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Blogiversary

Posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Dave!Personal blogging is an activity that defies logic. In an age where people are losing more and more of their privacy (and fighting to regain what little privacy they have left), putting your personal life out on the internet makes no sense at all. Most of the time I try not to think about it, but there are moments when it hits me like a ton of bricks and I get one of those "what in the heck am I doing moments?" Today is one of those days, probably brought on by tomorrow's "Two-Year Blogiversary" celebration...

BLOGIVERSARY 2!

In an attempt to answer my own question, I've decided to write out the long and boring history of my adventures in blogging. That way, whenever I have doubts, I can just read this entry and everything will go back to quasi-normal. The rest of you can feel free to read today's movie quote and move on.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "If there is anything that this horrible tragedy can teach us... it's that a male model's life is a precious, precious commodity. Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features it doesn't mean that we too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."
Yesterday's Answer: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Or you can click the link below to read along with me...

PRE-HISTORY

This is not my first blog, there were two before it. Both were failures because I was blogging to be trendy, not because I actually had something to say. Within a very short time, entries became more and more infrequent. After a few months even I wasn't interested in what I was writing, and the effort to log into Blogger and bang out an entry was too much (mainly because Blogger wasn't compatible with my web browser of choice, Apple Safari, at the time). Thus "Dave's World" and "DaveBlog" died alone and unnoticed by all but a handful of people.

But then something happened. Two things actually.

First of all, I was introduced to a nifty piece of blogging software called Movable Type. Unlike Blogger, MT would allow me to customize every aspect of my blog's appearance. Unlike Blogger, MT was not a pay-to-play service that was out of my hands, but instead a donation-ware application I would administer myself. Unlike Blogger (who was going through some major growing pains at the time), MT was blazingly fast to work with (and could be accessed from Safari). Basically, Movable Type came along and solved all the complaints I had about blogging.

But even more important than finding Movable Type, I discovered a blogging tool called "Kung-Log" (which is now known as ecto). Make no mistake, the real reason you are reading this today is because of Adriaan Tijsseling's remarkable software which makes blogging effortless. Suddenly the inconvenience of having to log-in and write with rudimentary browser-based tools disappeared. Kung-Log was a word processor for bloggers that streamlined the process to a startling degree. Working on drafts, uploading files, managing pings and notifications... Kung-Log handled all of this and much more. The drudgery of posting new entries evaporated overnight.

NEW BEGINNINGS

So I had two terrific tools to make blogging easier... now what? Half the battle had been won, but there were still some major stumbling blocks. What do I want to say and who am I saying it to? How do I keep my new blog from dying of neglect and disinterest? I'm a busy guy, why even bother wasting my time? As I was pondering whether or not "third blog's a charm," I got an email from a friend in Japan saying "I haven't heard from you in a while, what's new?" It was at that moment everything fell into place, and a manifesto was developed:

  • I will write for a reason. My new blog will be published for my friends and family so they can keep track of what I am up to and what I am thinking about, even when I don't have time to call or write an email. I will start passing out my blog URL so everybody can accompany me on my travels and feel involved in my life even though we may be thousands of miles apart.
  • I will write an entry every day so that I don't get out of the habit and lose interest. On days when I don't have anything to say, I will find a meme or post a picture.
  • I will commit myself to 1000 entries. My new blog will absolutely not die off until I reach 1000.
  • I will respect the privacy of my friends and family and promise never mention them in this blog unless I've received their permission. Nobody should be afraid to hang out with me because something they say or do might end up on the internet for the entire world to see.
  • I will respect the confidentiality of my work and promise never to write about work-related happenings.
  • I will not get too personal in my writings, so a part of myself will always be private no matter how strange things get.

And that was that. I had the tools, I had a purpose, I had a promise. But it would be almost a year before I lived up to any of it.

