Five years ago today, I was tapping away at my computer and I got inspired. I had been tagged “taxgirl” a few years before when my odd fascination with tax had accidentally leaked to the outside world. Why not make it official? Why not formally organize my tax ramblings into a running list of posts about all things tax? And just like that, I embraced my inner tax geek and my tax blog was born.
Over the years, the blog has taken on various incarnations. It’s been all kinds of colors (ahh, remember the teal and orange phase?) and on all kinds of platforms. I’ve been on my own (as I am now) and connected with a blogging network (when I edited the now-defunct business channel over at b5media). All of this time, one or two (or six) things have remained constant:
- The blog has always been about tax. I’ve never claimed that reading the blog would make anyone rich, give you clear skin or get you a date. I’ve never pretended that it would make you cool (although, c’mon, tax is pretty cool) or allow you to magically appear younger. No gimmicks. No promises. Just a running commentary on tax on a nearly daily basis.
- It’s irreverent. The tone of the blog was never meant to be academic or lawyerly. It was always meant to be me writing about tax in a way that’s easy to understand without being dumbed down. Whether it was just my dad reading or thousands of other folks, my message and my delivery has remained the same.
- I don’t claim to know everything. In fact, I’m pretty upfront about the fact that I don’t know everything (even the thought of partnership tax makes my skin crawl). I try to focus on what I know. And when I don’t know something, I rely on the collective wisdom of my colleagues and readers to chime in.
- I’ve always done the heavy lifting. There are no ghost writers here. No one does the research for me. There’s no intern running around drafting posts for me to approve. It’s just me and my trusty laptop. Occasionally, though, I do have a guest post or two – those are always clearly noted – and I am thankful for those of you who offer them.
- I like comments. I know some bloggers turn off their comments. I don’t get that. I think the whole point of a blog is to create a dialogue. I’ve turned off comments just twice in the five year history of the blog – once during the presidential elections because of some pretty hateful stuff that was aimed at other readers and commenters (which I absolutely won’t allow) and once during the discussion about the health care bill (for the same reason). Otherwise, they stay on. I know that there’s more to a story than a few paragraphs. I love your thoughts, suggestions and yes, even the corrections (see #3). Comments are the high point of my day. Really.
- I’ve loved every minute of it.
All in all, it’s been awesome. I couldn’t have imagined when I started where my little tax blog would lead. I’ve been recognized in remarkable ways (among other things, the ABA Journal has tapped me for two years running as having one of the top 100 legal blogs). I’ve been interviewed by such amazing media as Forbes, Inc., the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Tax Foundation – I’ve even penned a chapter for a book. I’ve had the opportunity to interview such luminaries as Vice President Joe Biden and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. I’ve traveled all over the country – from San Francisco to New York City and everywhere in between – to talk tax. I’ve been on TV, on the radio – and I even have a credit in a movie (squeal – no, I still can’t get over it).
It has been a tremendous ride. And I owe it all to you guys, my faithful readers. I get up (almost) every day and have the good fortune of sharing something that I’m passionate about with an audience who seems to care what I have to say. What could possibly be better than that?
I have some other thank yous, too (humor me here, folks): my husband, Chris, who cares very little about tax but pretends to care about my blog; my staff at my law office for putting up with my moods during tax season (and let’s face it, most every other day); my parents for reading my blog when nobody else did; Jay Bevenour for designing my awesome logo; Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive for his oh-so-helpful tech-y stuff; Jeremy, CJ, Kori, Kendra, Arieanna and Mary Jo, formerly of b5media, for all of their collective wisdom; Tris Hussey for talking me down from the ledge when my WP migration failed one fateful day; Kay Bell, Joe Kristan, Robert Flach, Prof. Caron, Prof. Maule and many other tax bloggers who I admire and respect so much and who push me to do my very best work; Starbucks coffee (wait – I think they should be thanking me); and The Academy, just because I wanted to thank them for something some day. I didn’t mean to leave anyone out so please don’t send me hate mail if I missed you. I didn’t mean to.
I figure this is worth celebrating, right? Throughout the remainder of the week, I’m going to post some taxgirl trivia, have giveaway or two and a put up a couple of “best of” posts so be on the lookout. Expect some tears on my end.
As for today, get your glass ready… It’s almost 5pm my time. Here’s a huge “Cheers!” to each and every one of you for giving me five wonderful years. And here’s hoping there are many more to come!