January 14, 2010

"This blog is called Marginalia, because I'm writing from Madison, Wisconsin..."

"... and Marginalia is a fictionalized name for Madison that I thought up a long time ago when I seriously believed I would write a fictionalized account of my life in Madison, Wisconsin. There is nothing terribly marginal about Madison, really, but I do like writing in the margins of books, something I once caused a librarian to gasp by saying. Writing in a blog is both less and more permanent than writing in the margin of a book."

Written January 14, 2004, at 10:36 AM. The first post on this now 6-year-old blog. There have been 18,319 posts since then, including this one. I've posted at least once, each day in these 6 years, an average of 8+ posts a day. I've never had a guest blogger (or a ghost blogger), and I've written — with real enthusiasm — on the hardest work days, on the day I wrecked my car, the day I had surgery, the day I drove 1235 miles in one day, and the day I got married. And over 2,000 other days.


Christy said...

Congratulations and Thank You!

David Wharton said...

Thank you for writing!

MadisonMan said...

Happy Anniversary!

Joseph said...


Ron said...

If you ever get a terminal illness don't let the last post here be a cafe! Or about Sullivan. But, hey, 30 years + from now...who knows whether blogging!

Joan said...

Adding my thanks to the chorus. Tremendous work you do here.

vbspurs said...

Happy Blogversary!! Thanks for your daily commitment, unwavering and untiring, all these years. It's one many bloggers haven't been able to continue, and you're to be commended at least once a year, for doing so.


John said...

Thank you for writing Ann. Some day you and Glenn Reynolds will stop and I might get something done.

George Grady said...

Quite a lot of interesting writing over the years. When did the name change, and what was the motivation? Did you post about it at the time, or was it a stealth name change?

traditionalguy said...

That's a whole lot of high level endurance. Good job Blogger. And thanks especially for the personal touches included with the pleasure of your precision instrument used writing all those posts which is your superior mind.

AllenS said...

And, I, for one, am very thankful.

Charlie B said...

It's actually pathetic that you did all that posting on the day you were married.

I realize you are proud to live your "off-blog" life online. But I think it's sad that the tuition-paying students at Wisconsin Law have gotten so much less from you over the last six years.

This blog is Exhibit A in what's wrong with tenure. You have summed that up quite well today.

Lem said...

First comment on first post!!!

dont look at me..
he started it ;)

Congratulations professor.

Irene said...

Congratulations! Ever Since your post about the car accident, each time I think about:

I suddenly remember the last thing I said before the crash: "Did you ever see that episode of Larry David..." Imagine if I'd died! My last words would have been "Larry David.

I laugh out loud.

PWS said...


Are you familiar with Billy Collins' poem "Marginalia"?

If you like words in the margins of books, you might like this poem.

See it Here

Lem said...

Is this a guinness world records blog record? record blog .. whatever?

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Congratulations of your blog and especially on your persistence in maintaining it!

Go for another twenty years, minimum!

Freeman Hunt said...

Congratulations and thank you for all that writing.

And thank you for somehow attracting the certain brand of commenters that you have. There is no other place like this on the web. Even the trolls are better here.

Lem said...

Go for another twenty years, minimum!

Althouse will be here until everybody agrees with her. (yes Rush too)

bagoh20 said...

Cool. Being able to look back at photos or writing from years ago is both wonderful and a little scary.

I congratulate you , Ann on your success. It clearly took great effort and discipline that we all benefit from. Well done!

AJ Lynch said...

You are the Cal Ripkin of the blogworld. So I may start calling you "Calista" Ripkin cause you are a babe.

vbspurs said...

guinness world records blog record?

It's quite possible that Ann holds the continuous blogger record, yes, Lem. After all, two of the three oldest bloggers around, Insty had guest bloggers in the past, and Steven den Beste stopped blogging for a while.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Thanks for blogging. What impresses me if that you haven't gotten burned out. I've gotten burned out just being a commenter. Your stuff is as good as ever.

I would add that not only have you never had a guest blogger, but you have continued to blog here while being a guest blogger elsewhere.

vbspurs said...

but you have continued to blog here while being a guest blogger elsewhere.

The Protestant Work Ethic is alive and well in Marginalia, Henry. Huzzah.

Stephanie Carnes said...

Congratulations! I love your writing and your commenters.

Lincolntf said...

Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

Lem said...

It's quite possible that Ann holds the continuous blogger record..

Reminds me of Crash in 'Bull Durham' (1988)

edutcher said...

Happy 6th. which one is that, wood, or something?

Marginalia, I'll bet the city fathers loved that when they first heard of it.