BLOGOGRAPHY

After setting up Movable Type I turned my attention to making my blog look pretty. I wanted a design that was minimal (in the hopes that it would force me to write better knowing that the entries would be the focus). I wanted to use the color "periwinkle." I wanted to draw cartoons. I wanted to have a bunch of badges and a FAQ. What I didn't want was to use the names "Dave's World" or "DaveBlog" or try to resurrect my previous attempts at blogging. In fact, I wanted a blog name that was not "Dave" at all. But what would that be?

As I sat there wondering what would be a unique and interesting blog name that hadn't been done before, I started flicking through television channels and landed on A&E because "Biography" was on and I love that show. That's when the wheels started turning... Biography... Blog Biography... Blogography! I did a Google search and nothing turned up. I did a domain search and blogography.com was available. Thus my new blog had a name, and "Blogography" was born.

WRITINGS

Almost immediately after starting, one of my promises was broken. I was not writing every day. I was barely writing once a week. For months I was struggling to keep Blogography alive, and even that was mainly due to the Friday Five meme. Despite having a cool name and a nice design, my blog was boring and I didn't feel like writing in it. But, much to my surprise, people were reading it. And it was reader involvement that turned things around on July 4, 2003. Somehow my little badge for Pirate's Booty snacks was found to be funny, and got written about. Then people wrote to me about a ridiculous lawsuit involving Pirate's Booty, and my first rant was born. The freedom I felt in being able to whine about "6 extra grams of fat on some daft bitch's lazy ass" was liberating. A week later I got my new motorcycle. A week after that I started blogging during my travels. Suddenly Blogography was all about ranting, riding, and road-tripping. I was finally having fun.

Around September of 2003, I was blogging most every day and getting more and more fearless. I would rant about anything, and started cursing a lot in my writings. A trip to Reykjavik and Stockholm were my first travels to be blogged in their entirety, and set the stage for one of my most famous entries: Who asked you, bitch? The response was so encouraging that I went on to attack James Berardinelli for his dumbass review of Kill Bill and then joined in on the "Theme Thursday" to keep things interesting. But the best was yet to come.

The next major turning point was February of 2004...

  • FEB. 2: First I posted about Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" complete with a photo, which taught me that nothing gives you a bump in Google rank better than porn.
  • FEB. 4: Then I wrote an entry titled "I'm sad today" which caused over a dozen people to write to make sure I was okay and trying to cheer me up. Suddenly I realized people actually cared... not about the blog, but the guy writing it.
  • FEB. 11: Next, I finally got around to adding the cartoons I had planned from the very beginning. They would quickly become a favorite part of blogging for me.
  • FEB. 18: And then I really did it. I drew a cartoon of myself lighting a clown's ass on fire that upset a lot of people. A LOT of people. Clown-loving morons were emailing me constantly, and I think the count eventually reached close to a hundred because of some kind of clown-coalition mailing list. My attempt at a funny apology didn't help matters.
  • FEB. 22: After the clown fiasco, I turned on comments with the hope that people will stop bombarding me with emails, and instead leave a comment. It doesn't work, but it does let me interact better with my readers which makes blogging a lot more fun. I retroactively turn on comments back through December (but eventually close them down because of spam woes).

February of 2004 was such a huge month for Blogography that I've toyed with the idea of deleting all the entries that came before it. In many ways I don't think I was a true "blogger" until that time and, for a six-month period from February through July of 2004, everything finally came together as I had originally envisioned it. Much of what I try and do today is to recapture the magic of those days. Sadly, I never quite manage it. That's not to say there haven't been moments in the last half of 2004 (how often do you get a death threat just because you want people to be happy?). But it's just not the same, and probably never will be.

Somehow, I'm not worried. I have 127 more blog entries before I've fulfilled the 1000-entry promise I've made to myself. A lot can happen in 127 entries.

