Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

You’ve come a long way baby

When we started bridge blogging a couple of years ago we had a dream that we could have a place where people who loved the game could write and tell their stories and that it would be available for all those who like me love to read their stories.  My first ever blog was written on August 26th 2007 and tells the story of the Canadian women’s bridge team in Shanghai

When I wrote this blog I had been asked to step in as NPC and had no idea that I would end of playing with Pamela Nisbet.  I remember that in the rush to find a substitute for Rhoda Habert who had pneumonia poor Pamela had to leave the partnership she had worked so hard on with Isabelle to play with me.  I assured her that we would not let the side down and we didn’t.  We played very well together despite the lack of practice although once or twice I had to tell opponents when they asked about a bidding sequence that we had never discussed it even if it was a fairly common thing, because, well, we never had discussed anything.  I am sorry that Rhoda missed out although I did have problems with asthma in Shanghai and I believe she was right not to go on that long plane ride to that polluted environment.  I noticed a comment of encouragement my brother wrote to me when I was in Shanghai.  I am sure it was the first and last time he ever read anything about bridge.

Ray was the NPC, a position he enjoyed and did very well.  A future team would do well to consider Ray for this position.  He too blogged and he got a lot of advice and support from Canadians. 

Day 1 — off and running

It’s interesting to me how Ray starts his blog:

I’m beginning to wonder whether anyone is reading this — Linda’s getting all kinds of comments posted on hers, and no-one seems to want to add anything to what I put up there.  Sigh.  Ah well, blog on regardless…

Because believe me all bloggers feel like that a lot of the time and we all treasure your comments.  You can see all of these original blogs if you look in the archives under August and September 2007.

We have since always featured the world championships with ambitious blogging, twitter, recaps and features like the annual pick the winner contest which seems to be amazingly popular.

Some features have worked less well like the Hazel Nutt Christmas blog which I thought was quite funny but attracted few readers.

But the big changes were the addition of all the wonderful new bloggers starting with Judy and Bobby Wolff.  We have also had some other bloggers who have attracted quite a following like relatively new blogger Canadian Chuck Arthur who has lots of comments and responses to his Master Solver’s Club and other blogs.  Judy has the record for comments.  She engages her readers like well like nobody but Judy.  From the Sublime to the Ridiculous …. January 2010 was about the Bridge Hall of Fame had 49 comments.  With Judy prepared to respond to her readers.  It also inspired two blogs by me and one by Ray that I know of.  It discussed the interesting issue about whether somebody should be in the Hall of Fame based on results or based on skill or some combination of both.  It also talked about the process and recent nominees.  There have been many others.

Over time we added a lot of feeds from individual bloggers and more on request.  Most of them are still going strong but some were removed due to inactivity or well to be frank, reader’s complaints.  We have never censored anybody but we do ask people not to slander anybody and to keep the language civil and pretty well everybody has even though we have had a few heated discussions.  But some bloggers who came in on a feed for one reason or another just didn’t quite make the standard. 

The addition of Aces on Bridge was a major milestone.  Readers are not only able to read the Aces column but also correspond with one of the greats of bridge.  Bobby really does answer the questions himself.   We host the Aces On Bridge archive but we also pick up other news columns like one of my favorites the New York Times by Philip Alder.  It not only is interesting and well written it discusses current events, players and topics. 

Service has been an issue.  Since this is not and has never been intended to be a money making operation we have tried to kept the costs low.  But as the site has got more complex and busy we are not satisfied with the low-end carriers.  We have twice moved and upgraded the site and have had to deal with everything from spam, to blocked access to and from China, random crashes, lack of service and mixed up feeds.  Throughout this you have all been patient with us and the magnificent Luise with some help from her other half has put this right.

The staff has learned over time a lot about helping bloggers and we do provide all kinds of help from getting them started to spam control and Luise’s special bridge features for movies and suit symbols.

We now host one ad and we are interested in one or two more to defer the cost.  But we will never fill the pages with ads.  So if you have a bridge audience to reach you can contact us for pricing.  The ads are quite inexpensive but we have high standards to make sure the ad does not distract.  (You may not even have noticed the subtle poker ad at the top of the page!)  The advertising is a service and a way to defer some of the cost.  We are “proud??” to say that bridge blogging is not about making money.

So once more we grow and change.  We hope you all like the new design.  Personally I want to thank the bloggers,  Luise the technical whiz, Sally who keeps us up to date on happenings at Master Point Press and Jessica who works on Aces on Bridge, the McKinnon blog and supports other bloggers too,  Ray who pays the bills and to you, readers who are the ones who make it worthwhile.


HowardMay 13th, 2010 at 9:42 am

I think what you have done and are continuing to do is a truly wonderful thing. I’m sure that all the readers that log in to your site can’t help but find something they find thoroughable readable, entertaining, informatve, educational and challenging. And all for free. I am very grateful to be linked to your website,especially as I am getting on occasions some warm and encouraging comments about my efforts. I only hope that your readership grows and becomes one of the biggest and most popular sources of bridge material. Yours HBG ( John howard Gibson )

LindaMay 13th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Thanks Howard. I really do appreciate your work and all of the other bloggers too. I especially like a recent blog with a list of book titles that featured RAY LEE.

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