As I've said before, I don't think most of the people who come to read or comment, admirers, detractors, or the just plain nasty ones, have any idea how much work this blog must be.

Tho' we've belted you and flayed you,

By the Living God that made you,

You're a better blogress than we...

WV "bicroom" Sufficient pocket space.

Richard Dolan said...

I stumbled across this blog not long after it started and have been reading it, more or less daily, since then. What is it about the Althouse voice that brings people in and keeps them here once they come?

Mostly, I think, it's the confidence that Althouse is a pull-no-punches writer who describes what she sees and says what she thinks. She's not partisan, even when the topics are intensely so, and there is no agenda other than faithfulness to the truth as she sees it. And she does it all in high style, with much wit and a good eye for the odd-ball topic that gets to something important.

Others sometimes look at the same topics and see the world differently. Althouse welcomes that, too, especially if you can defend your view and add to the conversation in an interesting way.

That's an unusual package on the web today, and more the pity that it is. Ann deserves thanks for her daily devotion, and not a little congratulations on the anniversary.

kalmia said...

What a trooper you are, Ann. You make our sojourn here a more interesting and entertaining place to be. Thanks for that.

Chase said...

Don't worry about Charlie B's panties-in-a-knot comments, Professor. You provide a tremendous service to the world here.

Since finding the Althouse blog here in March of 2004, I began bookmarking every other blog that I have viewed more than once since finding yours. As of today: 3,766 other blogs that I have visited more than once. And after reviewing the famous and popular blogs again this morning - from Kos, HuffPost, Reynolds,and those on the media sites - I can say this with absolute certainty:

"Althouse" is unique. It's voice is both personal and inclusive, and rarely boring. "Althouse" is relevant and yet often timeless in that most important type of all human conversations, the discussion of ideas.

I think John Stodder (commenting as "johnstodderinexile") put it best back in 2006:

You are not a partisan hack. You are a writer, so you don't have to play along with that game. I love your blog, and I see it as a place where truthful, authentic observations are provided, and quite stylishly. If either liberals or conservatives shun you, it's only because they can't topple reasoned arguments, and intellectual failure puts them in a bad mood. If they make fun of your writings about personal or pop-culture matters, it's just because they're jealous.

But your most important legacy in "Althouse" - the one I believe will survive the ages even if you were to retire today is simply this:

The quality of your commenters. You simply have the best commenters in the world. Your regulars provide the most overall pithy, witty, thoughtfully timely and timeless comments on a regular basis of any blog anywhere, anytime. The following list would be the most prized possession of any serious blogger, Ann. This is your equivalent of a wall adorned with awards for being the best, your blog "Pulitzer":

• palladian
• simon
• john stodder
• beth
• bruce hayden
• victoria
• trooper york
• freeman hunt
• pogo
• hdhouse
• hoosier daddy
• rhhardin
• madison man
• garage mahal
• drill sgt
• zachary paul sire
• dbq
• chip ahoy
• synova
• bissage
• doyle
• internet ronin
• trey
• seven machos
• reader_iam
• mcg
• Eli Blake
• peter hoh
• mortimer brezny
• and a very lucky guy named "meade"

Thank you, Ann

Chase said...


I dropped


when I was putting things up on your wall

kimsch said...

Happy Blogiversary! You are on my daily read list and I come back again and again during the day to see what's new.

I wish I could put up interesting stuff as often as you can...

wv: moutil

Pastafarian said...

Happy anniversary, and thanks for an amazing amount of high quality work.

Meade, you should plan something special for her tenth blogging anniversary. How about a surprise party with as many commenters in attendance as possible?

Do people really throw surprise parties? I've only ever seen them on TV and in movies.

Beth said...

Happy anniversary, Althouse. Your blogging seems to be driven as much by pleasure as by discipline, and I enjoy it for its merging the immediacy of today's voice, image and text technology with the quality of a public/private life in letters that I associate with the 18th century diarists.

I wasn't here to respond to that first post, but I want to now. An English instructor in my sophomore year told our class that of course we ought to be writing in the margins - "It's your book! Write all over it! How else will you make sense of it?" That's something like what we commenters do here.

Maguro said...

Thanks! I look forward to your posts every day and you always deliver.

Brad V said...

Love it!

Chip Ahoy said...

* glees *

I admire your uni-Q-ness.

Six years straight without a break is quite a remarkable record given all that has happened in real life. If this were a company, you'd get a mug!

This is the first place I stop by every morning and when I get here and there's not a shiny new post sparkling with fresh insight IT MAKES ME MAD AS HELL and then I go, calm down, Boy, she'll get around, and you do!

