I started blogging in December 2005. The urge came from a childlike curiosity to learn about the new phenomenon (back then). I still remember the excitement of creating my page on Blogger, acquired by Google in 2003. My first blog used to be goisrael.blogger.com.
In the beginning blogging was all about self expression. The list of top blogs in 2005 by Time Magazine is a good snapshot: the hardcore tech blogs were LifeHacker and BoingBoing (both are a bit ‘tired’ but still great) and people flocked to blogs like Overheard in New York and PostSecret.
Hitting the ‘Publish’ saying “hello world” for the first time was so cool. You create something, and suddenly it’s out there, for others to see and you can even find it on Google :-)
Stats were addictive. I started from a simple visitor counter. Remember MyBlogLog? It was a social network for the blogger community (later acquired by Yahoo in 2007), which when installed, showed where your visitors come from, what they read and where they go. It had a rich dashboard with the number of clicks on each link and a leaderboard for categories.
Virality was getting featured on Digg and bookmarking was Del.icio.us. Before Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes (HackerNews, etc) became publishing platforms, getting to the front page of Digg was the ultimate rush. A stampede of traffic would descend on your blog. ‘Social bookmarking’ was a thing, and you wanted to get your links saved to Del.icio.us.
To be found you had to get ‘Indexed’. That meant manually adding your site to the relevant directories like Technorati, which not only listed the blogs and bloggers but also determined the blog’s “Authority”, its own version of PageRank.
There were also alerts, RSS feeds, tag clouds, various types of comments. Each of these added functionality and flexibility to bloggers and readers alike. Blogging was just a constant learning experience.
1025 blog posts later, in many ways, we’re much better off now. Publishing platforms like Medium, created by the original creators of Blogger and Feedburner, offer tools that are better than ever. Social networks offer unprecedented reach. YouTube has a video for everything. BuzzFeed has a list for everything. There are more monetisation opportunities, more people writing, more people reading…
But we lost the naivety. At least I did. I want to get back that curiosity and spark that got me to start blogging in the first place. So I’m going to set myself a challenge: Blog every day for 30 days. Less filter, less perfectionism, and more experimentation and self expression. First draft ? hit Publish. I’ll keep the posts short and focused on a single idea at a time. What I learned that day. The book I’m reading. An interesting person. An idea sparked from listening to a podcast… My inspiration for this project are Matt Cutts’ 30 day challenges, James Altucher idea machine and Fred Wilson‘s prolific blogging?—?“ I can talk about anything that I care about”.
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