THE FUTURE

And here's what all of this nonsense was leading up to. What happens in 3-4 short months when my 1000 entry commitment is fulfilled? Will I keep blogging? Probably. I've met too many good people and had entirely too much fun to stop now. The bigger question is how I will continue. Perhaps I'll go easier on myself and not feel pressured to post something every day. Maybe I'll switch formats and become a photo blog or something. Or perhaps I'll even close down Blogography entirely and start something new. I just don't know.

What I do know is that I am grateful to everybody who has stopped by Blogography over the past two years, and am especially grateful to those of you who keep coming back. In case I haven't said it before... thank you! You're the reason I'm here.


Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I’ve got to laugh, right underneath where you’ve written:

    “What I do know is that I am grateful to everybody who has stopped by Blogography over the past two years, and am especially grateful to those of you who keep coming back. In case I haven’t said it before… thank you! You’re the reason I’m here.”

    Is the comments area which, before this comment, said:

    “Nobody cares.”

    LOL

  2. MRKisThatKid says:

    Another reason for your success you haven’t mentioned.. the lil dave gallery, you make such a cute friendly portrait it’s almost impossible to read on.

    And as for the movie quotable, i’ve no idea what it is but i want to see it!

    ..And if that doesn’t make you put 2+2 together and make “oh crap i’m a gay icon!” i dunno what will! lol

    Ah-gosh i can’t wait till tomorrow!

  3. Dave2 says:

    Heh. Would have been really funny if nobody ever bothered to comment (thanks for saving me Chris!). :-)

    Talk about funny… that’s a great idea!

    Zoolander indeed. I know I just quoted from that movie a while back, but there are so many good quotes in that film I couldn’t help myself.

  4. girlonaglide says:

    HAHAHA… I think I’m in love. The cartoon dude is everything I want in a uh, man. He’s cute, comical, loving, affectionate, mischievous, motorcycle-riding, oh I don’t have time to list all his wunnerful qualities. And for him to announce he’s 20% gay just puts him over the top. He’s honest, to boot.

    I can’t believe I FINALLY guessed a movie quote. My job here is done… I deserve a beers.

  5. Dave2 says:

    And how gay are YOU Girlonaglide?!?

    Take the test and see…
    http://www.channel4.com/life/microsites/G/gayometer/gayometer.html

    (but to really appreciate this, you have to read the comments on a previous entry, where everybody ended up being gayer than me: http://www.blogography.com/archives/2005/04/logan.html#comments)

  6. kazza says:

    keep on blogging dude! :)

    and two days in a row I’ve gotten the movie but been beaten to it because I’ve been asleep :)

  7. Dave2 says:

    If it’s any consolation, you will be one of the first people able to celebrate my Blogiversary… unless there is somebody in New Zealand reading. :-)

  8. Patrick says:

    I’m celebrating the blogiversary right now. The time in good ol’ Sweden is just turning 00:00.

    Thanks in return for a fantabulous blog. It’s my first read every morning in Bloglines.

  9. James Bow says:

    Congratulations and happy birthday. I’ll say a paragraph or two about this event on my blog.

  10. jenny says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!!
    And the thanks really goes to you for being here!
    Keep on Blogging!

  11. Art says:

    Happy thingaversary dude. Bong out with your schlong out……I mean blog out with your 20% gay ass out.
    Butt your gayness is weak, one day perhaps you will atain 43% gayness as I have. But until then…no parade for you. Practice young thong hopper. Practice.

  12. loopy says:

    Dave,
    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now. (I think I found it via James Bow) It is by far one of the best in terms of combining content, graphics, information, and humour.Happy Blogiversary and keep up the good work!

  13. delmer says:

    Like you, I am a mere 20% gay.

    As for the parade you ask about (via your cartoon image), here’s a picture of the one I attended:

    http://www.delmer.biz/control.php?&topgroupname=&groupname=Other_Stories

    With any luck that will take you to a shot of the Gay Pride Parade in Columbus, Ohio a few years ago. (The parade is an annual thing … I just haven’t been in a while.)

    It’s a pretty interesting event.

    I enjoy your blog. I’m glad I happened across it.

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