Ten Years of Blogging

I have now been writing at this address in some form or another for over ten years1. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that I started tinkering with blog engines. Other times it feels like I’ve been a blogger forever!

I like to say that I blog first for myself and second for everyone else, and that’s still true. Ten years doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it’s fascinating to read the crazy things that 20-year-old-me wrote. I really have changed quite a lot in that time! That said, it certainly is nice to have readers. Not only do you keep me motivated (and correct me when I get things wrong) you have also taught me an awful lot over the years. I have met so many people and learned so many things that I just don’t think I would have without this blog. I really appreciate all of the relationships and opportunities that writing here has afforded me!

Surface Pro & HTC Windows Phone 8X

Technology and the web have also changed quite dramatically in the time I have been writing here. There are lots of reasons that my posts have gotten longer over the years, but one big factor was Twitter. Before Twitter launched, I would occasionally write really short “status” entries here, like this one. Increasingly I have been producing content elsewhere, whether it is Tumblr, YouTube, or Instagram. Still, this blog has remained the glue that ties it all together.

I have mentioned this before, but it was around 2008 that my blog started to focus very heavily on local topics. It was September 2008 that I launched my Edmonton Notes series2, which is now one of the most popular features on the blog. If you’re looking through the archives, don’t be surprised if you find the first five years of this blog to be much more random than it is now!

Whether you’ve been reading for years or are new, thank you. Here’s to another ten years!

New Design

You may notice that I refreshed the look of the blog this week. I’ve been meaning to do so for a while now, and the anniversary was as good an excuse as any! My blog is now a fully responsive site, which should make for a better reading experience on your mobile devices. There’s a bit more room for content, and I’ve made the text bigger by default.

Curious to see what this blog looked like in the past? Thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can:

I’ll continue tweaking it, so please let me know if you have any feedback.

  1. I generally treat November 6, 2003 as the start of my blog because that’s the oldest post I was able to save when I moved to WordPress in 2008. I actually started blogging prior to that, but unfortunately all of those posts were lost. 

  2. Five years of Edmonton Notes, can you believe that?! My blog has been Edmonton-focused for about half of its existence. 

Social Media Milestones

Over the last couple of months I have achieved a few nice-round-numbers with my online activities. I’m not sure why they all happened around the same time, but they have. Some recent milestones include:

  • 3000 blog posts
  • 9000 comments on my blog posts
  • 30,000 tweets
  • 10,000 followers on Twitter
  • 500 lists on Twitter
  • 1000 friends on Facebook
  • 13,000 photos on Flickr
  • 1,000,000 views on Flickr
  • 7500 posts on Tumblr (~2000 are as Edmonton Etc.)

What do these numbers mean? That I spend a lot of time online, I guess! I think they also reflect the length of time I have been blogging (2003), tweeting (2006), and posting photos (2005). A few of these numbers mean a lot to me, not because of the number itself but because of what it represents. I can’t even imagine how much time and energy those 3000 blog posts represent, but I’ve absolutely loved writing them! And I’m honored to be on more than 500 lists on Twitter.

Mostly though, when I think about these numbers, I think about the journey they represent and all of the amazing people I’ve met and things I’ve learned along the way. Roll your eyes if you must, but that’s the truth.

I wonder what this list will look like five years from now!

Two Thousand Posts Later

I don’t know exactly when I started blogging, but it was around the time of the oldest post I have saved. In the 1587 days since that time, I’ve made 2000 posts – yes, this one is #2000! I figure that’s a pretty decent milestone, so I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

I’ve always said that I blog for myself first, and everyone else second. That’s still the case, and it’s the main reason that I don’t have any ads on here (I also don’t think they’d provide much value to my readers). I’m always surprised when I read old posts because they offer a glimpse into how I’ve grown and changed over the years. Sometimes I think to myself, “did I really write that?”

Me on the tablet

Both my style of writing and the topics I write about have changed quite a bit. Here’s a sample comparison, March 2004 and March 2007:

Except for the little exercise above, I don’t think I’ve ever gone back to look at my posts from March 2004. I’ve referred to the ones from March 2007 many times though (as have others). I think it’s safe to say that I’m writing more interesting and useful content now than I used to.

Another really obvious change is that my posts are a lot longer than they used to be. The increase in quality is part of the reason for that, but the biggest reason is probably Twitter. When I started out, microblogging wasn’t even a thought let alone a word. Now it’s an increasingly popular activity, with dozens of sites (such as Tumblr) offering the ability to post short thoughts, links, or images. I used to post things like “Arrived in Calgary” to my blog, now I just use Twitter.

The tools and technologies I use to blog have changed as well. I started out on dasBlog, moved to .Text, then Community Server, and I’m now on WordPress. I’ve used a variety of posting tools, such as w.Blogger and Windows Live Writer (which I use almost exclusively now). I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself using completely different tools in another five years.

200 posts

The one thing that hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy blogging. I’ve learned so much about myself, met so many great people, and have hopefully been able to help others a little bit, all through my blog. Who knew that such an awful sounding word could turn out to be so great?

Here’s to another 2000 and beyond. Thanks for reading!