It’s been almost ten years since I discovered blogs and quickly afterwards began blogging myself. Back then, it seemed almost possible to be able to navigate all the blogs in the world and bloggers in various topical areas knew each other well. Blogging tools weren’t all that user-friendly back then, and it was still a somewhat geeky domain with a whole new set of terminology (XML, RSS, pings, trackbacks, permalinks, cgi scripts, …)
It’s been just over ten years since Movable Type was released, the second big blogging tool which came along after Blogger. Movable Type was wonderfully empowering and yet utterly frustrating. Changing your blog’s design meant long rebuilds of pages and learning a new limited templating language. A regular problem was dealing with mysterious cgi server errors and deciphering perl code. Some things haven’t changed though: the rewards of regular commenters was mixed with the frustration of dealing with spam (the defenses against it have improved but still cause headaches) and trolls who would write hurtful feedback.
Back then, people were’t in it for the advertising dollars, or the money or a book deal. They weren’t there to promote their company, brand or product. They were there for the love of it. They were there because they had something to say and a decent proportion of the whole world was able to hear it for the first time. The idea of a soapbox in front of the world was a new and alluring concept. It required quite a bit of technical knowhow to get a blog up and running; especially a Movable Type one.
Ten years on, creating a new blog is just a few clicks away and it doesn’t seem revolutionary at all. There’s millions of blogs, the idea of a global audience isn’t at all amazing or probably not even very inspiring for starting a new one.
Yet for all the online fads which have come and gone, blogs have continued to flourish.
Bloggers are still breaking stories, opening their hearts and lives, teaching and sharing insights and encouraging others. Companies are expected to have a blog as part of their corporate site. News media have embraced blogs (albeit being threatened by them at the same time).
I can’t wait to see where blogging goes in the next ten years!
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