Friday, 13 December 2013

7 years of blogging

I realized earlier today that Tane and I started this blog seven years ago. So, I thought that was worthy of an entry in itself, especially as we are closing in on 20,000 hits and 370 posts.

This started off as a general blog about whatever took our fancy, then morphed into a travel blog, and is now about our children more than anything else.

2006: Younger and less creaky versions
In the past seven years we've traveled to 35 countries, got married, had two children, and had plenty of random thoughts that we've thought worthy of a post. We've written some entries that still get almost daily hits even though they are five years old, and some that probably have only ever been skim read. We've received abuse from a clearly disgruntled Bulgarian who didn't agree with our assessment of their country, and odd comments from a Holocaust denier on my entry about Auschwitz. There are posts like this one about movies that are better that the books that I've been meaning to update for years, and posts that make me cringe. We've also been approached through our blog and asked to be on TV news. I even wrote one post that I had to take down, about my experience doing a pole dancing lesson in 2007, as I found the number of hits creepy. Serves me right for putting 'pole dancing' in the title I suppose.

We've gone through phases when we've blogged often and had long periods where I'd like to say we were too busy, but it was probably more laziness than anything else. Plus, after blogging about travelling the world, updates on my day now don't feel quite so glamorous. I'm sure you'd much rather read about what we were doing this time four years ago in Mexico and Guatemala than the most noteworthy part of my day today. I'll be vague to make it sound mysterious, but here's some clues: it involved bad smells, two children being plonked in the bath and copious amounts of carpet cleaner. It certainly isn't an experience you'd want photos of. 

The last seven years has also seen the rise and the fall of the blog. Back in 2006, everyone was getting them. Blogs were the new black. Our list of 'friends with blogs' was long, and these other blogs were updated often. I used to enjoy trawling through other people's blogs, commenting, and knowing they were reading ours in turn. 

When we started travelling in 2007, a blog was also our best way to share information and photos about where we were and what we were doing. Our early travel entries were the only way some people knew what country we were in, and clicking on a blog link was much easier than sending pictures via email. Tane and I used to enjoy blogging from internet cafes around the world, as it never occurred to us to carry a laptop, and of course we didn't have smartphones or tablets then. Before Facebook, the blog really did have it's place. 

Now, hardly anyone has them, and I forget to check other people's and assume they don't check mine often either. Websites like Stuff are getting rid of them in favour of 'readers reports' that leave me wondering at times if I've clicked on the Daily Mail website by accident. Between Facebook and Twitter it seems that attention spans are shorter anyway, and many people would much rather get an update in 140 characters than 300 words. 

Ironically though, as the blog declines, Blogspot has made blogging easier - especially with the ability to 'hide' most of an entry, putting up photos with labels, and adding bullets. From a format point of view, some of our early entries almost offend my eyeballs with their messiness. The ones written recently look much better. 

In my very first post  back in 2006 I wrote: "I used to think that they [blogs] were self indulgent and egocentric, so resisted getting one in the past. I still think that they are self indulgent and egocentric, the difference being that I now don’t care." And I still don't care. So, while I can't promise to keep it up for seven more years, we'll probably still keep plodding away with the odd entry while we are still getting hits and nice feedback from people.

Thanks for reading!


Anoop said...

Hi Guys, I've been sort of following your blog for a while now. I found your blog completely randomly while searching for a quote about the Taj Mahal a few years ago. I read the article and really liked it and kept coming back to the blog every so often. It is really nice to see how your family has grown and though I must admit that I visit the blog very rarely these days, the posts you have of your travels are a real treasure for many people, while I'm sure that the ones that seem less glamourous, will eventually be cherished dearly by your little ones.
I hope you guys have a wonderful new year :)

Tane said...

Thanks very much Anoop. It's lovely to hear that someone we don't know has enjoyed the blog. We'd love to get more entries like the Taj one up there, but alas it might be a while before we can go to somewhere like that!
Thanks for commenting.