22 December 2017

And now we are 10

It was ten years ago today that I started writing TYWKIWDBI.  It's deeply ironic that I created the blog in an effort to save myself time (so I wouldn't have to be emailing interesting links to family and friends).  I absolutely didn't have any vision at that time of continuing the project for a decade.

There are now over 14,000 posts in the blog, over 50,000 comments, and about 1500 followers.  Blogger says TYWKIWDBI has experienced 23,000,000 pageviews.

When I started blogging in 2007, the word "blog" was about 10 years old, so I wasn't a pioneer.  Just as my birth was part of the famed baby boom, my blog was part of a blog bloom in that era:
The early 2000s were a period of growth for blogs. In 1999, according to a list compiled by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs on the internet. By the middle of 2006, there were 50 million blogs according to Technorati.
In 2008, when Technorati was still tracking and ranking blogs, they noted that out of 133 million blogs, only 7.4 million had been updated in the previous 4 months.  The rest were effectively dead.  It has been suggested that most blogs have an audience of one person.  By 2011 the number of blogs had mushroomed to an estimated 158,000,000.  I don't know whether anyone has bothered to track or estimate the number since then.


My "ten-year tenure" is not particularly a reflection of any great accomplishment - it is simply a matter of not quitting.  The main support group for polio survivors has adopted the motto "We're Still Here" to remind the public that even though the disease has fallen out of the headlines, the victims from previous epidemics are still alive.   I would echo that in terms of the blog to affirm that "I'm still here."

And I intend to stay a while longer.  With some changes.

Back in 2013 Jason Kottke, one of the doyens of blogging, averred in an op-ed piece for Nieman Lab that the traditional blog was dying.
Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice. 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...

Over the past 16 years, the blog format has evolved, had social grafted onto it, and mutated into Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and those new species have now taken over. No biggie, that’s how technology and culture work.
In a companion piece at Kottke, he indicated that he was changing as well:
Through various blogrolls (remember those?) and RSS readers, I used to keep up with hundreds of blogs every day and over a thousand every week. Now I read just two blogs daily... I check my RSS reader only occasionally, and sometimes not for weeks. I rely mainly on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Hacker News, and Stellar for keeping up with news and information…that’s where most of the people I know do their “blogging”. I still read lots of blog posts, but only when they’re interesting enough to pop up on the collective radar of those I follow…and increasingly those posts are on Medium, Facebook, or Tumblr.

I'm going to be evolving too.  TYWKIWDBI has changed gradually over these ten years, with minor tweaks of the format and alterations in the focus of the content.  I've particularly enjoyed engaging readers to generate content, especially with my series on stonework of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the surprisingly interesting "Show Us Your Bookcase" series.

At some time in the coming year, after certain details get worked out, I'm going to undertake a new project.  I hope to be posting details in the spring or early summer.

I will continue TYWKIWDBI, because as I said on my fifth blogiversary -
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.

The embedded images are screencaps from a Google Image search of images previously posted on TYWKIWDBI.   Oldtimers who want to take a trip down Memory Lane and newbies who are wondering what they have missed may want to do the search and click on some of the results.

To access the images, go to Google Images, type in

 site: tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com 

and hit return.  Warning - following those images to their source posts may keep you busy longer than you intended.

And now it's time for Christmas.  Back to the blog next week.


  1. Thank you so much for all the great posts over the years. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Congratulations on 10 years and thank you for 10 years! I always look forward to TWKIWDBI and you never disappoint. Happy Holidays.

  3. Your Blog is my escape from all the other distractions on the net. I consider your taste and curiosity about the same as me so it's like having a friend in the upper plains. Thank you for your work, Merry Christmas!

  4. Congrats and well done! Have a great Christmas

  5. Happy blogiversary! I've very much enjoyed the ride these last ten years. Here's to many more.

  6. You done good, pat yourself on the back for us. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for your posts and the calm respectful corner of the internet you've created. I appreciate the time and effort it must take to keep this going.

  8. Yours is one of the VERY few blogs I read that aren't just 'fluff' ~ you entertain, you educate, you make me laugh and you inform ~ it doesn't get any better than that!
    I've been with you for about 6 years now, and I can't imagine life without you! I'm looking forward to seeing how your blog will evolve.
    Wishing you a very happy Anniversary, and (in defiance of the cheetoh head), I wish you and yours a very happy holidays!

  9. Boyohboy! I echo every previous comment and then some! yes to the education and the entertainment and all that - but it's your tone that keeps bringing me back (almost from the beginning). I 'trust' you ('course our politics are very similar!) to tell me truth (as you know it) rather than try to sensationalize for me. One request though: PLEASE no more tortured animals!! That de-horned rhino (was that it?) had me in tears for hours - mainly because it was so unexpected from you. You usually out that kind of stuff below the fold. Thank you very much for TYWKIWDBI - I'm always sad when you take breaks.

  10. Happy 10 year anniversary! Thank you and keep up the good work, you're greatly appreciated. Happy Holidays.

  11. I don't even remember how long ago I started reading your blog. If I had to guess I'd say somewhere between 8 and 9 years. I came here originally by way of boingboing.net (another favorite of mine). Congratulations on making this milestone and I hope you continue with it for a good long time. You've often said "you learn something new every day". For me, TYWKIWDBI is often where I find my new thing for the day.

  12. Happy anniversary and thank you for keeping up the blog! I've been reading it for years and enjoy it immensely.

  13. Happy Blog-Birthday! (Blogthday?). TYWKIWDBI is one of the 'go-to' sites in my bookmark list - for daily consumption.

