I’ve had a personal blog, in one form or another, since October 2004. I started one—a Xanga, if you must know—because it was a popular thing at my college and it seemed like a good idea for someone who, ostensibly, wanted to be a writer. Since 2004, I don’t think there was ever a period when I didn’t have a “current” blog. From Xanga I moved to Blogger, then WordPress.com, back to Blogger, I tried blogging on MySpace for awhile when that was cool, eventually ending up with a self-hosted WordPress blog in 2007 (if none of these names and terms mean anything to you, don’t worry: I’m done with the part where I use names and terms).
Even though I always had a blog, my updates were inconsistent. Sometimes I’d go months without a post. There were lots of reasons for this. For one thing, I didn’t know what I was writing about. Simply writing about whatever comes to mind seems like a wide-open playing field, but I found it limiting. When I could write about anything, why should I choose one thing over any other? And furthermore, I knew all you sick people in Internetland were judging me, tearing apart everything I wrote with malice aforethought, and mocking me for using terms like malice aforethought incorrectly.
Well, I thought, screw that.
Eventually, my posts dwindled to a trickle and furthermore I had more important things going on in my life, like a job and sleeping. But then one day in March 2008, as part of a gentleman’s agreement I made with a lady, I found myself in the position of having to blog about something. I didn’t feel like writing about anything, so I made something up. And my world-famous “Ask Conlan” segment (then called “Viewer Mail”), was born.
As historians will note, this was the turning point for my blog. It was the beginning of the Golden Age.1
In addition to “Ask Conlan,” the following months also saw the introduction of fan favorites “This Is Twittering” and Blinky the (non-blinking) Robot. Also, the Complete History of the Con, which no one else really seems to like, but I do. One of my personal favorites was the “Controversial Survey” that I answered perfectly, in four parts: one, two, three, and four.
I was also proud of this excerpt from my interview with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. The post itself isn’t particularly great, but what I love about it is that it’s 100% real. I was interviewing her for an actual publication, and for fun I asked about her favorite color. The transcript is verbatim. I don’t think many people realized that this was one of the few things on my blog that I didn’t make up.
But I’m digressing out the wazoo. Back to the task at hand…
Over the years, I kind of lost my absurdist edge. I didn’t post as much, and sometimes I’d write about serious stuff. It sucked. I started feeling the pressure that had made it hard for me to blog in those pre-Golden Age days. As a result, my blog has (again) suffered.
This month’s Daily Con experiment is one effort to reenergize my blogging self. But I’m also making another change. A change… that may shock you. A change that flies in the face of everything you hold dear as social media experts. That change is…
To be continued…2
- Technically, I used to refer to the months after I moved to San Francisco, when I wrote a blog called The Superfluous Apostrophe, as my Golden Age of blogging. My posts were relatively prolific and kind of interesting, so it was pretty cool. But that was a different time, a different blog, and a different Golden Age… but that gives me an idea. If I run out of things to write about this month, I’ll repurpose some of those old Golden Age posts here. If I do, please don’t tell anyone I’m cheating. [↩]
- But also the change is turning off comments, like the title of this post implies and like I mentioned yesterday. I will explain more about my reasoning tomorrow, but I’ve already spent too many words today. I’ve got to pace myself if I’m going to make it through the whole month (which I probably won’t). [↩]