At the risk of navel-gazing, it seemed wrong to let my 100th post pass without some comment. I first posted on 1oth February 2009, so I was not exactly a pioneer blogger. I started because, as my first sentence said: “Like a tailor in a bad suit or a fitness instructor who runs out of puff, a writer without a decent blog sends a negative signal.”
I’d had an online presence through my website for about a year before, something I set up as I prepared to leave my staff job and go freelance. I’d blogged a little on that site, but really just for marketing purposes. I knew I needed something more conversational and, good as I found RapidWeaver in helping me get to grips with site-building, the blogging offer just wasn’t robust enough for what I wanted. So I moved to WordPress.com.
Playing the numbers
The figures aren’t spectacular, but probably pretty fair for a new blog which occassionally gets neglected due to pressure of work. A total of 4,000 views, with a good day currently notching up 50-70 views. The most popular post, on the anniversary of Hillsborough, drew 158 readers, and there are signs of a, small, regular audience who check in even when there are no new posts and appear regularly in the comments. Nothing spectacular, but it’s a presence and there is ongoing conversation.
Reading my first post again, the themes are still familiar and I’m happy I’ve achieved what I set out to do – or at least made a start. I’ve managed to update pretty regularly without getting too stressed when doing stuff, rather than writing about it, has to come first. I’ve found Twitter far more useful than I imagined I would, even though I still don’t use it voraciously.
What it’s meant
I said back then that “the journey would be a large part of the fun” and it has been. I learned a lot about how media can work in new ways and about how people communicate. I’ve found some fascinating blogs, sites and resources, and met some great people who challenge, stimulate and make me laugh. All in all, it’s been a very positive experience. The only really negative note I’d mention is the fact that the net seems to encourage some people seem to conduct themselves in an abrasive manner that I really hope they don’t employ when interacting face-to-face. It takes all sorts, I guess, but maybe that’s something to work on.
So, onwards. I’m contemplating the move to wordpress.org for greater flexibility and control, but I’m apprehensive about the technical knowledge required, especially as I am trying to get to grips with Joomla too. I really need to get more audio and video up on here, especially as I should set a good multimedia example to my students – I’m very conscious this is still largely print online, despite the interactivity.
But for now, there’s at least one more debate I want to contribute to, and I’ve already spent too long on the blog today. Lesson preparation, some marking, and a new business pitch await – and they are not going to do themselves. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the first century in whatever way. There is a world of opportunity still to explore.