Double Digits Chronicles

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Caracas Chronicles is ten years old today. Ten!

Back when it all kicked off, you had to spell out that “blog” was short for “web log” each time you referred to it. Barack Obama was unheard of, Mitt Romney’s views were progressive, Hugo Chávez was skinny, twitter was something birds did and youtube was a typo hurried plumbers made.

I wish I had a better story about how the blog started. I used to have a little email list for some gringo friends from college I would use to rant about Venezuela – it was 2002, and things were getting pretty crazy – and when I heard about this newfangled “blog” thing, I thought – “well, that’s better than an email list!”

So I started one more or less on a whim. I never imagined I’d still be doing it ten years later, or that the blog would come to take over my life the way it has, defining me professionally and turning me into something of a public figure.

For long stretches, particularly in the dog years of 2004-2007 when the opposition took collective leave of its senses, blogging felt like a debilitating addiction. I tried to give it up more than once; I knew it was bad for me. But I couldn’t control it and I’d always come whimpering back. Caracas Chronicles was my ball and chain.

Somewhere along the line, I gave up on try to make the blog understandable to people who don’t follow Venezuela closely. It pays to know your audience, they say, and it was clear my key demographic was morphing from interested outsiders to English speaking insiders. As more and more Venezuelans emigrated, the blog seemed to find a ready audience with Venezuelan expats, who joined the previous cohorts of foreign diplos, journos and oil guys I’d gone for all along.

Gradually, as Juan Cristobal took on more of a role and the opposition started its long march back to sanity, it became more fun. I slowly got better at writing shorter, punchier articles rather than the dreary 2,200 word logorrheic monstrosities I used to specialize in, and I started to get a knack for turning readers into professional leads, turning the blog into a kind of loss leader for my freelancing career. I’m still sort of amazed that it works, and yes, I do realize how lucky I am: my hobby is my job!

Thinking back, I honestly can’t remember the time before I blogged. I mean, c’mon…

Ten years…that’s crazy!

1 COMMENT

  1. Congratulations! Ten years is not easy, specially when you have long maintained the honor of being the best Venezuelan politics blog out there. Here’s for another 10!!

  2. Well Quico, I am certainly glad that you decided to stick to it!
    Caracas Chronicles is like my morning coffee, the day is not the same without it.

    Thanks to you, to JC and GEHA as well, for all the work you do!

    I look forward to writing something similar in another 10 years time!

    Gracias!

  3. Well deserved congratulations and many happy returns. You give my politically senseless procrastination a reason to exist. Felicidades y gracias a todos los que hacen este blog posible.

  4. 10 years of being chronically clueless is too long but keep trying, even a broken clock is correct twice a day…

    Rojo Rojito
    cort

    • I have read that in WWI that, on Christmas, the soldiers in the trenches would take a break from the fighting, by some sort of mutual consent, and, at least for a moment, recognize each other as fellow humans.

      And you, not recognizing that this was one of those moments, come along and just lob in a hate grenade. Grow up, and if you can’t be human, at least try to pretend.

  5. Congratulations Gentlemen. I have been an avid reader for most of that time. CC is a rare gem that is critical and honest. All positive change begins with a forum for open, genuine dialogue. Thank you for initiating that forum for a beautiful country that should be better than it now is.

    • I couldn’t have said this any better. Many kudos and thanks for all that have made this Blog such excellent, informative, and entertaining reading!!

  6. Stay tuned throughout the day for more great anniversary coverage:

    Caracas Chronicles es el blog líder en innovación editorial”
    El presidente editor de Caracas Chronicles, Francisco Toro, y el gerente general, Juan Cristobal Nagel, dieron inicio a la celebración del Aniversario 10 con unas emotivas palabras para sus trabajadores y lectores

    Salas Feo: Caracas Chronicles se ha convertido en el mejor símbolo de la democracia
    El gobernador del estado Carabobo, Henrique Salas Feo afirmó que el blog engloba todo lo que significa la palabra libertad

    Roig: Caracas Chronicles merece la medalla olímpica a la valentía
    El primer vicepresidente de Fedecámaras, Jorge Roig, afirmó que la federación agradece el apoyo que el blog le ha brindado a lo largo de toda su trayectoría

    Vecchio: Pido que sigan fortaleciendo la libertad de expresión
    El coordinador político de Voluntad Popular, Carlos Vecchio, recalcó que en estos 10 años Caracas Chronicles ha regalado todos los días a los venezolanos un blog para fortalecer la democracia.

    Vea también:
    Nagel: Caracas Chronicles es una gran familia que afronta los retos con profesionalismo

    Edición Aniversaria es una máquina del tiempo

    Un equipo que hace la diferencia

    Editorial: 10 años en la arena

    Henrique Capriles felicita al blog Caracas Chronicles por sus 10 años

  7. 10 años por el buche! Congrats Quico, Juan and Gustavo. Keep up the great work! (When I saw the double digits headline I thought you were talking about polls again, I probably should stop thinking about polls and elections)

  8. Ten years of conspiring to destabilise the revolution and you still haven’t toppled the guy! Bueno, I suppose we’ll know how successful you’ve really been after 7O….. congratulations!!

  9. Congratulations on a versatile blog, where I often come to get yet another view on the Venezuelan pulse.As you say, you have gone from something more generic, to a more : ” Asi Somos Los Venezolanos”.

    The ‘eye of recognition’ is certainly upon you, let’s hope that through the daily efforts of all – those on the ground and those expats who wake up everyday with nothing but a dream ,will see soon see the Sun rise in the homeland again.

