If last weekend was my birthday, this past weekend also marked another significant milestone at The Aerie: this blog turned five. Wow, I guess now it’s getting ready to go to blog-kindergarten.
I always like to take this time to review the State of the Blog. In general, I think the State of the Blog is pretty strong. Big changes this year, of course, with the final demise of SixApart and Vox and the switch to WordPress. I have to say that I’ve been pretty happy with the switch. The WordPress interface is pretty straightforward and is more customizable than the one we had back in the day. The folks at WP also seem pretty responsive to suggestions for improvements. I will admit that the atmosphere still doesn’t quite convey that neighborhood feel that Vox had at its height, but what can you do? There was a great diaspora from Vox that coalesced here on WP (with some to posterous, blogger and a few other places) and I’m happy to say that I’ve added several new neighbors over this year, which is always good for keeping things fresh and invigorating. It also helps offset some of the unavoidable disappointment of losing some folks in the transition.
Speaking of staying invigorated — in my first four years, I published at a pretty constant 175-185 posts per year. Looking back at this year, I was surprised to see a whopping 235 posts. Yowser. Someone clearly has too much time on his hands. I’ve seen a shift in topics, too — to more reading-oriented topics as well as more creative writing. Probably less sports. I’ve been reminding myself to write more science-related posts, but they actually do take more time than a book review.
The other thing I’ve notice this year is that I think the blogging community has come to its equilibrium with social media. A couple of years ago there was a huge exodus from blogging as folks found happier online lives doing updates and commenting on Facebook and Twitter. Now, it seems that people that are blogging are doing it for specific reasons and not just because it’s the “in” thing — and I think that’s a good thing. There’s a place for Facebook, Twitter and now Google+, but I still enjoy the (occasionally) thoughtful expression that can be done here that’s impossible via status update. I’m curious about what the trends in topics will be for the next 12 months.
As always, thanks very much to you folks that come by here to read and converse — I still really get a kick out of being able to write something that strikes a chord in someone.