My fish are having sex right in front of me. That or they play funny.

Pogo said...

I am each day grateful for my Althouse addiction.

Bob_R said...

Congratulations! A blog good enough to live down its second sentence.

fivewheels said...

I do recall one day, however, when you posted a run of late-night items, with the final one at 12:05 a.m. or so, and then nothing the rest of that day. I remember thinking that you must have done that purposely to preserve the streak when you knew you were going to be busy.

I don't mean that as criticism, of course. I believe I'm on the record here as saying you should go ahead and take a day off some time. But I'm still grateful that you give me something to read every morning. Congrats, and happy anniversary.

The Crack Emcee said...

You are an inspiration to bloggers everywhere.

I'm just inching up on 5,000 and thought I was doing something. When I saw you'd done 18,0000, my eyes popped out:

Well done!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Happy blogday!

wv: ursela (an ulcer in Puerto Rico)

shoutingthomas said...

Every issue must be examined for conformity to the great religion of feminism!

Fuck your feminism, Anne.

peter hoh said...

I wish I knew how to quit you.

Congratulations on your fine run. Here's to keeping it unbroken . . . .

And yes, it's a fine group of regular commenters that you have attracted.

nina said...

Ah, so it's today. Congratulations, Ann. I have certainly read at least the titles to all your posts, and most often the full text! Definitely the most clicked on site for me. Well, maybe equal to the NYT. One gives me all the news that's fit to print and the other (yours) gives me... well, all the rest. Even if I only sometimes agree with your sentiments, your posts are thoughtful, thought provoking and well crafted and that counts for a lot in these days of sloppy thinking and even sloppier writing. Again, congrats!

XWL said...

Thanks, you inspire, entertain, challenge, and occasionally confound.

I'll keep reading as long as you keep blogging, and your commitment to doing this thing daily, with both quantity and quality is a remarkable thing to behold.

vbspurs said...

wv: ursela (an ulcer in Puerto Rico)


...do they go to the doctol for it?

vbspurs said...

Ernie, I may be the only person here who gets your jokes, and vice-versa. That's precious to me. :)

ElcubanitoKC said...

Hahaha, Vics, indeed! :)

wv: bachr (Johan Sebastian's las name's correct pronunciation in pissed-off Austrian)

ElcubanitoKC said...


Ann Althouse said...

"It's actually pathetic that you did all that posting on the day you were married."

What about that I married a commenter? LOL.

Triangle Man said...

Going back to the car wreck "story arc" was great. Back when Silvio was new. You predicted XM would be financially better off than Sirius. Oops, but no matter, they both still work.

SteveR said...

Thanks Ann.

Fred4Pres said...

Happy Birthday! Thank you.

Kev said...

Happy blogiversary! (My own 7th blogiversary arrives in April, but any single year of your blogging puts my entire output to shame. And I didn't quite have the wherewithal to blog on my surgery day, though I did tweet from the car on the way home, LOL.)

Thanks for all the enjoyment and the community you've allowed to grow here. (And come back to Texas soon!)

JAL said...

Happy Anniversary Althouse.

And I repeat the thanks others have written.

I (fortunately) missed your car wreck, but have been also fortunately been here to observe the other serious and fun times.

You've made a good place to be on the net.


knox said...

Congrats! Althouse is still the best place on the nets to hang out.

howzerdo said...


J. Cricket said...

The people of Wisconsin thank you--since they are ones who pay your salary to sit around and blog. Pity they get so little else from you.

lacegrl130 said...

Is that all? Only six years? It seems longer. Memory is so elusive. I would swear I had been lurking and reading and finally commenting for at least nine years. Weird. Happy Anniversary, Ann Althouse. You are my inspiration... Dody Jane

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Nice going, Dr.Althouse !! Congratulations and keep it coming.

Your 6th anniversary reminds me that its been 6 years since i took to reading blogs - it all started with the 2004 Presidential elections. I used to religiously read Andrew Sullivan back then. I was left of center philosophically too and was bullish about the Kerry -Edwards ticket.

Time flies. things change. I am glad that i now read an honest blog like your's rather than the likes of the partisan hack who "cannot see whats in front of his own eyes."


Peter said...

Happy Blogiversary to one of the few honest liberals left in the blogosphere.

Mark Harrison said...

Thanks, Happy Anniversary, and Many Happy Returns... May you blog for many years to come!!

Oh, and how about an Audible Althouse for old times' sake?

Donald Douglas said...

You're my idol!