I logged into this old site of mine this morning just to poke around, update a few things and redo my original “About me” page when I realized something–I missed it! As of February 2nd of this year, Just Thinkin’ was officially 8 years old! And it all began with this post. Rather ironic as the current weather outside is still not this:
Outside I see yet another 4 inches from the “snow showers” we had yesterday adding to the 2+ feet of snow we’ve had on the ground for the last 2 months. Oh well, Spring has to arrive sometime.
And now for the typically long-ish and rambling part of the post.
Anyway, the realization of this bloggish anniversary of mine has brought up a question that’s been simmering in my mind for the last few months. What to do with this old blog of mine.
Posting has been beyond sparse these days, the most recent post being published this last New Year’s day. To be honest about it many things have changed over the past 8 years and many of those past things gave me a reason to post which is actually rather odd since this site never had any real purpose, goal or even any particular subject to post about. Just a place to write about the off-beat ramblings that burbled around in this (slightly disturbed?) head of mine and the need to write about it–I guess that would be a purpose? Things are still burbling around alright but the need to write them down sort of ran off.
Something else that drastically changed over the past 8 years–the rise of social sites namely, Facebook and later, Google Plus.
Ironically enough, I signed up for a Facebook account strictly out of curiosity as well as a bit of an experiment back around the February, 2009. I made my obligatory first post to it as well as filling some basic info on what passed for a “Time Line” back then and then pretty much never posted to Facebook again. Then, two months later, my wife’s eldest daughter contacted her about playing some game on Facebook and it snowballed from there. Not too long after that, all 5 of her children ended up on Facebook and of course, started picking on me. I had no choice but to retaliate so my time on Facebook began to increase which is even more ironic since, even today, I rarely post anything on Facebook at all. Just reply to posts and comments.
Then, about a year ago, one of my old shipments from the old USS Silversides (see header image at the top of this page) contacted me via email telling me they had an ‘Ol Silversides Facebook page for former crew members and I was dragged “back to sea” as it were.
More time taken away from the blog.
And now, Google Plus came along and everything changed again. As much as I disliked Facebook, I really liked Google Plus and to this day I really can’t give you a specific reason why. There was just something about it that really appealed to me. Now, my Google Plus Home page “feed” is all about Linux and open source plus a few other odds and ends and absolutely no posts about cats or images of auto-spellcheck mistakes in text conversations and absolutely no maps announcing that someone is busy swallowing their second sloppy Joe at Barney’s Pub and Grill and regretting it.
And yet more time taken away.
One thing I do have in common with both Facebook and Google Plus is that I rarely post to Google Plus–just reply to posts and comments.
So as the “social sites” thing gained steam and quickly increased in popularity as time went on I watched the popularity of “social interaction” taking place at the personal blog level, the platform that I feel contributed most to the online social phenomenon in the first place, simply dwindle away.
The personal blogs were still out there of course, but many owners now had Facebook accounts to which they shared their blog posts. The problem I saw with that was now the conversation on any particular blog post that would have, in the past, taken place at that particular post’s comment section, now took place in Facebook. To me the personal blog had then become an extension of Facebook, driving the conversation away from the original post, rather than Facebook driving the conversation back to the personal blog. And that’s something I had a real problem with.
After awhile the idea of writing short blog posts about the every day events in my life or about what a uniquely beautiful day it happened to be began to seem rather silly when many of my fellow bloggers had turned to sites like Facebook and such to post about same type of things instead of posting them on their blogs and yet I couldn’t seem to make the switch myself.
Because of all the above plus my own struggle with my service connected disabilities, writing to the blog withered away to almost nothing but I’ve never been able to bring myself to the point of retiring Just Thinkin’. After all, it’s the DYI WordPress site that I cut my teeth on and learned on. And I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, mistakes I had to learn how to fix myself and learn how to accept help from others (and finding friends along the way). Learned how to effectively do research and to find the right answers by asking the right questions, etc. And through all those mistakes, all the recoveries, all the updates and all the posting, this old original WordPress install has managed to survive the past 8 years intact.
My but this post is getting long, isn’t it?
So, in the end I still can’t bring myself to put the old thing out to pasture but I have decided a few things. To wit:
- I need to stop thinking about the posts that have gone before. There’s no common thread between any of them so there’s no use looking for one. No guide for future posts. Anything goes as far as subjects are concerned.
- No more short posts. There will be an occasional exception to this but I figure if I have a need to write some miscellaneous 4-liner I can do that on Facebook, Google+ or not at all.
- If I have a thought, idea or subject I figure is actually worth writing about and publishing for all to see then this is the pace to do so.
- If it’s worth writing about then it’s worth taking the time to do it. If it takes a couple hours, fine. If it takes a couple of days then fine again. There’s no deadline here and there’s certainly no one out there breathlessly waiting for my next post. Especially these days.
- No more thinking I have to maintain some type of posting schedule. If I have something to write about, then write about it. If I don’t (or I can’t) then that’s the way it is.
That’s about it then I guess and despite what it may sound like, this isn’t any “turning point” at all. It’s simply that the past 8 years have changed my situation and me along with it. And this old site of mine is simply going to reflect these changes. It’s too much a part of me now to ever put aside.
So, without further ado or further rambling on this particular post…
To be continued…