On May 31st, 2005, I published my first ever blog post that introduced who I was and what I planned at the time to do with my blog. Looking back over the last decade, I think I stuck pretty close to my stated purpose.
As I was contemplating the acknowledgement of my 10th year of blogging, I thought I should share my reflections on what I have learned and experienced those past years since 2005. But, honestly, as I racked my brain to recall those reflections, I couldn’t really think of any. A better thing to do is link back to the post that I wrote highlighting my 5th year of blogging and that I reposted on my 7th year of blogging. (BTW, I lot of those links in the article take you back to the old Blogger edition of this blog, so be alert). Other than the stats being greater, what I wrote about then still applies to this day five years later. One particular paragraph I wrote about blog etiquette still amuses me,
A few months or so after had started blogging, I received an email with a link taking me to some fancy-pants website where writers pontificate on how a person or business can improve on-line etiquette. The article in question was exploring the then “blogger” phenomena and spelled out the rules on how to be a successful blogger by generating traffic to your site. The writer exhorted bloggers to do such things as write short posts, link to as many other websites as you can, keep your blog articles organized around just one or two themes, don’t plagiarize, etc.
I read those suggestions and realized my blog pretty much did the opposite of everything mentioned in the article. On my blog, I jumped from topic to topic, sometimes talked a lot about myself, and some of my articles were like 2,000 words or more. According to the logic of this article, my blog should have failed six and half years ago. But here I am seven years later and I have no thought of losing interest or slowing down in any fashion.
I guess if I were pressed to mention one reflection I have learned the last 10 years, it would be that I have greatly improved my discernment with picking the social media hills to die on. When I started, I would scour the internet searching high and low for controversial subjects to address. I intentionally wanted to write about subjects I believed would generate push back from commenters. As I grew in my notoriety and influence, I began to see what a waste of time that can be because it becomes distracting. Besides, trolls get attracted and before I knew it, I’d be arguing over stupid triviality with some idiot who goes by the name “KingsSaint1” who believes the moon landings were hoaxed. Is it the least bit profitable to spend a Thursday afternoon wrestling with that oversize tar baby?
In fact, I am actually contemplating turning the comments off on my posts, a practice I would previously ridicule others who did. The main reason is simply because I just do not have the time anymore of responding; and honestly, I’m getting to the point where I don’t care what other’s opinions on a matter may be, especially some hardheaded troll.
Comments can be helpful and encouraging in that if a person takes time to thoroughly debunk a particularly nasty troll, others with lesser abilities can learn from the encounter. However, that person, unless he is especially gifted, still has to take the time to write a response. For me, I have 6 people and a dog, not to mention a job, who are demanding on my time, and they are much more important than a conspiracy troll who lives in Ohio. Compiling a thoughtful rebuttal to a troll can become wearisome, and 10 times out of 10 engagement is pointless, because the troll remains lodged in his hole.
If I were to offer a second reflection regarding my blogging from the last decade, I’d say I have come to value quality over quantity. When I began back in 2005, I would strive to have at least 3 posts up a week. Many times, in order to maintain that personal goal, I’d toss up half-baked posts, or link an article I found amusing and offer my witty remarks, or embed a funny video. The last couple of years in particular, I have cut back my posting to maybe one, or perhaps two articles a week at the most. I want to spend a bit more time writing and rewriting to provide a quality product rather than just posting filler to get me to a particular target number.
There are many subjects I’ve addressed over the last 10 years, as well. Those posts I consider to be evergreens. People are always finding them with internet searches and utilizing them in their personal growth and interactions with others. I have been returning to those posts slowly over the months, reformatting them and updating them to keep them accessible to those who will be helped by them. I can’t tell you how it warms my heart to have total strangers visiting my church or touring our ministry who ask specifically if I am around so they can thank me for blogging on such and such a subject. That makes it all worth it.
I have also thought of giving up blogging altogether. But when I seriously begin contemplating that course of action, something pops up that animates me and I find myself writing up a response of some sort. But I do confess that desire to leave off blogging has been more prevalent in my thinking the last year. Again, that has more to do with the time factor than losing interest in writing and commenting.
However, I am not quite ready to hang it up. I look forward to at the least, one more year. I may be slowing down but I am yet to call it quits.
Of course, I’ll see how I feel about that next May!