WITH THE DEMISE of CompuServe as the epicenter of Cyberspace (well, for me, it was), we who had lived there for years were suddenly cast out on the wider Internet. It wasn’t exactly new to us. We had, after all, participated in the initial growth and formation of the Web, put up with all the teenagers from AOL and the annoying silver ponytails of the Well. But it was uncomfortable. It didn’t work as well. It was slow and clunky and irritatingly irrelevant.
Then, sometime around 9/11, I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about these things called blogs. He mentioned Andrew Sullivan and a few others. I started reading them. And, in seeming no time, got the bug myself.
And, ten years ago today, I signed up for a Blogger account and started this blog. It’s still there. babytrollblog dot blogspot dot com. I keep it as a backup, although I haven’t used it as such since February 7, 2004, when a change of hosts took the site off the air for a latency period. I posted the explanation for my — approximately five — readers.
So about then was when I went to professional hosting and a paid-for content management system (Expression Engine, if you care). Since then, Sitemeter claims a half a million visits, though it was stuck at 300,000 for about five years, so I’m dubious. Engine Hosting, meantime, reports five million page views. It doesn’t bother me enough to fight with Sitemeter to fix it, so I suppose the lower number stands as — scorn quotes — “official.”
I haven’t had an Instalanche, but I have had a couple of Kim-a-lanches and linky love from other Big Name Bloggers. I’ve been a Large Mammaried Individual in the TTLB Ecosystem, so BTB isn’t exactly chopped liver, albeit without the bag of chips. And I’ve been stalked for fifteen minutes by Media Matters, so I guess, in some small way, I arrived awhile back. And I’m content with the slow-and-steady approach to growth.
Of the nearly-a-thousand registered members (and even that is a modest number, I’m given to understand), there are more than a lot who are spammers, I’m sure, but also more than a mere handful who are faithful visitors and readers of varying intensity, and they are, I believe, gems beyond price, so represent some success, even if my own terminal laziness might hold me back from greater things.
And, not least of all, I’ve made some good friends along the way. Even met some of them. Ain’t cyperspace grand? Connects you with people you’re simpatico with but would never have encountered in meat space.
Going forward, I’m in the process of changing over to WordPress for my CMS. It seems both simpler and more complex than Expression Engine, but it also seems better suited for my style and size of site than EE. And I think the folks at Ellis Labs would agree. At least, it seems so from their behavior. Once I get comfortable there (I’m practicing by helping my employer get set up in WordPress, as well as sandboxing new designs at markphilipalger dot dreamhosters dot com), this blog will move to the new system and host and become the center of a modest media empire centered around my writing and artwork. Stay tuned. Watch this space. More to come.
Don’t I know how to have fun.
In aid of which, and to celebrate my first decade blogging, I’ll be echoing posts from that first day throughout today, timed to appear at the same time they were originally posted, ten years ago.
So, pop open a virtual cold one, sit back, and enjoy.