  10. For a long time I believed the day would come when you’d stop fooling around with this blogging nonsense and get a serious life. I was wrong…
    Congratulations! As I said long ago, I’ll start calling you Quico, the alchemist.

  11. Congratulations. Let us hope that you will have much less Venezuelan insanity to try to analyze and dissect fairly soon. Though knowing Venezuela, there will inevitably be some. Only that the last 14 (of which you have analyzed 10) years have produced a surfeit of it…

  12. Not to mention you managed to get Juan to join you, and more recently Gustavo. You guys deserve a big round of applause for your insanity.

    • agree, that’s been your greatest achievement, Quico. Other than your innate talents for turning political events and economic concepts into contemporary English, for finding quirky or serious visuals as eye-candy, and for recognizing (at last) that a blog’s attractiveness is very much dependent on the feedback from an engaged community.

  13. Congratulations on your 10 years.

    Venezuela needs all the help it can get & blogs like yours are a valuable focal point for our future.

  14. ¡Felicitaciones! Here’s to another decade (at least). Kudos for an amazing work and thank you so much for keeping me up to date with my beloved adoptive country.
    Your blog will be a must in the upcoming weeks…

    Cheers,
    Caterina

  15. As a loyal follower of your blog, more a reader than a commenter, I want to congratulate you guys for the amazing work. A must (daily) read in these crazy times. Felicitaciones!

  16. Wow ten years… I have been reading this blog on and off since the beginning, and I can’t believe 10 whole years have passed. I remember when the comments section was a little window that popped out of the browser. Congratulations!

  17. Congrats guys! As of this month i’ve been reading you for 2 years now. Not only has it become an addiction for you writers but also for us readers(some of us at least). I can’t imagine watching or reading the news without reading blogs for some sanity and balance.

    Congratulations again!

  18. Original thinking, thoughtful analysis, great writing, goofy puns, hilarious hashtags — what more could we ask for? Many thanks from a grateful (CC-dependent) reader.

  19. enhorabuena!
    Kudos to CC and its readership. This Blog’s commentters is what makes me come back to read and inspries me to write fro time to time.

    10 years! two presidential terms of former lore…. a long time indeed.
    Critical injucture ahead when the Chavismo turns to opposition and else, and the nation struggles ahead with all the odio, resentment and debts we will inherit fom its passage.

    hard times ahead, keep up the great job gents.

  20. Less than a year reading your blog regularly but now I’m an addict. The only thing I regret is that I wasn’t pointed to it earlier. As an immigrant who felt compelled to leave Venezuela after the CH government destroyed my family’s 20 year-old business, I visit this blog for understanding and indepth on many of the issues that affect the nation where I was born and raised.

    • Alex,
      We’ve got a special treat lined up for “newer” readers like yourself. Check in a few days for more information on that…

  21. Congratulations! 10 years is important and I check every one of your messages to keep in touch with the insanity of my original home. I currently can’t return since I got pulled by security in 2008 without my cedula.

  22. As I have said many times to my friends … I no longer read VE newspapers. I just read you and Miguel’s Blog. Congratulations !!!

  23. I´ve been a VERY loyal reader for many many years; Katy had just joined by the time I started lurking. I very seldom contribute, but I am like a fly on the wall, always there, always unnoticed.

    My most sincere congratulations on keeping up the hard work, on the perseverance to keep trying stuff that doesn´t exactly pan out, on churning enticing essays when you don´t really feel like it. When times get tough, whenever we lose an election -and there have been quite a few- we can always count on CC to be there, we can all gather round, lick our wounds, regroup and get back up. We were able to celebrate our scant victories. For those of us that have been away for far too long, CC has been way more than just a source of japanese classes, essays on philosophy, outrageously goofy puns, quirky humour, and a bit of info on Venezuela.

    I wish all of you the very best!

  24. Congratulations! I can’t remember how long of those 10 years I’ve been reading your blog, but I feel like I have 20 years of material to still mull over. Thanks, and if you keep it coming, I’ll keep reading.

  25. Congratulations. This blog has been a nearly-daily read for me during the past 9 years, a source of invaluable opinion & info about Venezuela. I love the contrast between the three very distinct blogging styles at CC these days.

  26. My Spanish is muy malo. Without CARACAS CHRONICLES, the Devils Excrement, and Venezuela New and Views I would be lost in understanding the truth about your country’s ongoing revolution. You gentlemen are at the forefront in the fight for a free Venezuela.

  27. I’ve been here for most of the 10 years, reading from Australia, then Venezuela and then Australia again. Quico has not only been the best commentator of Venezuelan politics, but also the best social commentator who has helped me understand why we are who we are, always with intellectual honesty.

    Congratulations from “your man in Catia”.

  28. Years ago, I found out about this blog and I became a regular. I never thought that years later I would be part of CaracasChronicles. Thanks Quico and JC for your labor during this decade and hope that this is just the beginning for CC.

  29. congratulations to the CC team. it’s pretty inspirational how you guys continually punch out intelligent, well written posts. this is from an aussie who has been to vnz a few times with my long time caraquena girlfriend and is now addicted to this blog.

  30. sorry for joining so late but ive been sooo busy i had missed my daily shot of CC so… çongrats. a pat in the back, don’t even sweat the trolls, and i wish you cumpleaños feliz, te deseaaaamos CC cumpleaaaaaños CC cumpleañnos feliz! y tralalaaaaaaa
    a quico jc… y el pana geha que comparte mis sudores caribeños en esta tierra de gracia 🙂

  31. I have been reading this blog for 8 years now… I love it. Have recommended to many who I know now read it. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the consistent flow of good information.

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