Can it really be six years since I first started blogging? In that time there have been so many developments, trends and changes. I still keep in touch with some of the original contacts I made in the world of blogging. A few have since stopped blogging, but a remarkable number have their original blog and continue their routine of sharing their reflections and experiences with the world.

As the blogosphere has grown, niches have separated out much more distinctly than they were in general. You can get lost in a world of blogs for any hobby or interest and spend the day wandering through their communities. I’m pleased to see many companies blogging and changing the face of their interactions with clients. Blogging is being used by advocates for causes – and not just political – and acheiving amazing results. Some bloggers are making vast amounts of money through their writing and savvy SEO + ads models.

Feedreaders helped us keep on top of our favourite blogs, but I also still enjoy the experience of reading a blog in its original form.

Blogging for money has its advantages and disadvantages. Try googling for the latest hairstyles or many other things and you’re often hit with topical blogs with great SEO but so full of ads and no helpful content (or just copied content from other sources) that you’re left to sift through the mess and resort to other sources (“now where’s that latest magazine to flip through for ideas?”).

It comes back to the content and – even more than the content – the relationships formed through that.

But you know all this.

Last year was a difficult one for me but we ended the year on a high note: by travelling the world on a round-the-world ticket. So many places, so many cities. One of the highlights for me was to meet bloggers who I first got to know all those six long years ago via their blogs. It was fantastic to be able to sit down and chat in person completely naturally. They reflect on the experience too: see BD and Darryl‘s thoughts.

It’s time for me to write more on this blog again and to offer my thoughts on blogging – six years down the track – and life in general.

I’m a little weary of some of the bells and whistles people are squishing onto their sites these days before even getting to know their audience, or even find their blogging voice. I hope 2008 will see people choose to make smart choices about what not fill their blog with, as much as fill it with.

A Happy New Year to you all!

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