Thursday, May 17, 2007

HNT 2nd Anniversary!

"A blog I ran across awhile back (and I don't remember the name)
had a wonderful feature called "Half-Naked Thursdays",
where the author would post pictures of her bare shoulders,
her kids' behinds, her husband's belly, lots of arms, etc.
Nothing remotely graphic, but maybe a little suggestive.
I think all of you should do that too."

And so it began... That was posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005. On the following Thursday, the 19th, HNT was launched into existence. It's now two years later. I would estimate that close to 800 people have joined in during that time. Some have been regulars. Others have only done it once. Many have quit blogging altogether. Some are just getting started. A year ago, I never anticipated celebrating a 1st anniversary. The fact that we've come to the 2nd anniversary is just beyond belief.

So why is it that HNT has lasted so long? Two years in the fast-paced environment of the internet is an eternity! I've given it some thought, and I came up with three elements that I don't think we really consider: marketing, communication and community.

MARKETING--Madison Ave. has long known that sex sells. Everything. In our case, that initial "I'm up!" is the signal that you've taken the step to put a picture up that represents yourself in some state of half-nekkidness. And people stop by to check it out. Of course, marketing only takes you so far... If the product isn't any good, or if it's not what people want, people won't come back. For those who say that blogs are personal, and they don't write for an audience, I contend that there's at least a minimal desire for people to come check us out and like us. And while HNT might have gotten us there, it's up to the individual to keep us coming back.

COMMUNICATION--I think that we have all increased our communicative skills on some level. We've even come up with our own acronym--HHNT (which, by the way, I don't believe I have ever used...)! Most of us have emailed or called people that we never knew existed. Many of us have gone as far as mailing gifts or packages or CDs or flowers to strangers that we may never meet in person. Some of us have hit the jackpot in being able to actually meet these strangers and interact with them on a whole new level beyond the internet. We are the lucky ones!

COMMUNITY--Perhaps the most important aspect of HNT. We ARE a community. And like all communities, there's little cliques scattered around. Most of us find that we have alot in common with others out here, and friendships are born. REAL friendships. And that is a wonderful thing. As a community, we cried when we heard of the death of one of our own. As a community, we rally around those who experience tragedy in their off-line lives. As a community, we watch babies getting born, friends getting married, love blooming, love dying. We share the loves of family. We learn secrets that their families will never know.

HNT has gone through alot of changes in two years. I don't think it will again hit the numbers that it had a year ago. And that's OK. HNT has always been user-driven, and I don't see that changing. Will it last another year? I hope it does. I said the same thing last year. If you want to see the 1st anniversary post, go here. Funny--I just checked it out and find that most of what I've just said, I said a year ago, too!

I voted against getting a cake, but I was hoping for a cherry cream pie. Had to settle for banana cream, which is equally as good. And the tongue was a suggestion from a chat this afternoon. Anyway--this isn't an anniversary for me, as much as it's an anniversary for US. Let us continue to share our half-nekkidness, in whatever form we desire, for a long time to come! HHNT!!
This week's Mystery Guest comes to us from another country. Not from the Land Down Under, but the Great White North. She's been participating in HNT since late 2005, and is well known for her dumb stories. This cowgirl promises to reveal herself Thursday afternoon, but if you know her, feel free to stop by and say hi!
This week's MG is none other than CowGirl from My Dumb Stories! Go on over and say "howdy!"

"...the Other HNT" is a bit light this week, but the testosterone is flowing. NSFW, of course!
Only a couple of days left to send in a graduation/senior picture (see post below). There was a little confusion--everyone can play! I just need pictures to use for the contest!

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