Friday, May 13, 2011

Seven years

My first official blog post is dated May 14, 2004.  I actually had a placeholder post up before this, one that just said "Coming soon..." that I had put up that morning before going to work, but it's gone now.

Most of the people who I linked to when I first started blogging are gone now, at least gone from the blogosphere.  Sammie.  Camilla.  Bill still blogs once in a while.  Sammie I keep in touch with, sort of, and hints of Camilla's life leak out to the outside world now and then.  But Sammie's beautiful layouts and long, thoughtful posts, and Camilla's almost spastic design changes and telegraphic, link-heavy missives are gone.  Fran and Jen are gone, too. Have been for a long time.

Even a lot of the people I linked to after I'd been blogging for a while are gone.  Not like I'm the last blogger standing or anything, though.  Mark and Michelle had blogs before I (or most of the rest of the world) had heard the term.  Gort and Dave Yonki and Jennifer D. Wade have been blogging almost as long as I have.

My life has gone through a lot of changes since I started blogging.  Deaths.  Births. I bought my grandmother's house. Friends have come and gone.  I've met some amazing people. I've lost my job, twice.

I've been trying to capture it all here.  For a while I was trying to force myself into the discipline of posting once a day.  Ironically, I've stopped doing that at a point in my life when I routinely have enough time to do it. But there are other more serious matters pressing on me, and even when I do have the time to blog, I feel like it is a frivolous waste of time relative to the things I have to do.

But it's not a waste.  This blog is my external memory.  I've watched my father and my grandmother on my mother's side slip away into the Great Forgetting.  I worry that someday that will be my fate as well. And all my memories, all my stories, all my ideas and opinions, all the rainbows and sunsets and dogwalks and long drives to work in miserable weather will be gone, forgotten, nothing.  By externalizing them at least there is a chance that some of them will live on.

For a while yesterday it looked like that wouldn't happen.  Blogger went down hard, longer and harder than it ever has before, even in the bad old days when I first started. Even after it came back it came back to a "restore point": anything posted after 7:37 PM (not sure which time zone) on Wednesday was still gone, for several hours at least.

And what was missing was a post I wrote on Wednesday night about my discovery of what I now know to be a "scraper blog," a blog that harvests content from other sites and reposts it.  It's not the theft of content, or the theft of traffic, or the repurposing of my content as something to bring in advertising clicks for another site, or even the almost complete lack of proper attribution that gets me.  No, it's the implied notion that I am actually blogging for somebody else, just an unpaid lackey working to produce content for someone else's site. I'm not.  Nor are any of the other local bloggers whose content is being reposted without permission or proper attribution.

I don't know if this guy will continue to steal our posts, my posts and the posts of the other bloggers I know.  Maybe he will. Maybe he'll try to salvage his reputation and correct the error of his ways.  Maybe we'll have to take this to the next level.  But I can't let that stop me from continuing to post.

I've been blogging for seven years now.  Tomorrow I will begin my eighth year. Thank you for coming here, and thank you for reading.  I hope to continue to produce something that will make you want to come back and read some more.


Linkmeister said...

I find the Search box on my blog really useful. It's a memory aid, which is something I need.

My conversion this week to WordPress reminded me that I've been blogging a long time. My first post was in October of 2001 on LiveJournal. I moved to Blogger on Geocities, now gone. I saved my archives, though. Moved to Movable Type in March of 2002, and all those archives moved over fairly cleanly to WP (damned ISO codes differed between the two platforms; I have question marks instead of apostrophes in a fair number of places).

My blogroll has turned over a fair bit, although there are some there who are just as long in the tooth blogwise as you and I are.

hedera said...

You inspired me to check, and my first blog post went up January 1, 2006. That was about 5 weeks after my second knee replacement, and I was looking at another 2 months of rehab before I could go back to work. So I don't have the longevity of either of you, but I've been around a while.

We approach blogging differently. I don't try to produce an archive of my life, although some of it goes in there; I mostly wanted a place to rant, that being in the middle of the second Dubya administration. I've now converted my personal web site to WordPress and am doing some of it there, but Hedera's Corner is still my soapbox in Hyde Park.

Chesca said...

I stumbled across your blog compledtely by accident today and reading this post has really touched me.
I don't meant to sound like one of those typical "i'm so contemplative" types, but I always find it so perplexing that time just slips by without any one really noticing and it's only when you look back you realise how much has changed.
Reading your post about how it has been 8 years since you started blogging just brought back a lot of memories to me and it's made me realise that I keep looking for ways to capture those moments when you know something has changed in your life and I'm always enjoying how much the world alters around you whilst you stay completely oblivious in that moment.
And i'm sorry to ramble but i just wanted to say thank you, for whatever unconsciouss, indirect message you put out in your post that made me realise it's ok to look back on parts of your life and miss it - because it lets you know that life was good.

Thank you, and all the best!

D.B. Echo said...

Thank you , Chesca!