Old glories, new publicity

December 18, 2010

Andrew Hicks

[AUTHOR’S NOTE <added 12/19>: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on me that’s mentioned below for 12/19 now is scheduled to run on Sunday, 12/26. I’ll likely repost this entry then, but for now, I don’t have anything else written, so I’m leaving it up.]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE <added 12/20>: I got an email from Jim Cook, author of the above-mentioned piece for the Post-Dispatch. The article has been re-rescheduled for Sunday, 1/2. If nothing interesting happens between now and then, you may get to read about me.]

On my eighteenth birthday, I found out my website won first place in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s “Best of the St. Louis Web” contest. I’d just gotten to college six months prior and found out students could create their own sites for free. I met up in the computer lab with a slender, thirtyish techie-dork stereotype who introduced himself only as Spiff. A couple hours of simple HTML code later, The Andrew Hicks World Wide Web Extravaganza was born.

I had a backlog of movie reviews, original stories based on the 1960s “Batman” TV show and a completed comedy diary called “A Year in the Life of a Nerd.” I’d started a second yearlong nerd diary upon arriving at college.

The Internet was so young then that the Yahoo! directory had to create its “Diaries” category specifically for my site. This was years before the term “blog” existed. Competition for original comedy writing online was a lot scarcer than it is today, when the words you’re reading right now might as well be hosted on TheTumbleweedBloweth.com.

I bring this up because now, 14 years later, Jim Cook — the fellow who wrote the original “Best of the St. Louis Web” article in the Post — has put together a new contest for STL-area sites. As a companion piece, he’s written some kind of Where Are They Now?-type piece that profiles me. It’s scheduled to run tomorrow, in the local section of their Sunday paper.

I’m hoping the new exposure will result in expanded readership. Just a few more people reading and laughing is all I’m hoping for. I’m not expecting anything so dramatic as the orgiastic run on goods that happens when some mom-and-pop operation suddenly gets vaulted into Oprah’s Favorite Things status.

No matter the end result, it’ll be nice to have a few people reading my words other than my family and circle of Facebook friends. Or people who stumble on my blog by searching random terms like “broken ankle pink cast” and “good looking man self taken photo hick.” Both actual search terms that added a single hit apiece to my traffic tally.

If you’re one of those people who found this site courtesy of the Post-Dispatch or Stltoday.com, welcome. Look around. Bookmark it. Catch up on the old stuff. Come back for the new stuff. Tell your friends. Pay me to write or edit for you. Book me a high-paying stand-up comedy gig. Mail me your winning lottery ticket. And have a great Christmas.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Okay, so it's not a baby pic, but I was only 20 when this was taken. Which kind of seems like Baby Andrew when I look back now.

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