22 December 2016

Today TYWKIWDBI is nine years old


Every year when this anniversary rolls around, I'm amazed I'm still doing this.  The blog began as a way to save time (!) by posting interesting things so I wouldn't have to email them to friends and family.  It quickly morphed into an every-day chore (note the "weekday reading" and "weekend reading" lists in the right sidebar, which I no longer find the time to browse with regularity).  Now I view the blog as a preparation for eventual senility - a repository for things that will entertain and interest me that I can read/forget/reread/forget again ad infinitum at some date hopefully still well into the future.

TYWKIWDBI will finish this year with over 14,000 posts which have generated about 48,000 comments from a couple thousand followers and a much larger number of occasional visitors who have generated about 21,000,000  pageviews.

And now what?  Back on my sixth blogiversary I cited Jason Kottke's observation that traditional blogs are a dying breed.
Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.

Instead of blogging, people are posting to Tumblr, tweeting, pinning things to their board, posting to Reddit, Snapchatting, updating Facebook statuses, Instagramming, and publishing on Medium. In 1997, wired teens created online diaries, and in 2004 the blog was king. Today, teens are about as likely to start a blog (over Instagramming or Snapchatting) as they are to buy a music CD. Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids...
I have not seen any recent data on the "state of the blogosphere."  Technorati used to publish an annual report on the numbers of blogs and relevant trends, but even that analysis seems to have faded away.  I don't intend to switch to a different platform.  Last year I expressed my own attitude this way:
I still struggle with motivation to keep blogging because of the seemingly unending distractions of real life.  But I do get a great deal of satisfaction from the depth and breadth of knowledge, the sophistication, and the almost always unfailing courtesy of readers who comment on the posts.  I learn things, I teach things, and every now and then I get help with my car or my computer for free.  Such a deal.
There are days when creating a series of quality blog posts is extremely satisfying...


...and other days when it seems to be an annoying chore (especially when the material involves politics or current events)...


To avoid the latter, I've already begun morphing the focus of the blog, pulling away from current events and starting to go a bit "retro," harvesting some of the many many thousands of links I've saved up over the past nine years (no sense saving them if they're not going to get used).  So I believe long-time readers here will start noticing some alteration in content, with more focus on older material (which also saves me surfing time).  I do fully intend to push on to reach that tenth blogiversary next December.  After that it will be time to seriously reassess my priorities.

46 comments:

  1. I've been coming here for quite a while, always with enjoyment. Keep up the work and many thanks.

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  2. Happy ninth, MinnesotaStan! You definitely da MAN! Thanks for what you do.

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  3. I enjoy TYWKIWDBI more and more each year. Thanks!

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  4. Thank you SO MUCH for harvesting and culling such a rich crop of interesting and informational, um, information. So often, I can read multiple news sources, but find that they are all pretty much giving me the same information. But with Tywkiwdbi, I know I'll always find something that is off the beaten path, perhaps something I've never even heard of--and I love that!

    Believe it or not, you make people's lives a little better by giving them this wonderful diversion that invigorates the mind and refreshes the spirit. I trust that somewhere, sooner or later, this oft-thankless job of yours will be rewarded in a manner that is truly worthy of what you do to make life just a little better for all who will but drop by for a visit.

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  5. Congrats! And continued success however long...

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  6. Congrats and thank you for persisting. I've been a regular reader and occasional commenter for at least 5 of those 9 years. Like you, I enjoy learning something new every day and your blog has filled the bill on many of the days of these last 5 years.

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  7. exactly what Big Boppa said, although I do blame you for some long periods of very unproductive time (circle the cat, 2048)

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  8. Thanks for the efforts. This is a daily read for me and I get much enrichment from it. I love these little magazines. Like TYWKIWDBI, Presurfer and I Have Seen the Whole of the Internet. Fun treasures on the internet!

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  9. Thank you, I thoroughly enjoy reading the things that you find and usually learn something from it.

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  10. A friend of mine who is so very much smarter than I am and will remain unnamed (TalcumX) :) got me started on TYWKIWDBI several years ago. I find that this blog saves me whenever I am having a bad day, and gives a greater depth and breadth of enjoyment on good days. So very thankful that this exists. One of the best educational diving boards out there.

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  11. Stan ~
    Happy Birthday/Anniversary!! I can't remember how I was led to your site; all I know is that you continue to delight, inspire and amuse me!
    I'll keep coming as long as you keep writing!
    Sending hugs, if I may be so bold ~

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  12. I look forward to your daily postings and delightful photos. I have to admit that sometimes I don't understand some of the technical or mathematical posts, but I read them all and usually learn something from them. Nine years is quite a chunk of life to devote to any activity and I thank you for persevering, even on days when you don't feel up to it.

    We're obviously addicted to your brand of journalism, so let's not talk about quitting. Too many bloggers have quit this past year and I miss them -- I don't even want to contemplate your absence from this space.

    Happy Blogiversity!

