Archive for the ‘Administrative’ Category

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

A shot from when we walked down to Times Square yesterday. They were already setting up for tonight’s festivities.

And a close up shot of the spot for the ball drop later tonight.

And one other shot from Rockefeller Center and the Christmas Tree.

Not as big I guess I thought it would be. I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays. It has been a fun year for me with this site and hope to continue it into the new year. I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and see you on the other side.

Merry Christmas-

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

and a Happy New Year-May God Bless.

Here’s an open thread as the kids are up a little slow this morning. Only the youngster is bouncing around wanting to open presents. Its his 1st year not believing in the big man-Santa that is.

UPDATE (Dave): WHAT?! rdelbov, are you telling me Santa doesn’t exist?! How have I not been aware of this fact for all these years?! He brought me a lot of good stuff this year….

Merry Christmas to all, especially to those overseas fighting for the right for everyone back home to enjoy Christmas with their loved ones….

Comments Issue

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Spammers have been hitting this site all day and finally caused a big enough load on the server to the point it was going to crash. Therefore, the comments had to be shut down temporarily. Commnets will return once this issue is solved….

Hedgehog Report Media Whore Alert!

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I completely forgot that I had spoken to Paul Farhi from The Washington Post last week about an article he was writing concerning John McCain’s website. Today, he finally published the article and the beginning of the article gives a good synopsis.

Spread John McCain’s official talking points around the Web — and you could win valuable prizes!

That, in essence, is the McCain campaign’s pitch to supporters to join its new online effort, one that combines the features of “AstroTurf” campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and the occasional daily newspaper.

On McCain’s Web site, visitors are invited to “Spread the Word” about the presumptive Republican nominee by sending campaign-supplied comments to blogs and Web sites under the visitor’s screen name. The site offers sample comments (“John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan . . .”) and a list of dozens of suggested destinations, conveniently broken down into “conservative,” “liberal,” “moderate” and “other” categories. Just cut and paste.

Here was my quote.

David Wissing, the founder of the Hedgehog Report, a blog about Maryland politics, said his comment traffic has been running about 60 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal in recent weeks, which is typical. Wissing said he keeps an eye on reader comments — he recently banned a poster for using multiple screen names — and hasn’t seen postings that use similar or identical language, usually a telltale sign of an AstroTurf program.

He got my quote pretty accurate and I think it is a good representation of my site. I don’t think it is much of a “scandal” that Farhi tries to make it out to be in his article. As I also mentioned, I rarely even go to McCain’s website to begin with (or Obama’s for that matter) because I find the sites boring. I did reference this page on McCain’s website in a previous post about why McCain was giving pre publicity to Daily Kos, which to me is more ridiculous that whether McCain is asking people to leave comments on other people’s sites.

Problems With IE 7.0

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

If you were having trouble getting into the site over the past day, apparently there is a problem with Internet Explorer 7.0 and Sitemeter interacting. Everything seemed fine for those using Firefox.

Why you would still be using IE at this point is beyond me, but for those people who refuse to change to Firefox, I have removed the Sitemeter so now you should be able to access the site with IE 7.0 without any problems.

150,000!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

It was February 8, 2007 when this site hit the magic number of 100,000 comments.

Last night, more than ten months later, this site hit another milestone of 150,000 comments. This number does not count spam comments, so that is 150,000 legitimate comments to posts over the past five years of this site’s existence on WordPress. Now there were periods when I used Haloscan with Blogger, so those comments are not included and the total number of comments was probably well over 150,000 through the past five and a half years, but it is impossible for me to know for sure.

What was the 150,000th comment? This comment from “steven” at 8:41pm:

2 early to forcast, but i think the election will be plus or minus 2 points for whoever wins, i think today you saw Dobson start to go after obama, more people will follow, it may not get national attention but it will get attention in that state,

the point is most of obama supporters are crackheads, gays, freaks, punks, eneducated 18-24 yr olds, and the anti bush folks, those are his contributors, eventually that money will wear out, just look at his last money totals

Anyway, let me take this quick interlude to thank anyone and everyone who has ever commented on this site.

Another Site Modification

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

While I try to get as many polls on the front page as possible, there are times when I just add the polls to the database directly without ever mentioning them simply because they are not newsworthy. Also, sometimes people just want to see what the most recent polls are that they might have missed. Thirdly, there are times when I am so busy that I don’t have time to necessarily create a new post, but do add the poll to the database with the intention of writing a post later. Adding a poll to the database takes me three seconds, which I can do the second I am aware of a poll. A post may follow up later if the poll is newsworthy enough and deserves commenting on.

