I don’t acknowledge every blog anniversary but I felt a desire to do so this year. On September 1, 2002 – over fourteen years ago – I published my first post.
Many times in the past, I’ve raved that blogging introduced me to people who later became beloved in-person friends. People I never would have met if it wasn’t for the internet.
In 2016, I feel like it’s not nearly as common to find new friends through blogging, but that could be related more to my age (I’m 36 now instead of 22) and stage of life rather than a fundamental change in the blogging world.
What has changed: In years past, I used to write about any little thing that crossed my mind. I don’t do that anymore. That’s what social media is for. I try to save blog posts for more substantive updates.
Instead of recapping my weekend or throwing up a random picture or two, I try to write about topics that are weighing on my mind (I’m 35 and I Don’t Know If I Want a Baby), obstacles I’ve overcome (I Conquered My Eating Disorder), questions I wrestle with (Why I’m Having Second Thoughts About Homeownership), how I live my life (Why I Am a Minimalist), and even the type of vehicle I drive (Why I Drive An Ugly Car).
I’m not the first long-time blogger to point out the blogging community has changed. People who used to comment on blog posts now comment on social media links instead, or they don’t comment at all. I’m used to this, and I’m guilty of it myself. I try to leave comments periodically on blogs of people I’m close to, or if a stranger’s post especially moves me. Otherwise I don’t bother.
These days I only publish a new post a couple of times a month, but there have been times I’ve posted every single day in a month. I successfully completed NaBloPoMo in November 2006 (I wonder how many people still remember what that is?), and I posted every day during my first Whole30 in 2012.
One thing hasn’t changed over the past fourteen years: I’m still a dedicated blog reader. Even when I don’t write anything myself, I keep up with my subscriptions (originally with Google Reader, now Feedly). My subscriptions change over time, based on my level of interest in a particular subject.
Several years ago, I went through and edited a bunch of old posts on this site, and deleted quite a few as well (although many still remain that I would cringe over if I saw them). I was sad but not surprised to notice that a majority of bloggers I used to link to and interact with have either taken down their sites completely or not updated in years.
Although my posting frequency has gone up and down over the years, I’ve never considered deleting my blog entirely. I need this website to be here whenever I’m ready for it.
I have good intentions of returning to regular blogging, but I’ve had good intentions for a long time. I have lists of ideas for posts that I jot down when inspired but rarely return to flesh them out.
When I think about blogging, I’m plagued with the question of whether it’s worth the effort. Ten years ago, or even six years ago, my answer would have been an unequivocal yes. But some of the posts I’ve written in recent years – the long, in-depth ones – take many hours to write. Sometimes I’ll get a flood of views and comments, sometimes not.
Either way, after a day or two the subject is largely forgotten. Everyone moves on, and before you know it, those words live on a random web page, rarely visited or acknowledged. Either you keep going and write something brand new…or you don’t. I choose to keep going (albeit at a much slower pace), but I can understand why others have opted out.