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  13. Thank you so much, Stan and congratulations! I look forward to coming home and reading your posts at the end of the day. It's been the source of several things I've posted to my [earth science] department's facebook page (the most recent of which is the website of that volcano photographer).
    One note on blogosphere happenings: science blogs by both professionals and knowledgeable hobbyists have been rising, if not in number, then at least in quality and favorable reception in professional scientific circles. They've also been serving as a kick-off for writers to become traditionally published. (E.g., Brian Switek went from writing a personal blog, Laelaps [which was then picked up by Nat Geo until recently; the current incarnation is on Patreon] to being contracted for other projects, and publishing several books, the most well-known of which is My Beloved Brontosaurus).

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  14. Thank you. Weird to think I've been doing this longer than you, though.

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  15. Congratulations Stan! I have been lurking for years now and don't believe I've missed a post for at least the last three years. I even enjoy the comments. I love checking TYWKIWDBI to see if Stan has posted anything new yet. You do good work.

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  16. Many thanks for all of your hard work and dedication. You've brought so many interesting, weird, beautiful, thought provoking and funny items to our attention. As everyone has said, you've enlightened and brightened our days. All your efforts are much appreciated.

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  17. Happy Birthday. Your site is one of the few "must read" sites I have. Thanks for the time and effort you put into this blog. :)

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  18. Felicitations! Thank you for the years of fun, information and learning; I've been reading TYWKIWDBI for almost as long as it has been around, and will continue to be a fan for as long as you chose to continue to post. Thank you for the gift of your time.

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  19. I like where you're going. I've always like where you went. Thank you, we'll follow you anywhere

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  20. HAppy anniversary, really really really enjoy your blog, I stop in regularly and you do great work....cheers and happy holidays

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  21. Congrats. I started a personal blog several years ago, and it lasted about a year and a half. (Drat, I couldn't edit a typo in my comment, so I had to delete it!)

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  22. I've enjoyed your blog for years, the extra effort you take with your additional commentary on the posts elevates Tywkiwdbi above the other re-posting style blogs. Here's to another ten years!

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  23. i have saved links from years ago - it is interesting to see how many are no longer valid.

    p.s. thanks for this blog!

    I-)

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  24. I have a short list of sites I visit every morning for a smile. Yours is on that list. Thank you for avoiding politics but personally I think the President elect could learn from your site.

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  25. I like to link back to you on Facebook with a regulaly occurring post called "Another Reason To Read TYWKIWDBI".
    It makes me seem so smart.

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  26. Thank you! I read regularly this blog and derive knowledge and understanding on subjects I'd never find else where. I rarely comment, but today I am compelled to Thank You So Much for your blog!

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  27. Like Revashane, I have a list of sites I visit each day and TYWKIWDBI has been a joy to read. I appreciate all the work you put into this site and I'm looking forward to another year of smart, interesting and informative posts.
    Happy 9th!

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  28. Well Stan, I have been a faithful reader for much of the time - I got turned on when I was diagnosed with level 3 brain cancer eight years ago. Your posts have carried me through my surgery and chemo. Best Wishes!

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  29. thank you for the amazing content and diversity of your blog.

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  30. I've been a regular, silent reader for at least 4 years now. Wish I could remember how I came across it first! I love your curiosity about the world. Thanks so much for keeping it up.

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  31. Jerry in and out of DallasDecember 23, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    I don't comment much here, but I do read your blog daily, as it's like dipping into the encyclopedia: you never know what you're going to come across. Thank you!

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  32. Happy blog anniversary. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog- it is an oasis for thoughtful readers and very much appreciated.

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  33. I like your blog & admire the civilized tone you & your followers take. Very refreshing.

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  34. I've been meaning to say this for a long time: Your blog is one of my all-times favorites. Your taste is wonderful, your interests are fantastic, your class is impeccable, and your posts are sometimes the highlight of my entire day and give me some respite from all the awfulness in the world. Thank you so much, you've seriously made the world a little bit better just by being you.

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  35. A lot of blogs have alternatives, sites with comparable content, this blog doesn't. The variaty and quality of posts make this blog unique and incomparable. Thank you, please don't stop. Slow down if you must but don't stop.

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  36. Happy anniversary. As mentioned by the comments, visiting with you is a high point of my day.
    I thank you for all that you do, and all that you teach.
    Peace and good health

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  37. Conpliments, and congrats, you've made a marvelous blog! From your fellow blogger that just had my 10th blogiversary. Very glad to know you're still going on into the future with more things we wouldn't know, and shifting slightly off current events. To increase our knowledge from your cool blog is a treat for us readers, and always a welcome diversion from news of the day. My best wishes on your continued excellent content and dedication to sharing with us, your readers. I feel the same about my blog being my own entertainment in my old age!

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  38. Happy Blogiversary! I love your posts--always interesting, and not found anywhere else. I quite coming every day when you started taking vacation days. I clearly let it go way too long this time. lease keep up the great work!

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  39. When I want some interesting/enlightening reading, I come here - and have done since I happily discovered the blog some 7? years ago. Thank you.

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