November 24, 2011 is Thanksgiving in the USA and there is a lot to be thankful for. It seems fitting that today of all days, my blog is two years old.
A lot has changed since the beginning. The publishing of posts has slowed down considerably because I have become more selective. When DCC was brand new I tried to catch every cold case I could that appeared in the news. I jumped on every tip, link and idea. It resulted in an enormous amount of posts. But after the first year, things changed or better said: I changed. My enthusiasm is still there, the dedication never wavered but I learned that I cannot keep up this tempo. I decided that in the future I would post links from newspapers in a “Sum it Up!” post. It became an instant hit with DCC readers and I will continue this series.
In the second year, I designed a logo. I use it as an avatar and it will be used as the cover for e-Books with of course, adjusted titles. The reactions to my creation are very positive and I am glad of all the comments I have received about it on Twitter.
Most popular aside from the home page were: ” Vidocq presents Dominic d’Souza!” and Tiah’s guest post in the Laura Henderson-Ibach case: “the time line does not work and police do not care.” The most popular cases were the posts concerning the Hina family, the Crewes, and of course, William Thomas Zeigler.
My interactions with authors and bloggers on Twitter have led to new collaborations. In DCC’s second year, interesting people guest blogged on DCC such as David Russell, Darren Bruce, Christa Miller, and of course the Writing PIs returned for a 2 part session. I already have some great guest bloggers lined up for 2012!
I did not just start to follow more authors on Twitter; I also looked at their books. The results are posted as book reviews on DCC and more will follow.
Through other authors, I learned about “Blog Tour de Troops” and I gladly agreed to join when I was asked. I reviewed “Murder at the Rocks” from author Jill Paterson and “ETA” from author Delphine Pontvieux. Both authors referred to my posts on their blogs and I thank them for that.
This initiative #Blog Tour de Troops” gave free books to our troops and veterans. It is a simple concept in which the authors get book reviews and link to the blogger’s posts. They also commit to send free e-Books to blog commenters and our Troops. The bloggers get the book, the links and traffic. It was a win-win situation for all!
With all these changes, cclivechat is changing as well. We started out as a weekly Friday chat but over the past few months it became clear that it was a tempo nobody could keep up. After the last summer break, it was clear that the format needed to change. On the homepage you can find the schedule for the themed chats. The chats are still on a Friday, still from noon-1pm EST but during most of these chats I will have a guest and we discuss a specific topic. All recaps will still be posted on DCC as usual so you can read up if you miss one.
By changing from casual get-together-chats to less frequent but more focused chats, I hope to make the best of everyone’s time and to use the chats more efficiently. The other advantage of a themed chat is of course the chance to explore a topic in-depth. There will still be some casual chats but not anymore on a weekly basis.
I think that in year three you will see DCC change even further. My goal is to build an interdisciplinary community with people all somehow connected to cold cases: experts featuring in guest posts and in themed cclivechats, authors who use the cold cases for inspiration for their books or book characters. Of course, law enforcement officers who want more media attention for some of their coldest cases and journalists updating us on breaking news in unsolved homicides. Let’s not forget lawyers who comment on trials and give insight into the legal proceedings and hurdles we may face to get a cold case back on track. And private investigators who can help us brainstorm about a certain case. Of course, what ties all these people together will be the expanded readership that slowly raises even greater awareness for these cases.
None of this would ever have been possible without the steadfast support of Jacques Soudan, my webmaster. I cannot thank everyone enough for hanging in there with me! A big THANK YOU to those who return to DCC every day: my readers. Without you, DCC would not be where it is today. I thank you for reading, for your support, and for your loyalty.
Last but not least, a word of thanks to all the family members and their friends who have contacted me about unsolved cases involving a loved one. I cannot thank you enough for your trust and confidence. I am humbled by every email and promise that I will keep up the quality that you have come to expect from DCC’s case analyses. Your patience and your understanding are greatly appreciated. We should never forget the missing, the unidentified or, the victims of unsolved homicides. And, if I can help, I will.
Cheers to year three!