It was 20 years ago today…

Twenty years ago today, I quietly launched this little humor blog called Davezilla. It’s now one of the longest running humor blogs on Earth (if not the longest).

One thing I am incredibly proud of is the amazing folks I have met through this site. Heroes (to me) like Jeffrey Zeldman, Heather Champ, Jesse James Garrett, Chris Brogan, Sara Evans, Alexis Ohanian, Matt Mullenweg, and too many more to mention. You know who you are.

This blog has been featured in Wired multiple times, a book by Yahoo! called Five Years that Influenced the Web, and American Greetings even made a desk calendar of my Manly Tips for Bachelor Living section.

The anagrams were my real start. In 1999, I started making anagrams of celebrities, accompanied by cartoons. Encouraged by Heather Champ to continue doing them, I began seeing my anagrams appearing on university sites, in books, and circulated through emails.

I figured I had a popular blog when a few things happened.

1999: My mother forwarded me an email that had two dozen forwards already called, “Ways to annoy waitstaff” and said I’d probably like it. I replied, “Yes I do. I wrote it.”

2000: I got my first hate mail (2000). Definitely a good sign.

2001: I got a cease and desist letter from billion dollar company in Japan. Toho, to be precise. Owners of all things Godzilla. Their law firm was sending out random C&Ds to any site with “zilla” in the name.

I laughed about the C&D. Then freaked out. Then calmed down as I recalled that a new browser called Mozilla wasn’t being sued. Neither was a popular new show called Bridezillas.

Instead, I asked several (150) blogger buds to repost my C&D. I got free legal help from all over the world. I also got a TON of free publicity. My site went from 200 visitors a day to 60,000 a minute (thanks to Slashdot, Wired, and Metafilter).

I got interviewed 116 times over the C&D. I got on TV. Harvard Law School wrote about it.

My web host was not amused by the spike and called me at home. Le sigh.

Today, blogging doesn’t seem to have the camaraderie that it had back then. My audience has moved (mostly) to Facebook. I got married to an amazing woman, and we have two adorable, precocious girls. My blogging time became limited.

But this year will change that. Times are getting weird again, and it’s time to anagram. Here’s looking at 20 more years of Davezilla.