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