workers regularly with goofy sites I came across.

That summer, it was announced that Microsoft had sold Sidewalk to Citysearch. We were all going to have to apply for jobs anew with Citysearch, there wouldn't be enough jobs for all of us, and we'd have to take pay cuts if we remained employed. I applied and was offered a job, but ended up rejecting it when I was offered a job as online arts and entertainment editor at StarTribune.com, the Web site of the state's biggest newspaper, instead. I would spend three fun years there before Rob and I took deep breaths and took the plunge, moving to the West Coast (Seattle) to work for Microsoft and MSNBC.com, respectively.

But I didn't know any of that the August day I came home, with the news of my upcoming layoff weighing on me, and told Rob I wanted to start a Weblog. I just knew that when I was no longer working with my Sidewalk crew, I would miss them, and I would miss constantly sharing goofy Web links with them. He helped me set up the site, and the name just kind of came to me. I knew I'd be focusing on pop-culture links, and the "junk mail" part came from what I feared. I was starting to worry that I was overloading my friends with emailed links, that they were thinking of my frequent missives as junk mail, and I didn't want that to happen. I knew if I presented those pop-culture links in Weblog form, only those who chose to seek the site out would come visit, and it couldn't in any way be perceived as junk mail. Hence the long, four word Weblog name: Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Six years have seen a lot of changes, including the cross-country move, and yet PCJM has continued to be a fun break for me. Sometimes I don't update for a few days, but that's fairly rare. Sometimes I babble, sometimes I repeat myself, sometimes the tech end of things throws a wrench in the works. But it's six years, and if you're not sick of me, I'm not sick of you. Thanks, as always, for reading.

19 comments:

Aimee said...

I've been reading this site for years. Not sure how I stumbled across it, but I've been checking it nearly every weekday for ages. Thanks for the hours and hours of entertainment you've provided all those work-day mornings!

Anonymous said...

A shy daily reader delurking to say thanks for the fantastic morning reads - I email people links from your site all the time!

LP

Bill said...

Six years is a long time in the blogoverse. Congratulations.!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading you for a fair few months, and I love the site. Great weblog - many happy returns!

Claire

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday/anniversary, whichever is most appropriate. I've been reading for a long, long time too, and I can count on this site for a good laugh. I will not, however, ever understand your "For Better or Worst" love (love/hate?).

Gryph said...

Happy Birthday. I haven't been a reader for very long, but now that I've found it, I'll keep reading for as long as you keep posting.

Max said...

Happy birthday to one of my all-time favorite sites (blog or otherwise)!

LO said...

Congrats, Gael. Always a great read...and a smile. :-)

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday, PCJM! I've been coming by for a couple of years now...I look forward to seeing what you've come up with. Thanks for what you do!

Anonymous said...

I am a long-time "Test Pattern" reader and would always wait anxiously for "Five-Link Friday" to roll around. Little did I know I could get my fix on a daily basis! Keep up the good work :)

SeaBoy said...

Happy B-day, PCJM! And Gael, thanks for making me smile just about every day!

Kim said...

Congrats and thanks, Gael! I for one will never tire of snack foods and FBOFW mockery...

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across Pop Culture back when the news broke about Amber Frye. I wanted to find the famous picture of her and Lacey's murderer to show a co-worker. That is how I found you and I have been coming back ever since. I send many of your links to friends and family. They always ask how do you find this stuff! I smile and say oh this cool blog I read. Your my secret!

skybolt said...

What a long strange trip it's been! Six years marks another change --- the move to Blogger was the first time we hand't hosted PCJM in our basement! Now it's on a real site with real uptime requirements.

KcM said...

A very happy 6th to you and yours. :)

helpermonkey said...

Congrats, Gael!! Happy 6th birthday to PCJM and to it's enormous team of behind-the-scenes technical professionals.

Meredith said...

Yay! I didn't realize how long you'd been up, but I guess I've been reading since the beginning. I found the site just as I got into grad school (I was searching for my uni's popular culture department and found you instead -- way more fun!), and now I'm graduating on Saturday with my Ph.D.! My, how we're growing up :)

Adrienne said...

I don't know what I would do without my almost-daily dose of weirdness. I hate it when you don't post! You need a proxy poster for those times when you leave us for a while! Here's to many more years of entertainment. There's never a dull moment at PCJM.

Kristin said...

I can't believe it has only been 6 years - I have always love PCJM, and it seems like it has always been around!