Thursday, June 18, 2015

2005-2015: How This Blog Has Changed Over 10 Years

In creating something like this - a de facto journal of my life - it's easy to look back as I have been doing to see how I've have changed over the past 10+ years that this blog now covers.  It's not only me who has changed over the years, but also this here blog as well.

First of all, the blog didn't begin as a blog.  I had created a personal website back in 2004 that looked like this:
 
Not sure why I chose to name every page with an "H" word; I guess I had a reason at the time.  
(Click image to enlarge)
As you can see, I've always had a political bend to my writing and opines.  And it was because of how my site was written, as well as the fact that it was more of an op/ed kinda thing that a friend suggested that I create a blog instead.  I kept the actual website for about a year then just let it disappear.

So the blog was born.  Even the very look of it has changed over the past 10 years.  It's gone through 3 incarnations in the past decade: the first version created in 2005, then an update in 2008, and then the current version in 2013.  The previous two versions looked like this:

2005                                                                                                 2008
(Click image to enlarge)
The blog's actual URL changed, and fairly recently too.  The old address was http://viewfromthejeep.blogspot.com.  But about a year ago, I converted it to just http://www.viewfromthejeep.com.  Nice and simple.  I also no longer maintain a blogroll, which lists other blogs and websites that I follow.  I checked most of the ones listed on the two former versions and none of them work anymore.  I guess not many people keep personal blogs these days.  What can I say - I'm a rebel!

And why "viewfromthejeep" in the first place?  At the time I started the blog, I had my beloved green 1994 Jeep Wrangler.  The picture to the right is of me and the jeep back in June 2001.  I loved that machine.  I thought I would have it forever.  In DC, it became synonymous with me.  People recognized it and knew where I was.  Then one day, it was stolen while parked outside my house in DC.  I never saw it again.  I was crushed.  I kept the blog name as an homage to my identity, in a way.

Driving on...

Statistically, I no longer write posts like it's a part-time job.  Looking back to 2006 and 2007, I was averaging 4 and 5 posts per week.  Today, I dash off maybe 1 post every 2 weeks or so.  I want to write more, but it's sometimes tricky to think up a topic.  I almost always have an opinion on everything, but even that is not always enough to elicit a post.  I used to be rather political in my posts, but that has waned over the years as well.  It could be that I no longer have much to say since Bush left office, or it could be that since I no longer live in DC my interest/passion in politics is not as prevalent.

I also used to publish Monday Eye Candy every Monday morning, which was essentially just a photo of some random guy from the internet that I thought was attractive.  Now and then, I would post a photo of a friend of mine and tout how wonderful of a person he was or give him a shout out if he had something going on to which I wanted to help draw attention.  Mondays were (and still are) difficult days for me to get focused, so MEC was an easy way to post something without really needing to think about it.  My blog traffic was always highest on Mondays.  I guess there are lots of people like me who need some sort of motivation to begin their week.  Here's a lame example:

(Click image to enlarge)
I also used to occasionally pick a random day and go back in time through all my calendars and journals and list what I had done on that very date every year since 1982, when I started keeping calendars and journals.  The first one was created on October 20, 2005, with a few more random dates to follow including one listing out how I celebrated my birthdays from 1984-2007.  The most recent one was written on September 27, 2013.  It's actually a fun exercise.  I should do tit more often.

In the beginning, my blog was also hidden from my family.  Well, not really hidden per se - they just didn't know about it.  I also had not formally come out to my entire family yet, so I didn't want everyone reading and knowing what I was doing in my life.  But now my life is figuratively an open book.  And I know many in my family read it just to stay up to speed with Kevin and my excursions.

Several years ago, I didn't have much of a filter as to what I would write about.  Nothing was off-limits, which I think is still evident in some of the older posts.  I even wrote about my job on my blog until I was asked to stop - not asked to stop writing about my job, but asked to stop writing my blog by my job.  This explains the 4-year gap in posting from 2008-2012. But I'll save that for another, more interesting post.  And it IS interesting.

I also used to sell advertising space on my blog and made a nice chunk of change doing so.  Those ads went away during the break when I didn't write anything.  I'd get a check based on the number of hits my blog would get.  Man, I wish I'd had ad space on it during the Carol Burnett posts!  I could have retired.

So my blog, like me, has gone through some changes over the years.  It celebrates my evolving into the person I am today, and will most likely continue evolving itself over time as I keep it going.  I'm surprised that I have maintained this as I am always quick to delete something or throw something out.  But I like that this is here and remains just sitting out there.  And even if it's ever just me who reads this and no one else, that's fine too.