Three years ago, I’d never heard of a blog. I was a lonely liberal at the conservative dinner table, wondering if the whole country had gone mad and I was the only one who noticed.

Two years ago, I was commenting over at the crack den, meeting Holden and Tena and pie and other people so smart it made my head spin.

One year ago, we were turning this site into a group blog, dreaming of getting any readers at all, even if it was just a troll or two.

Today, every day, hundreds of us get together here and talk. Vent. Laugh. Kick around ideas and smack around the stupid and all that’s before we even get to the Gaggle. And I’d like to ask you to consider supporting that, to consider what First Draft is worth to you in a time in this country when we need to raise every voice, fight every fight, make every issue our issue and win every kickball game we start.

Many of you take the time to drop some of your hard-earned cash into the hat already, and for that, I thank you more than words can express. But if you haven’t donated before, I’d like to ask you to consider it.

Now, there’s some things for which we do need money. We’re getting a bigger server, one that is hopefully more robust than our present hamster-run operation. And if y’all want to keep seeing ferret pictures, we need to keep feeding them. As it is, they bitch plenty loud about doing our tech support for cut-rate kibble.

But mainly I’d like to see people use the donation button and snail mail address down there to the right to tell us what they think of the virtual treehouse we’ve built here. Is this a part of the discourse, the virtual public square, you value? Tell us.

And just in case you’re a newbie (noob, noob, noob, everybody haze the noob!) here’s some reminders of what we’ve been and done in the past year:

Holden on Terry Schaivo.

Tena on Fitzmas Day.

The campaign and contest: Does Karl Rove Speak For You?

More blasts from the ancient past (in blog-time anyway) to come this week. Please, kind sirs and madams, toss a nickel in our cap!