Thoughts on blogging on a blogiversary
Today is the fourth anniversary of the starting of this blog, which prompts thoughts about blogging generally.
This wasn’t my first blog. I started an online diary back at the beginning of the millennium, but it seemed a bit clunky, so don’t write much there any more.
Then I was invited to LiveJournal by Bishop Seraphim Sigrist, and it was a combination of an online journal and a social networking site. I still use it for personal things. But there were two problems with it: first, while it was fairly easy to network with other people on LiveJournal, it wasn’t so easy to link to people outside that circle — one can’t use widgets like MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog for social blogrolling, and while it is possible to have a blogroll of sorts, it has to be created laboriously by hand. The second problem is that unless one pays extra for a subscription, photos and graphics have to be hosted on a third-party site. I still have my LiveJournal, but my posts there often link to posts on my other blogs.
Then, four years ago, we got a broadband connection, which made web surfing more affordable, and also something that one could do at any time of the day or night, without waiting for times when phone rates were cheaper. So I discovered Blogger, and that it was useful for quick and easy blog posts. It seemed like a good tool for bouncing ideas off other people and things like that. So I started this blog.
About six months later, Google, having taken over Blogger, began messing with it and lots of features that I had liked stopped working. I liked the “Blog this” feature, where one could grab a bit of text from a web site or another blog, and make some quick comments on it. It stopped working for about a year. The problems of that period caused a mass migration of bloggers from Blogger to WordPress and other blog platforms.
At one point, when many Blogger features had not worked for six months or more, I too started a WordPress blog, to be ready to jump ship if necessary. I still have it, and it’s called Khanya, and I still use it. For some reason that I’ve never been able to fathom, it seems to attract twice as many readers as this one.
I use the two interchangeably, sometimes writing a post on one, sometimes on the other. Which one I choose depends mainly on which features of the blogging platform seem easier for the purpose at the time. WordPress makes it easier to enter pictures with captions, for example, so if I want to post more than one or two pictures linked to a narrative, I post them there rather than here. But widgets like the MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog ones seem to work much better in Blogger than in WordPress. I like to know who has visited my blogs, because that is a reminder to me to go and look at theirs.
Blogger seems to have settled down now, and most of the features are working again, so perhaps I’ll carry on blogging here for another four years, if it’s still around then. And thanks to everyone who has commented over the last four years, and linked to posts, and helped in the sharing of thoughts and ideas.