Monday, August 5, 2013

8th Blogiversary...The State of THE BLOG

Social Media changed blogging
Technically, Saturday was my blogiversary, but you all know I don't post on Saturdays, so I decided to celebrate the birth of this blog today.

When I started this thing eight years ago, I really did it just for fun. I love science. And I'm a funny guy with a good sense of humor (although my writing is pretty serious). So I started blogging about it. Thought I'd do it for a few months. Then a year went by, and two...and I did have a hiatus or two, but I come back here because this is a great way to express myself.

So what I want to do is to talk about how blogging has changed since 2005.

1) Blogging experts told us to post every day. Or try to. I posted every other day. It was hard to do, but I grew my following by posting so often. Readers could count on me for 3-4 great posts a week. These days, life is just too crazy. I post just on Mondays now. I wish I could write more, but life gets in the way.

2) There were all kinds of cool crazy gadgets and widgets bloggers put on their sidebars. These days, some bloggers still do it. Even though many of us have DSL, these extras slow down loading time. And they clutter your blog. To me, putting all that stuff on sidebars is messy and distracting. But back in the day, I was guilty as charged.

3) Blogrolls are pretty useless to readers. Up until 2010, my blogroll was HUGE. These were my faithful readers and good blog buddies. That was when readers were on the prowl to find new blogs. Not anymore. We now stumble on good sites, or maybe click a URL on someone's comment thread. Blog Hops are also a great way to find new blogs to visit.

4) Most of the blogs a few years ago were online diaries. Some of it was mundane, others had a theme. Many blogs were filled with some pretty heavy posts. People who went through tragedies or great triumphs shared their lives on blogs. Facebook pretty much replaced all that.

5) Almost all the blogs I loved are gone. Only a handful of us old timers are left. I consider these bloggers great friends, and I've been fortunate to meet a couple of them in person. Our online friendship wasn't limited to the interwebs, and I had such a great time connecting with bloggers face to face.

6) Social media was online bulletin boards, MySpace, and blogging. These days you have YouTube (which launched the same year I started blogging) vlogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Posterous, Google+, and I know there's more. So much noise, so much to choose from.

7) My posts used to be pretty long. I was told by many readers that my funny science posts were long even for 2005, 2006 standards. But they loved them that way. With the explosion of social media and microblogging, writing long posts is no longer feasible. People just don't have time to read long posts. In fact, I bet a bunch of my readers skim through my posts!

8) I used to write about the funny side of science because at the time, I worked for a company that was an offshoot  of NASA. My company worked with research & development and legal for all kinds of huge companies. My employer was an outsourced research company. It was fascinating, and it fueled my love for science. But around 2011, I decided to pursue writing again and completely revamped my blog to reflect that.

So lots have changed, but I resolve to remain in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks so much to all of you who keep coming back here. I appreciate it, and I look forward to the next eight years!


mooderino said...

I had no idea you had been at it so long. It's amazing how fast things have changed, and looks like it won't be slowing down anytime soon. I wonder what the internet will look like 8 years from now.


Veronica Sicoe said...

Happy anniversary! And keep at it for at least 8 more years. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on eight years!
I dumped a lot of the images in my sidebar to another page on my blog, but it could still use some more pruning.
You're right that not many people are looking for new blogs to follow.
I've only been around half that time but hope to make it as long as you!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats! :)

I didn't even know that blogging has been around for so long. I'm not sure exactly when I started mine - I'll have to check - but I'm going to keep going as long as I enjoy it and as long others enjoy reading it. :)

Pat Dilloway said...

Eight years is a long time. It's amazing how much has changed in cyberspace over that time.

David P. King said...

Happy blogoversary, my friend! I'm glad you kept this up long enough for me to be acquainted with your awesomeness! :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Wow! A lot has changed in eight years Jay. Congrats! Blog rolls are a waste of time indeed.

Samantha May said...

Eight years?! Awesome!

I'm glad you've stuck with it for so long :)

Jay Noel said...

Moody: I wonder too. I think things like Google Glass is one direction we'll go, although we might end up with a host of visual/eye issues!

Veronica: I'll sure try!

Alex: Thanks. I've wanted to do some housekeeping around here too, but I just keep putting it off.

Madeline: I'm the same way. I can't see quitting anytime soon.

Jay Noel said...

Pat: Yeah. It's still changing, at even a more rapid pace. Kinda exciting.

David: I appreciate that, man. Thanks for continuing to visit this place.

Maurice: Yeah. Mine is still there, but it's more for me. I'll have to bookmark all of you too.

Samantha: 8 yrs went by pretty fast. Blogging is something I see myself doing as long as I can write.

The Desert Rocks said...

Thanks for being my friend through thick and thin. You are a fascinating fellow and I'm honored you read my horse-feathers!

celeste holloway said...

Happy 8 years! Thanks for this post! I had no idea. :)

Robin said...

Reading this post makes me realize how quickly things are changing. I haven't been all that willing to change with it. I don't want to learn all of the new social media as it comes along. I guess I am aware that as soon as I get it down, it will no longer be "the thing" and I will just have to learn something else. Gah.

You are right about my need to prune my sidebar. I definitely could do that!!!

Jay Noel said...