Therefore, I have set up yet another new page that compiles the most recent additions to the database. Right now, it is limited to only General Election polls and chances are I will not add the primary polls to the “Recent Polls” page since the primaries are coming to an end.

You can get to the RECENT POLLS here or by clicking the permanent link now located in the top menu bar.

To Pop Up Or Not To Pop Up?

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I have a question for my wonderful readers. I notice most of the other sites I visit do not use “pop-up” comments that I have been using since this site began. Instead, they have the comments located on a separate page with the post and original template all included. I have set to default that method now.

Do you prefer the separate comment window I have been using up until this point, a separate small box that opens in a new window. Or do you prefer the system I have set right now? Just curious what the preference is out there….

UPDATE (12:41pm): I’ve decided I don’t like the new way. But there are people who do like it. And as a commenter did point out, the new option was always available by clicking the timestamp at the bottom of the post.

But in order to make everyone happy, I have added a more explicit link at the bottom of each post that allows one to choose which method they prefer for displaying and adding comments. Clicking the Comments link will pop up the comments like it has been since this site began. Clicking the “Display on Separate Page” link will open the Permalink of the post and display comments as a single page like I was experimenting with.

Being the benevolent dictator that I am, I sacrifice to make everyone happy…:)

HoCo: Looking At Howard County

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

One thing I always wanted to do is have a blog that had a local focus with a mix of national items where I found them interesting. Somewhere along the way, this site ended up taking a more national politics focus to the detriment of the local items that I wanted to talk about and focus on. Ther eis nothing wrong with that and I love doing it, but there have been many local items I have wanted to talk about but never did because I knew they would get lost in the national items on the front page. While I have occasionally put items from Howard County Maryland on the front page, there are many times I neglect to knowing they are mostly ignored anyway. In addition, one complaint I have gotten from local people who visit my site that might not be as interested in national politics (I know, I can’t believe there are people that don’t like national politics either, but there are) is that they don’t come for this reason.

Therefore, starting today, I have opened up a new website called “Looking at Howard County” which can be found at http://www.lookingathowardcounty.com. As you will notice, this website basically links to the Howard County archives of the Hedgehog Report, so nothing is really different than if you had just clicked on the Howard County archives link for The Hedgehog Report. But I wanted to give this “new site” a distinct and unique look, so I have given this page a new unique URL and new paint job. Now those people who are interested in my take on issues pertaining to Howard County can go directly there and skip all the National Politics on the main The Hedgehog Report.

This change will have no impact on what I normally do on the front page, but from this point forward, any items related to Howard County will no longer appear on the front page of The Hedgehog Report. My ultimate hope is that the new Looking At Howard County will become much more active with posts on local issues to make the overall The Hedgehog Report Website Network becomes that much better, both locally and nationally.

Five Years Later….

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

It all started five long years ago on this day, December 30, 2002 when sitting at my computer at work waiting for the dismissal to go home for New Year’s Holiday that I set up a website on Blogger. I don;t know quite why, but I enjoyed reading the blogs around back during the 2002 election and had few people who I interacted with who enjoyed politics as much as me. I hadn’t even become involved yet in Republican politics yet in Howard County, MD (that would not come until late 2003). For months, the only people who would read my site were me, my non-Republican brother, my parents, and anyone else I could convince to look at it. In fact, that old blogger site is still available at Blogger for some reason. Eight months in, Dean Esmay of Dean’s World, a man I never met or have met offered to help move anyone who asked off of Blogger to WordPress. I took him up on his offer and started davidwissing.com. It wasn’t until the middle of last year that I finally got hold of hedgehogreport.com Five years later, the site is up to 7650 posts and over 118,000 comments. So with that in mind and, while I rarely self promote this site (never advertised or begged for a link from anyone), you’ll have to pardon me while I take a look back at some highlights for this site over the past five years.

My first brush with notoriety that made me realize people actually read this site was back in August 2003 when I linked to a story that the comedian Gallagher was running for Governor in California during the Recall Election. The Gallagher website then linked this site and the number of hits in one day on this site skyrocketed and exceeded what I was normally getting in an entire month. Of course back then, just getting 100 visitors in one day was a big deal for me. Interestingly, I ended up getting an email directly from Gallagher himself offering me free tickets to one of his shows in Maryland simply because I linked his site.

