Thanks to the many who shared a little of their backgrounds and stories, some of them quite touching. It's obvious you all come to the bloggerhood from all over the nation and beyond, drawn by a common bond.
I like OC Dolphin's suggestion about some sort of an essay contest. Consider the idea in the incubator. Stay tuned.
Most of you like the frequent polls. To those who don't, express your disdain by not voting!
There was a mention of our monthly Q&A, which we called "Ask the Blogmaster General." We stopped doing that when we recently took over the paper's weekly live online chat (it's every Monday from 1-2 p.m.), but I'm thinking I may bring back the regular blog Q&A as well if there is interest.
To answer one comment: I think of myself a columnist who also does a blog, but there is no question the online product (for me that's the blog) is becoming more and more prominent in my overall role with the newspaper.
A few of you mentioned the need for more moderation to weed out political posts and comments that are mean-spirited. Frankly, I spend enough (unscheduled) time on the blog as it is without delving into the additional role of censor. I agree with the one commenter who said the discourse at times sounds like "a collection of 8-year-olds screaming at each other," which is why I ask again that commenters stick to one name/nickname and keep it civil. Let's respect each other, as opposed to what we saw most recently with The Bostonian vs. Flipper72. Rule of thumb: Don't post a comment you'd be embarrassed to read aloud to your mother! (Bostonian, we've been through this. Don't start trouble. As much as I disdain the censorship thing, you'll force me to permanently ban your IP address, for real, if the personal attacks continue).
In sum, thanks to all my regulars. You are appreciated. To the many lurkers who read or poll-vote but don't comment, express yourself. It's free and practically painless! Grow the bloggerhood by telling others about us, and welcome all.