Friday, September 13, 2013

Seventh Blogoversary

Today is the seventh anniversary of when I began this blog. On Wednesday, September 13, 2006, I published my first post, “I live in a land downunder. No, the other one…” Seven years! Wow.

Last year, I said
“I would never pretend that all those nearly 2300 posts so far are ‘good’ in any objective sense, but quite a few, in my biased opinion, certainly are. Some are duds, of course; it’s in the nature of these things.”
I still think that. However, to be totally honest (and a little less modest), I’d say that among the now 2,655 previously published posts are some of the best things I’ve ever written. The fact that some (many?) posts fall far short of that mark doesn’t make the good ones any less good.

I’d like to think that over the past seven years I’ve become a better writer or, at the very least, better at recognising what makes a good blog post. Whether or not the first part is true, the second clearly isn’t, because it turns out that readers don’t always agree with my opinion on what’s “good”. Posts that I think are really good may remain relatively unread, while others I think are “meh” have large numbers of page views. That probably proves that no one should write to what they think readers want.

My Blogaversary posts from previous years collectively provide the story of this blog, and each year I try to add something different to that story. This year, it’s actually something that someone else said about his blog.

Roger Green recently commented on something another blogger had written, about being magpie bloggers, attracted to Shiny Things. He wrote:
“The problem with that is that I often move onto the Next Thing, less out of boredom, but the need to find something mentally Shiny, I suppose. Intellectually, at least, the phrase ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is pretty true of me. I know very few things in depth, but I know a little about a lot of things.”
Yes, that’s it exactly. Putting aside the question of whether I have any particular expertise or not, I certainly often abandon topics, only to return to them when they’re shiny again.

Roger continued:
“Sometimes, people have suggested that I ought to focus this blog on one or two topics. There’s only one reason why I don’t: I don’t wanna. But it is interesting that people look to me for whatever expertise I might have.”
Personally, I’m glad that Roger doesn’t focus on only one or two topics, because the magpie-ian diversity is what I like so much about his blog. No one has ever told me to focus, but there are times I thought I “should”. I once even created a separate “spin-off” blog for my posts about politics, mostly US politics. The idea was that I could then focus this blog on New Zealand stuff. I wrote about that at the time, and it’s what led me to create the topic badges on the left side of the page.

The real reason I didn’t spin-off politics into a new blog, in addition to what I said at the time, is that I’m like Roger: I’m a magpie blogger, and, quite frankly, I like it that way just fine, thank you.

I still enjoy blogging, far more than I ever thought I would—and sometimes a bit more than I probably should. Basically, it’s a helluva lot of fun. The best part of it for me, as I’ve said many times before, is the interaction I have with others, and finding new friends like Roger.

So here we are seven years on. That cuppa from my first post may be a bit cold by now, so best you pour yourself another. And leave a comment while you’re at it: We have things to discuss, and—oh, look! Shiny!

Thanks for joining me on this seven year journey.

Previous posts on my blogoversaries:

Anniversay Time (2007)
Blogoversary 2 (2008)
Anniversaries Three and Fourteen (2009)
Fourth blogoversary (2010)
Fifth blogoversary (2011)
Sixth blogoversary (2012)


rogerogreen said...

Congrats on your anniversary! You are a magpie, too, and that's fine by me. I've trouble blogging the past two weeks, for TIME reasons, but it's NOT for lack of topics! And this talk I just saw, with David Souter, was astonishing. More later.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Thanks. Magpies are great, I think—at least, when it comes to bloggers. I'll be interested to see what you have to say about the Souter talk.