My next brush with notoriety occurred in October 2004 when John Podheretz mentioned this website in a column in the New York Post. It was a passing reference about the polls I was compiling, but it did include the URL. Unfortunately I never got my hands on a paper copy….

During that 2004 election, I became obsessed with polling information and it became a staple of this site that exists to this day. My biggest peak in daily visitors occurred right before the 2004 election when I reached over 50,000 unique hits in a single day on the day before the election. This number was repeated a day later and the two days boosted me up to 12th on the TTLB Traffic Ecosystem, albeit for a short two days. The election ended and I fell way down right after that and I have not come close to that figure since. Those around here back then will remember the threads that reached over 500 comments….

My next brush with notoriety occurred in March 2005 when Hugh Hewitt included me in his new book BLOG. What was interesting about this is that I had no idea it was in there until I actually started reading the book and came across the mention of my site by pure accident while reading. Then there was a second mention later in the book. The mentions were brief, but seeing my name and website appear in a best-selling book was surprising to say the least. Later on, Michelle Malkin also included this site in her book UNHINGED, although I was aware of this prior to actually seeing it in her book. On a more local level, this site, along with some of the other local Howard County, MD websites, has been featured in The Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore Examiner, and The Howard County Times.

And finally, after 4 and a half months with this site, I finally got my first Instalanche in August of this year which came from this post about John Edwards’ mansion.

And now for my lowest point and what was my biggest kerfuffle with the local media. It occurred back in March 2005 when, in a fit of rage, called local radio broadcaster Chip Franklin an “Ass”. You can read the original post here, but it boiled down to what I had thought at the time was his backing out of a deal to show up at a meeting of the Howard County Republican Club. He caught wind of my post and let others know he was not too happy about it and then I ended up talking to him directly on the phone to clear things up. In the end, Chip Franklin ended up coming to the HCRC meeting and speaking. It was one of those posts where I typed before I thought things through. Of course, I am still convinced it was my original post that made him change his mind and show up as originally planned, but I haven’t convinced others of that yet…on a side note, Chip Franklin is no longer a radio host in Baltimore.

It is hard for me to pick a favorite post, so I will just say my favorite time on this site was the period during the 2006 election when I included many posts from things that happened during that election. They ranged from the simple post about the latest sign installation up to a full fledged Blogger Candidates Forum hosted by this site as well as other Howard County blogs on both sides of the political spectrum. It is hard to describe in detail, but some of those posts were the most enjoyable to me personally even if it went over the heads over many of my readers who were from out side Howard County.

But enough about me. What I love most about this site is that it has become something I enjoy doing everyday. I am not and probably will never be as big as the other major blogs that you hear about, but I don’t think I want to be. This is a hobby for me, not a job, and just is my little space to talk about something I enjoy – politics. Sure I have made a little money on the side, but it barely covers the cost of the sever company I use. I have a real job that pays me quite well and I have no expectation that this will ever be something that I can retire on. I do this site for the pure fun of it. Of course, the site has changed over time, and now mostly focuses on national politics, but I do like to include local politics, football picks, and once in a while, I might show a little of my personality.

What also makes this site great to put together every morning is the commenters. I am amazed at the quality and range of commenters I have attracted to this site. I don’t even know most of you other than what I read here or, in some cases, if you happen to email me on the side Commenters have included some elected officials on the local level , from Councilpeople to State Delegates and Senators and officials of the Maryland Governemnt as well as a visit early on from Elizabeth Edwards during the 2004 campaign. Once in a while, I have met some of you and become friends and even had relationships with people who I would probably otherwise never know. While I ultimately do this site for myself, I love everyday reading the comments, and sometimes responding, even when the comments have absolutely nothing to do with the original post. Anyway, that is my clumsy way of showing my appreciation for everyone who makes this site an enjoyable experience for me everyday.

And finally to those who come by and, while not leaving a comments, have bookmarked this site or linked this site in the past, another thank you. I have a respectable 1,000 unique visitors a day, so I know there are many of you out there who, while not commenting, after all these years find yourself coming here to get the latest poll information, or local news information, or (dare I say) football picks. I thank you as well.

Finally, the most often-asked question I get by email and in the occasional comment is – “Why is it called The Hedgehog Report“. Sorry. Someday I might reveal why, but for now that will remain a secret….

Oh, and don’t forget the occasional appearance by Calculus….

Alright, enough navel gazing..again, thanks to everyone and here’s to five more years….