I started blogging a long time ago (in Internet terms, anyway). I don’t have a great memory, but my first experience of blogging in something I remember fairly clearly. I was a postgrad student, sitting in my room in Aberystwyth (with my own internet connection – whoo!) when I discovered a blogging tool called Diaryland. I don’t think I had ever heard of blogging, as such. I just wanted somewhere to write and share my thoughts – I don’t even really know why this appealed to me – narcissism, possibly! Anyway, I started off in Diaryland, writing about I don’t remember what. I saved all my posts in Word when I closed the account, so I could find out, but perhaps I’d rather not! I moved to Blogger after a couple of years. I don’t think I wrote consistently during those couple of years, but once I moved to Blogger I did write pretty regularly. [Most of those Blogger posts got transferred to WordPress when I moved here, so if you can read them if you go back in the archives – not that I would recommend this!] I didn’t find Blogger particularly easy to use, and it (then, not sure about now) had less flexible customisation options, so I decided to move to WordPress in 2006.
Anyhow, in those early days of my blogging career, which I would count as 2003-2006, I was the only person I knew in real life who blogged. I didn’t tell anyone I knew in real life about my blog until about 2005-6, when I moved to my current workplace and found more like-minded (i.e. geeky (I mean this as a compliment)) people, and then I think someone actually discovered my blog before I told them about it so it wasn’t really a choice to tell people about it then either! But actually, I was glad to be discovered, in some ways. It gave my blog more of a purpose to know that real people were reading it, even though I then had to be more careful/thoughtful about what I wrote – this was not necessarily a bad thing, although you probably wouldn’t notice any improvement, looking at the posts from this time. Moving on…it turned out that the person who discovered my blog also blogged, and I found other people I knew online through H2G2 had blogs as well, and suddenly I didn’t feel alone in the blogosphere anymore.
Gradually, over the years, I found more people I know in real life were keeping blogs. I wonder when the peak time was; perhaps around 2009? I don’t really know, but I think that in the past few years the people who were mainstays of my part of the blogosphere have, little by little, stopped posting. There are a couple of people who still post, and some new bloggers on the scene, but I do feel that perhaps the blogosphere, or at least my little corner of it, is shrinking. It makes me a bit sad, silly though that may be, but it was nice to have company. But still, as I said there are new bloggers around, including some people I know in real life, so perhaps I am being a little pessimistic about the demise of the blogosphere at this point.
I suppose part of my thoughts about the shrinking (?) blogosphere is along the lines of ‘ if these people (who, by the way, wrote great posts) are no longer blogging, maybe it’s time for me to stop as well’. But I think thoughts like that a lot, and here I am, still rambling on over 10 years later. I don’t know why I carry on. I think I just enjoy the process of writing and publishing too much. I’m still a narcissist, after all.
P.S. I’m not saying everyone who blogs is a narcissist.