Dana’s Dirt started in 2003 when my passion for radio and celebrity gossip met with the newfound ability to reach people using the web. At the time, radio station websites mostly consisted of cheesy bio pages and the playlist. They were stagnant.
One day the webmaster gave me the password to post a picture of Christina Aguilera so I could show my listeners what I was talking about. In all honesty, I was probably commenting on how chubby she looked, but this was before “shaming” was really a thing that was generally frowned upon. Really, a lot has changed over the past decade. Anyway I was pumped. I could actually SHOW everyone what I was talking about on the radio!
I’m not going to act all Al Gore like I invented the internet for radio stations, but I was definitely one of the first deejays to focus on web content. I became obsessed with it, spending hours every night looking for the best stuff to post. At one point I found out that several radio people in other markers were copying my posts to their own pages. Like, copying and pasting word for word everything I had written, copying my picture, and putting it under their own names. In 5th grade we called it plagiarism, in radio we called it “imitation is the highest form of flattery” and you must be onto something.
It was Toby, my daughter’s dad, who told me I should start my own website. I did. Good thing, because shortly after I launched it, I left the radio station.
For nearly two years I was “on the beach” as we call it in radio. I wasn’t working, but I updated my website every day. All day, every day, constantly. I would sit at the computer until my eyeballs burned.
One day a night show host reached out to me and asked me if I’d be interested in doing Dana’s Dirt reports on his radio show. He couldn’t pay me, but I could plug my website. I was more than happy to do it. Within a few months I was on several radio stations and the site really started to grow.
In July of 2005 I found a new radio home in Hartford. I was thrilled to be working on the air again, and I was also able to put some money into my website. I licensed photos and found a good ad agency to help me monetize it. For a while I was getting up to 600,000 page views a month.
Things started to fizzle out for bloggers a few years ago. Photo licensing became more expensive. Ad revenue went down. The market was flooded with celebrity blogs. I couldn’t keep up. We can’t all be Perez Hilton. I let the site go…
Over time I’ve missed writing. I’ve continued to be a “content curator” for the radio stations I’ve worked at over the last several years, but I know that I have more to offer than commentary on Britney’s abs or Kanye’s shenanigans. People liked my “dirt” but over time I’d also written about other things, personal things, life things, struggles, and that’s the stuff I want to get back to sharing.
So consider this the next evolution of Dana’s Dirt… Now it’s not just about gossip, it’s about how we’re all a hot mess. We’re all a work in progress. We all make mistakes. Maybe I’ve become soft in my old age… I realized that I spent a lot of time criticizing the antics of celebrities while I was a disaster myself. I will get into some of stuff that was going on in my life while I was trash-talking others. I will share stories I have been too scared to tell. I will tell you about people who inspire me. I will share things to make you laugh and things that might make you cry too. I will still give my thoughts on celebrities and pop culture stuff, and sometimes I will just go off on random bs because those posts always get a lot of hits, but sometimes we’ll get deeper than that too.
I hope you will enjoy it.
Thank you for reading!