I think once you start blogging, you are always a blogger. It doesn’t matter how often you blog, how you long a hiatus you have or whether you stop forever, a part of you will always be a blogger.
I first stuck my witterings on to the internet in an “online diary” back in 2001. There was no Twitter or Facebook and so I would use my online diary to ramble and rant about things that I can barely recall now and also share the odd poem I had composed. I taught myself html to make the page look pretty and one day I took the plunge and moved to my own domain and self-hosted my first weblog (pronounced “web-log” if you’re wondering) and using Movable Type when it was actually free. Over the next few years I continued writing in such a manner (trying a few different blog cms until finally arriving at WordPress some time around 2005) and meanwhile weblogs just became known as “blogs”.
I was never going to change the world, I just enjoyed the process of designing my web space, creating a blog post and sharing my ideas about Life, The Universe and Everything. Everyone else I knew who blogged (and there was a few) did pretty much the same. We cast our opinions into the ether of the internet, seeking to engage others in discussion and debate. Yes, I encountered a few trolls but I also forged some friendships which extended offline and still continue to exist to this day. Still, at the time, I differentiated between online-me and “Real Life” me, as did many others I knew. I think I always will (except on Facebook, which I purposely use to communicate with friends and family). It’s like you tell some friends things that you wouldn’t even hint at to others, you know?
Anyway “Real Life” got busy (and a house move meant I had a dodgy internet connection) so I eventually put my original blog on permanent hiatus (I still have the .co.uk domain for it, I’m currently working out some content) and just focused on Facebook. I even went back to Twitter, with a new account after the one I created way back in its early days died due to neglect.
I came back to blogging last year, intent on having a theme to the content I was going to put out there (which, of course, become much broader). What immediately struck me was how different the whole scene is now. Some of these bloggers were barely out of nappies when I put my first diary entry on to the internet. That makes me feel old. It’s not just the age difference either, the whole point of a blog seems to have changed. The majority would opt for the “My Life” category of Blogarama. Now those same people would probably be #lblogger maybe even a #bblogger or #fblogger if you found them on Twitter. At first it felt like everything was about “working with brands” and making money or getting free stuff. I felt like some kind of dinosaur.
Of course, that original view was skewed. The theme-less hobby bloggers like me still exist, we’re just a quieter voice in a much larger crowd now.
The blogging population exploded and had to evolve. We’ve diverged into our own individual species but really, when it comes down to it, we are still casting our opinions out into the internet, hoping to engage with others. That’s what being a blogger is all about…