    Thank you for all the good content you posted over the years, and here's looking forward to many (MANY!) more years of engaging intellectual stimulation.

  14. Ten years? Thanks for your persistence, solid good sense, butterflies, and miscellania. As Kottke noted, you don't have to read everything if someone out there is winnowing on your behalf. Mark Twain said "Write without pay until somebody offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for". But there are other rewards for writing than getting paid for it. Perhaps one is garnering the respect and affection of [hundreds of] strangers. Hats off!

  15. "....Robert Louis Stevenson and I, sitting in Union Square and Washington Square a great many years ago, tried to find a name for, the submerged fame, that fame that permeates the great crowd of people you never see and never mingle with; people with whom you have no speech, but who read your books and become admirers of your work and have an affection for you. You may never find it out in the world, but there it is, and it is the faithfulness of the friendship, of the homage of those men, never criticizing, that began when they were children. They have nothing but compliments they never see the criticisms, they never hear any disparagement of you, and you will remain in the home of their hearts' affection forever and ever. And Louis Stevenson and I decided that of all fame, that was the best, the very best."
    - speech, 11 January 1908

    Mark Twain

    1. First time I've seen that quote. You learn something every day. :-)

  16. One of two blogs that I have kept reading, God bless and many more.

  17. I am so appreciative of you taking the time to find and share these incredible articles, pictures, etc. I thrill every time a Divertimento is posted! That means there will be numerous gifs or articles to peruse--almost always in one setting.

    I simply don't know of all the interesting places where you find these things, which makes your site a clearinghouse of thoughtful, beautiful, challenging, and uplifting things. I hope it matter to you when I tell you that my life would be...less...without your generosity of spirit.

    I often wonder if late night comedians or bloggers like you realize just how valuable they are to humanity. In a world where there is so much heaviness and even darkness, your kind serves to alleviate the burdens of the heart, or the cares of life, or just the day-in-and-day-out drudgery of the workplace. Even if only for a few moments, those few moments serve to allow us to be restored, revived, and readied for more "combat" tomorrow.

    THANK YOU for what you do! And thank you for your diligence in keeping it going for ten years now--CONGRATULATIONS! I have trouble believing there are only around 1500 of us. The only reason that is the case, I think, is because others simply have not found this "Fountain of Youth" that we have found. In time, perhaps they will...after all, I recall reading somewhere that the Castro Convertible Couch was advertised week after week after week...with virtually no results. But at some point, critical mass much have come about, for it soon soared into the consciousness and homes of millions of Americans.

  18. What everyone else said. Thank you for many years of presenting a smorgasbord of engaging intellectual fare.

    Happy Festivus to all.

  19. Happy blogiversary, and all the best for 2018.

  20. Been reading for almost 8 years (introduced by a friend in 2011) - thanks for all those things I wouldn't know if you didn't blog (more than) intermittently!

  21. Happy Tenth Birthday! I believe I've been here since the very beginning, and I still visit your blog every day. You always have so many interesting things, and the variety is fascinating. Thank you for making part of my day, every day for 10 years!

  22. Congratulations on 10 years, and thank you for your wonderful blog! Merry Christmas!

  23. I love and appreciate this blog. It's one of three I continue to follow (cynical-C and Love in the Time of Chasmosaurus being the others) I check in every single day to see something new and astounding. Even reddit, with all the people of the world combined, only manage to come in 2nd in my opinion. Thank you for 10 amazing years.

  24. I have been reading this blog since near the time you started it and recommended it as recently as a few weeks ago. I can never remember what name I registered here many moons ago, and I comment rarely, so usually end up anon. But I have deeply appreciated the work you do in curating this blog and I always learn something new and interesting to share. Thank you. Congratulations on 10 years, and I hope to be reading this blog for many more.

  25. Congratulations on reaching this milestone and many thanks for all the fascinating and edifying posts. Continued success for many, many more years. Happy holiday and am looking forward to more soon.

  26. Congratulations on a significant milestone! I am looking forward to reading your next ten years.

  27. Congratulations with your aluminium jubilee! (I know how hard it can be). I stopped blogging for a couple of months. But I missed it, so I started again at my own pace. I won't surrender to facebook!

  28. Thank you. Joyeaux Noel.

    I have slowed down, but I keep writing as well. That's the only way forward, just not stopping.

  29. In such an ephemeral world I’m so glad to still have a landmark.
    Your post today is so timely and relevant, as the first words out of my mouth this morning were
    just how much our culture has changed, evidently while I was busy doing other things.

    When we established our studio online from White Bear road in Sedona, naming it seemed straightforward. Now 20 years later, residing in my home state of Missouri I cringe to think what people must make of the name. Of course I’m unlikely to change.

    It’s all the willpower I can muster to not lament “the good old days” on the internet.
    So, it’s a comfort to know you’ll be here with us for a while longer. Thank you!

  30. Thank you. I have been enjoying your blog since 2010.

  31. I first found your blog with the twisted trees of gryfino post as i was looking at Viking material for school. Since then, one way or another, I've always cringed a little when i see people wonder how their boats could be made with straight-grain wood. I fell in love with your blog and have checked it ever since. Thanks for the good time, here's to many more!


  32. Good work! I've enjoyed the fruits of your blog for many years, I THANK YOU very much. Such great content!

  33. Thank you! I enjoy reading your blog=)

  34. thank you - reading your posts is one of my favorite pastimes. Keep it up.

    Happy New Year!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...