It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow marks the fifth year that I’ve been writing in my weblog. Looking over the past five years of posts, what I’ve written and the way I’ve written it has definitely matured along with me over time.
When I started writing in my weblog back then, it was mostly about issues relating to the online community evolt.org that I ran at the time, various personal postings, and technology issues – especially about Microsoft and Linux. It was brash at times and often intended for a small audience of people. It’s easy to see now, but a lot of the ways that you relate to people and situations change from the perspective of a 25 year old and someone who’s (now) 30.
Like I said, I guess the best word to describe that is ‘maturing’. It’s not only what I’ve done over the past five years, but also what this online presence of mine has done as well. With my focus on life and interests have changing over the years, my weblog has come to reflect that. There have been fewer posts about technology and Microsoft (though it still happens now and then) and more posts about politics and social issues.
The way in which I write has also changed. For the most part that’s meant less shorthand and swearing and more thoughtful and relevant content as time has progressed. As I get more and more involved in politics, I expect that to be one of the biggest challenges I face with keeping a public weblog. People will try to use what I write as a tool against me or to prove their own points, and I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there. It’s interesting and frustrating that people always say they want more forthcoming and ‘plain talking’ politicians, but when someone in politics does say something that hasn’t been run by a focus group, it often gets attacked by the other side, or worse, used against them. It’s going to be a fine line to walk going forward.
One of the other big changes over the years, especially the last one, has been the number of people who’ve visited by weblog and how it’s seen in the Internet community. Every month has topped the last in numbers of visitors, ‘hits’, page views, and feedback both in comments and email to me.
March 2006 was another high water mark with over 8,000 unique visitors and 75,000 page views (2,500 per day). On average, about 1,500 people a day visit my weblog. I don’t share those numbers to brag about how much traffic my site gets or anything, I share them because I think it validates what I’ve been saying and how I’ve been saying it over the years.
As recent posts prove, not everyone who visits my site totally agrees with what I have to say either. I really appreciate that those people (hopefully) feel like they can come here for (mostly) unbiased and (mostly) objective thoughts about politics and civil discussion about the those issues. A lot of weblogs out there present only one side of the story and anyone who brings up a non-mob-mentality point is shouted down or worse. Thankfully that doesn’t happen here because I value discussion and the opportunity to express an opinion in an unfettered manner.
Five years is a long time on any scale, but even more so on the Internet. I look forward to continuing to share my thoughts and opinions over the next five years in the public eye and on this weblog as well. As always, thanks for your feedback and support!