The Red Dirt Chronicles: A Year in Review Plus Our Top 25 Most-Read Posts

Photo by pilgriminprogress on Flickr. Click photo for photographer's page.

Dear RDC community and occasional or first-time readers:

Monday, August 1st, will be our official “Red Dirt Chronicles” first birthday.  What began back in May of 2010 as a small individual project, was turned into a group contributor project just twelve months ago.  So much has happened since then; so much writing has taken place, decisions to grow or change the way we do things, and our second website is – at this very moment – getting its third set of upgrades.

A few of those upgrades you’ll notice immediately, but some of them will take a few weeks to work themselves out.  For example, if you read the RDC on your mobile phone, you might have noticed an RDC Mobile version available at our website.  That is…IF you have an iPhone, an Android, or a few other styles.  However, we’re still working on the Blackberry upgrade.  Technical details take patience and much debugging.  I truly appreciate our web developer, Maria Yuliana, for the work she does behind the scenes.

Another special announcement is that last night we surpassed the “100,000 reads” mark.  As editor, I was keeping my fingers crossed to reach that milestone before our first birthday.  And…we did it, with two whole days to spare!

Our contributors and our readers, and the connection and feedback between them is basically all that the RDC comprises.  Therefore, I want to first thank all our contributors who have labored, thought, written and thought some more over this past year.  In fact, let me specifically name them, in the order that they began submitting work to the RDC:  Julie at the Ranch (Homestead and Garden), Rob Loeber (Sports), Lamar Jackson (Faith), Mark Hinderliter (occasional), Joey Rodman (occasional), Josh Bottomly (Man Cave, occasional), Kendy Cox (Woman2Woman), Jennifer Wallis (Cents & Sensibility), Michael Mitchell (Man Cave, other), Quentin Bomgardner (occasional and later Imaginary Family Project), Whitni Hays and Jani Hays (Stockyards City Cookbook Cook-Through), Dan Hubler (Gum Springs Dan), Dallas Caldwell (Faith),  Nancy Osborn (Red Dirt Dives), Rob McClendon and the OK Horizon TV Team (On the Horizon), Rachel Roberts (Red Dirt Racie & the Pint Night Reviews), and Jeff Bingham (mostly Man Cave, but some other as well).

Whew!  And, while Lamar, Jani and Whitni have completed their particular work with the RDC, I’m grateful for their part in helping our project grow.  And…I’m glad I’m not typing all of YOUR names, or I’d have sore-backside-itis after this post. (By the way, any time you would like to visit the work of any particular author, simply go to our main page, go to the “Contributor” frame on the right-hand side, and click on their photo.  The link will take you directly to their work.)

So, what’s “On the Horizon” (ha!) for next year?  Well, for one thing we’ll be adding an intern to our project this fall.  Depending upon the skill set of that person, you’ll see growth or changes accordingly.  What else?  Well, lots.  We’re kicking around the idea of some sort of Story Corps for Oklahoma, sort of like the NPR project – only local. I’ve got some interviews coming up with a person who is currently an inmate in the Joseph Hart Correctional Facility. The Imaginary Family Project will continue through the rest of this year, as well as more videos, more fun, more Oklahoma culture, and more ideas on how to share the thoughts, art, ideas and diversity of our great state.

Tomorrow, I’ll post a project that was really important to me and will explain how to give back to one particular non-profit who changes lives every day.  The film portion of the post took me almost two years from the planning stages to the final result, and I’m glad to share it with you.

And, to wrap up the year, I thought I would post a “Top Twenty-Five” list for you.  These are the posts that you, the readers, seemed to enjoy most from our first year.  My editors picks would be different, and I’m going to post my “Top Ten” list on Monday.  I can tell you now that not many of them are on this particular list. Further, I believe we had some really great contenders that came out the first six months which would have been read more had our readership been built.  However, the list does represent most read and passed around posts and that’s what I’m going with today.  I hope you enjoy going back through some you might have missed.

All the very best to you (and to us for Year Two),


25. The Imaginary Family Project, Week #6, by Sterlin Harjo

24. Is Falling Out of Love the Deathblow to Your Marriage? by Red Dirt Kelly

23. Is Stoops in the Hotseat? No Doubt About It. by Rob Loeber

22. Humbled Yet Again by the Game I Love by Rob Loeber

21. In Search of a Name for the Man Bun by Mark “The Howard” Hinderliter

20. The Imaginary Family Project, Week #2 by Red Dirt Kelly

19. Red Dirt Ramblers, Stop #3: The Vintage House Restaurant, Burlington, OK by Julie at the Ranch & Red Dirt Kelly

18. Are Our Sports Becoming Wimpy? by Rob Loeber

17. The Road To Uncool Is Paved With Good Parenting by Kendy Cox

16. Maturity – That’s Asking A Lot by Rob Loeber

15. Ludivine Lives Up To Its Second And Third Syllables by Red Dirt Kelly

14. I Am Lucille Mulhall, Hear Me Roar by Red Dirt Kelly

13. The Imaginary Family Project, Week #1 by Quentin Bomgardner

12. Call Me Commish by Rob Loeber

11. Super Bowl Prop Bets – Yep, They’re Real by Rob Loeber

10. Silent Sundays: 9/19/10 by Red Dirt Kelly

9. And That’s the News in Red Dirt Country by Red Dirt Kelly

8. Mean Girls’ Guide to Oxford Tourist Identification by Red Dirt Kelly

7. Mission Statements for the Essence of Parent-Daughter Living by Michael Mitchell w/ Red Dirt Kelly

6. Ratatouille’s Ratatouille for Two-ie by Red Dirt Kelly

5. 101 Uses for a Delta Airlines Barf Bag: #93 by Red Dirt Kelly

4. How To Teach Your Children About Marriage Without Saying A Word by Red Dirt Kelly

3. Love Stories With Oklahoma Roots by Red Dirt Kelly

2. A Man’s Ode to Sleeping In by Michael Mitchell

1. When I Am an Old Man by Michael Mitchell