Tomorrow is a special day here at Viewpoint. It was five years ago, May 16th, 2004 that my brother Bill and I launched this humble venture. It was born out of the conviction that there had to be a better way to share ideas with friends and family than by bombarding them with articles and e-mails. Not only was it annoying to the recipients but it was getting a little cumbersome because among my acquaintances there were different audiences for different topics, and I didn't think that most people had the time to read a lot of the stuff anyway.
I wondered if it might not be more effective to just have a site where people could come if they were interested and find commentary on current events, religion, science, and philosophy - the topics that most interest me. I had no idea how to go about creating such a site, but Bill said that it was fairly easy and set about doing it. Viewpoint is what emerged from his efforts.
Since then we've churned out over 5160 posts on a variety of topics and had over 347,450 hits, averaging around 7500 hits a month over the last three years.
Surely it's a conceit to think that one has something to say that others might wish to read or hear, but I suppose that it's a conceit shared by everyone who writes, teaches or preaches so I don't let myself feel too guilty about it.
I do wonder sometimes, though, how long I'm going to keep it up. It does take time to put a day's posts together, and I often wonder if there aren't other ways I should be spending that time. Then I get an e-mail like the following from a reader named Dave, and I'm energized to keep going for another couple of months.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your website. I am relatively new to it, but I look forward to checking it every day. I love the range of topics you post on; it all is very interesting and thought-provoking to me. I am a recent college grad (I grew up in York) now living in Philadelphia, so as you can imagine with the liberal way-of-life out here, it is very refreshing to hear common sense ideas and rational, well-informed thinking.
Your archives and search capabilities are great tools for learning more about specific topics. In fact, since earlier today I overheard people talking about gay marriage, I searched for that on the website and just finished reading nearly all of your posts about it. I now feel as though I have a much more tenable, and convincing, stance should I ever find myself debating someone.
Finally, I feel I must comment on your communication skills. Your command of vocabulary is top-notch. Sometimes I find myself going back and forth between the dictionary and your posts, only to find you've chosen the exact word needed for your idea. In this day of cryptic internet abbreviations and phrases, it is a welcomed change to read your polished writing. It has certainly helped me add to my own vocabulary.
In sum, I really appreciate and admire your site. Keep up the fantastic work.
On behalf of Bill and myself I want to thank Dave and all of you for your readership. It's knowing that you think it's worth your time to come here that makes our time and effort all worthwhile.
Thanks again,Dick Cleary