Sometimes it's a good thing when other people read your personal e-mails. For Street alum Daniel "D-Mac" McQuade, boredom, Vegas and girls propelled him to international cyber-stardom -- or at least 2,200 "unique visitor" hits per day.
D-Mac is Philadelphia Weekly's first professional blogger. It all started when 22-year-old D-Mac wrote an e-mail to some of his Penn friends reflecting on their vacation to Las Vegas. "It was like a fake gossip column," he explains, "as if a gossip columnist were writing about us." When friend and fellow Street alum, Ashley Parker (who was, at the time, writing a cover story for PW), read D-Mac's Page Six-esque expose, she passed it along to PW's editor-in-chief who had been looking, by chance, to hire a new "funny writer." D-Mac's faux-scandal newsletter piqued PW's interest, and the editors wanted more -- which they found at D-Mac's personal blog, Philadelphiawilldo.com. As D-Mac sat at home blogging "whiny personal essays about why [he] was single," he was unwittingly typing his way into his first, big break. PW hired him in August 2005 as a full-time blogger.
"[Philadelphia Will Do] is supposed to be sort of about life in Philadelphia," D-Mac explains. In the blogging universe, speed and endurance are essential, as D-Mac writes nine to 13 posts per day and starts his workday at 6:30 a.m. when he surveys the morning's news. "There's so much pressure to be the first person to write about something, and you don't really have time to analyze things."
Since his ascent to professional blogger, D-Mac has blogged about everything from Philadelphia's questionable decision to rename 30th Street Station "Ben Station" to puppies being the newest, hot trend. "I tend to be drawn to more personal essayish bloggers," D-Mac explains.
And really, "personal essay" is D-Mac's polite euphemism for paying homage, ‹¨« la blog, to the ladies. "Of course [it's always about girls]," D-Mac jokes, "the politics stuff is a little too serious for my taste."
The blog world, even more than facebook.com or the ever-wily friendster.com, is the friendly cyber stalker's Mecca, a channel into the funny, quirky and sometimes way too private facets of people's lives. "I stalk lots of people reading their blogs. That's the way to do it. It's like legal," D-Mac says only somewhat facetiously, "and you don't even feel bad, because they're putting it out there, so I'm allowed to read it -- habitually."
And with over 10,000 page-views per day, Philadelphia Will Do is gradually making D-Mac himself a habitual read -- though he hopes that he is not yet a bona fide cyber-celeb (that's just unsettling and "creepy," he says). "I don't have many Myspace friends," he insists. And if Myspace popularity is the barometer for virtual fame, then D-Mac can be comforted in his relative Web anonymity -- though his ex-girlfriend can't. "The only Myspace blog I read is this girl I was seeing," he confesses. He always finds his way back to the ladies.