HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn writes:
Looking at some memory notes in my calendar the other day, I realised that ‘Hear The Boat Sing’, commonly now known as HTBS, was turning eight years old today. I would like to be the first one to mention that this is a remarkable event. Not that I mean to brag or anything, far from it. No, I mean more in the sense of ‘how on earth did I manage to keep it running for this long?’ The truth is, of course, that I didn’t.
While I did create HTBS by writing my first article on the site on 12 March 2009, luckily some equally-minded rowing history buffs soon jumped on the unrestrained blog-train to happily follow me over the cliff and into the deep ravine. And there they still are on that train in that ravine with me today: Greg Denieffe, Tim Koch and Hélène Rémond. Here I would also like to include Philip Kuepper, who might not be a rowing aficionado per se, but his rowing poems on HTBS are admired by many and he has his own fan group out there.
During these eight years in cyber space, HTBS has attracted other brilliant rowing historians and writers from around the world, some of whom are regularly putting pen to paper – or, as it were, hands on computer keyboard – to create articles for this site: Chris Dodd, Louis Petrin and Tom Weil. Added to these groups are another party of rowing people who have been on and off contributors for the last couple of years, to mention some of them: Courtney Landers, Bill Lanouette, Peter Mallory, Bill Miller, William O’Chee, Clive Radley and a few more. While I cannot count up everyone, at least one more name has to be added, my wife, on this site known simply as ‘Mrs. B.’, who acts as the HTBS IT personnel. Without her computer skills there would not be many HTBS entries published during these years.
My warmest ‘thank you’s’ to all of you mentioned above.
There is another group, whom we HTBS writers gratefully acknowledge and praise – you readers! I honestly don’t know how many of you there are, but it feels like there are a lot, just take a look at the numbers below. Thank you for sticking with us!
After eight years, you might wonder if HTBS has a special policy. The truth is, it has not. I want the website to be, above everything else, fun, entertaining and hopefully a little educational. HTBS tends – and here I am borrowing some words from magazine editor Alexander Chancellor, who sadly died at the end of January – to edit itself. It is the writers who collectively give the website its identity without much assistance from me, the editor.
I have noticed an increase in e-mails coming in to HTBS in the last few months. It seems we have become some kind of ‘expert source’, so authors, scriptwriters, publishers, institutions, and the average man and woman on the street contact us for help with rowing related matters. This is great fun, of course, and we are more than happy to help, though please remember we are all – except maybe Tim, who right now is a Gentleman of Leisure – doing this on the side of our ordinary work, so please be patient with us if you ask for answers to your rowing questions.
And now some numbers:
Including today’s post, HTBS has published 2,384 posts.
Since the start, HTBS has had 1,686,094 ‘views’, or ‘reads’.
HTBS has around 500 ‘reads’ every day.
Not bad for a rowing history website!
If you readers keep on reading HTBS, we writers promise to keep on writing. However, if we suddenly should lose readers, I have to agree with one thing Tim wrote when HTBS celebrated its 5th anniversary in 2014, in wondering if there is anyone out there actually reading this website – ‘even if no one was reading it, I think we would go on writing it’.