Eve: Fascinating? I don't know. I'd settle for "fun to have around." It was my pleasure reading your horse-feathers.

Celeste: Thanks so much!!!

Robin: I've been slow to change too. But I think I've made little adjustments here and there along the way as things have changed. My old posts were pretty darn long, and I had way more comments per post. But I'm happy to still be here.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Happy blogoversary! I'm in awe of people who continue to post every day. I started out that way, but it didn't take long for me to start paring back. Just posting twice a week is a huge time suck.

Science and humor... two of my favorite things! Can't go wrong with either.

ilima said...

Congrats! 8 years is a long time. I've been blogging less than two years, but even within that time I've seen the blog world change. Good luck with 8 more years!

T. S. Bazelli said...

Happy blogoversary! I think our blogs change as we do, inevitably. Cheers :)

Jay Noel said...

Susan: Twice a week is still really good. I do miss posting about goofy science stories. I might do more of it in the coming months.

Ilima: Yeah, just in the last 2 years, a lot has happened. Who knows what the next 2 yrs will bring.

T.S.: Very true! I wish some that quit would come back, though.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary!

Was trying to remember how I found you. I think maybe Doug via Bitter Bierce. Those were the days....

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... happy blogoversary, Jay! You are a wonderful part of this community!

Julie Dao said...

Happy Jay-blog day! It's amazing how fast time flies when you blog, isn't it?

Miranda Hardy said...

Wow! Congrats on the milestone. That's incredible. Here's to another 8 years!

Jay Noel said...

Jen: I think that's right. I think he quit blogging in 2010, right after my own hiatus. I so much more time back then.

Morgan: Thanks so much, Morgan!

Julie: TOO fast. It's pretty crazy.

Miranda: Thanks. We'll see how long I keep this going. With the way things are changing, who knows what my little website will look like in the near future.

farawayeyes said...

WOW, eight years, you can be my blog hero. I love your list of changes. I particularly like the reference to 'social much noise'. while I enjoy blogging and love my blog buddies, I shut down my Facebook page and can't be bothered with Twitter anymore, and all those requests to 'link up' are making me nuts.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Jay,
Eight years is a long time to be blogging. You probably have the longest running blog that I know about. True that long posts don't get read much. Unless I'm interested in the info being provided, I won't read a mega-sized post.

M Pax said...

I try to leave my sidebar lean. It doesn't always work out that way.

I read lengthy blogs with lots of marketing/publishing info. Depends on the content, I guess.

Cool brush with NASA. One of my fellow volunteers used to work on the Spitzer telescope.

J. A. Bennett said...

I still have people clicking on my blog from other people's blog rolls, but I agree with everything else you've said. Funny how time changed. Congrats on eight years! That is quite the feat :)

Jay Noel said...

faraway: I have no problem being your blog hero! I check twitter, and I've an account there forever. Just don't get it. My Twitter feed reads like link-o-rama of everybody selling other people's stuff.

J.L. There's not too many of us old blogs left, but I do love running into them here and there. Short posts is really the way to go these days.

Mary: I'm going to continue to streamline mine. I would read something like that too, no matter the length. I loved working for that company, but they laid me off after a regime change.

J.A.: I do too once in awhile, but it seems to get rarer and rarer. Thanks so much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've been blogging for 8 and 1/2 years, so I understand some of the changes. There wasn't even a GFC in the beginning.

Emily R. King said...

Crazy how much it's changed! I'm so glad I found blogging...and you, Jay!

Jay Noel said...

L. Diane: I thought your Spunk blog started around the same time as mine - August of 2005. I actually had another blog before this one, but I only had it for six months. It was a blog about 80 TV shows. It was fun at first, but I quickly learned I couldn't do a whole blog on that!

Emily: Thank you very much!

Creepy Query Girl said...

happy blogoversery!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Growth is a great thing and 8 years is nothing to sneeze at congrats Jay. I need my blogrolls to keep up with commenting. It picks up space but it's that or don't want to know.

Melanie Schulz said...

Happy Anniversary!

Rusty Webb said...

Happy Blogiversary! Things do change a great deal without people like me paying much attention. I had my my 4th back in April, I think. It goes by fast.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Happy blog anniversary. A lot has changed in just a few years regarding where readers go for their information. I don't remember using Reddit and io9 back in 2008, but I do now. I really don't care much for Facebook but I connect with my friend James online to look at his woodworking stuff.

michelle said...

Congratulations on 8 years of blogging! What an accomplishment.
I had to come over and check out your post. Very informative.
I suppose that social media is a constantly evolving creature. It makes me wonder what the face of blogging will be like a few years down the line...
Writer In Transit

Brinda said...

Now you have me worrying about my load time due to widgets. And all the blogs you loved are gone? That's so sad. :(

jaybird said...

WOW! I had no idea you have been blogging for that long. I count myself lucky to have found you and your sense of humor during the A-Z challenge this year. I loved your theme and really looked forward to all of your posts. I'm so happy to have had the chance to get to know you. Wishing you many more blogging years to come!!

Mr. Shife said...

Congrats on the 8 years, and I am glad you are still out here blogging because I enjoy what you write and interacting with you. Here is to another 8 years and many more. Take care buddy.

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Happy Blogoversary and I don't skim your posts. :)

Phats said...

Happy Blogoversary

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