So Meta

 When Nicole (HI NICOLE) mentioned that her blog host was dumping smaller blogs and she had to find a new one, it reminded me of that time a few years ago when my blog got hacked and every time anyone entered the URL it sent them to some Russian art selling website. I had given passing thought to figuring out how to save blog posts before that - I knew that even though it seems like anything you put on the internet can be permanent when it might destroy your life, if it's something you actually want to have access to forever you can't necessarily count on it always being there. Anyway, it was a horrible feeling not being able to get to my blog. I went to the Blogger help forums and actually figured out how to find the bad code and erase it - I still can't actually believe it worked. Thank goodness it happened before perimenopause, because if the same thing happened now I think I'd just cry for a week and let it all go. Wait, no, I'd cry for a week, make my husband try to fix it, THEN let it all go.

Blog Picture from 2009


So I started saving blog posts, a month at a time. I've been blogging since January 2009, so that's, like, a hundred and... okay, twelve times... a lot of months. Plus, man, I used to blog a lot of times in a month back when I was all new and bright-eyed, with ideas and energy and a pre-menopausal vocabulary. 

Blog picture from 2010


I've said before that rereading my old blog posts makes it abundantly clear that I made the right call picking up blogging rather than continuing trying to write fiction. When I read my old fiction I am a literal convulsed ball of cringe. When I read my old blog posts I actually want to make friends with myself. Mostly. There are a couple of times where I clearly thought I was being terribly witty and it fell flat, and a couple of not-entirely-un-racist things I had to fix. But often I laugh literally out loud at myself, which is breathtakingly egotistical and yet hugely gratifying. 

Blog Picture from 2012


There were also a few broken links, and I was a bit chagrined about that at the time - like, how dumb was I, thinking they would be there forever? Then recently I read one of those really long internet essays by Anne Helen Petersen, the kind I usually see and save to read later and never do because, well, they're very long, and I don't love reading on a screen for that long. But I did read this one - exhaustively, followed all the links, went down a major Taylor Swift rabbit hole, watched a video for this song, which apparently was 'faux empowerment', and I guess I can see why, but damn it's catchy. And what do you know, some of the links went nowhere. I decided that it's kind of just part of the whole internet experience, and sometimes blogging reaches into the future and sometimes parts of it are of-the-moment and fleeting. The only time it made me really sad was when it linked to new winter pajamas I'd bought for the kids and I couldn't see what the patterns were anymore. I fixed the links I could and moved on.

Get it? It's a picture of a picture of my blog.

Sometimes I moved paragraphs around so there weren't big blocks of text. Sometimes I fixed a typo (I pride myself on being a good proof reader, but I also know it's really difficult to effectively proof read yourself, and omg, so many damned typos, wah, no, terrible). Sometimes I edited a bit to be more clear or funny, and then sometimes I wondered if I was creating anachronisms. I said "spoiler alert" for something in a post in 2009, and was 'spoiler alert' a thing in 2009? How married am I to maintaining authenticity? Well not at all if that means not fixing the typos. 

Blog Picture from 2013


Then there were the comments. Omg, the comments! Seventeen on one post sometimes! I had to double check that none of them were spam - NONE OF THEM WERE SPAM. This was where the broken links were really upsetting - there were these fabulous, funny, supportive people that I used to interact with weekly, and they would leave awesome funny comments and they would comment on each other's comments and it was so convivial and now they're just... lost to me forever? WTF is up with that? Honest Betsy? I LOVED Honest Betsy. And Gwen. And Bridget. Where did they go? And how could they not leave a forwarding address? Do these people not get how codependency works? Why are they so bad at it?

Blog Picture from 2014


It's a strange experience, going over the high points (or low points, or weird points, whatever was bloggable) of the last twelve years of your life. Some posts I remember clearly the minute I read the first few words. Some I have zero memory of at all - like one of my other personalities guest posted on my blog. 

Blog Picture from 2015


The blogging landscape has changed immensely between that first post and this, my -- holy shit -- one thousand four hundred and forty-eighth. That's okay. A lot of other things have changed too. It's easy to catch up on all the blogs I read regularly now, even if I fall behind, where it used to be almost impossible. Five comments or more is a bounty nowadays, and I am completely happy with that. As much as comments gladden my heart, I never wanted to be one of those giant blogs that gets hundreds of comments on every post. Or if I wanted it, I knew it wouldn't really make me happy. I would try to answer every single comment and make myself insane. I would say something stupid and go viral for stupidity. I would get tired and stop blogging and my hundreds of adoring commenters would turn on me. 

Blog Picture from 2016


I keep writing one more paragraph thinking I'll eventually lead myself to some sort of conclusion, but I don't actually want my 1448'th post to be my longest (although if I went a few more paragraphs we wouldn't be ending on a soft-core frog porn pic. Sorry.) At the risk of sounding like a Grey's Anatomy voiceover, I'm still here. With the rest of you who are still here. And it's a good thing. It's a beautiful thing.

Comments

HI ALLISON.

"Do these people not get how codependency works?"

I have been thinking that I should maybe get my blog printed, but it's such a behemoth, I don't know. It just seems overwhelming. Maybe I should do it piecemeal, I mean, it's not like I'm super busy these days. It could be A Project. It's weird to look back at old blogs and also incredibly gratifying. I mean, we are WITTY AS HELL. Also, it's fun to see what was important to us back in 2011, who even remembers 2011 if you don't have a blog? I love that you're still here. If you didn't have this blog we wouldn't have connected AND THEN WHERE WOULD WE BE. IMAGINE.
Ernie said…
I had to look back at my blog to see when I started. 2013. Feels longer than that. I have yet to hit the 1,000 post mark. Getting there. I cringe thinking about posts being erased, but I would probably cringe more if I went back and read a few of my very first posts. Holy long-windedness. Maybe I should start saving posts, so I can look back and congratulate my present day self on being slightly less wordy. So glad you were able to erase the bad code or whatever that was - I will cry if my blog disappears, but I now know to reach out to you and see if you can help me. You can be my Matt.

Love looking at the old pics. Wish I'd started reading your blog back when you began. If I were you, I too would find re-reading your old posts delightful, witty, and hilarious. If I'm feeding your ego, I'm OK with it. You never disappoint.

I love the co-dependency bit, just like Nicole. Soft porn frog pic was also top notch.
StephLove said…
I look back at old blog posts on the regular. Between that and FB memories, I think it's how I remember my life, from 2007 onward. I also fix typos, sometime typos that have been living peacefully on the internet for a decade or more.

What do you mean when you say save a blog post? I have the text of mine saved in Word files of 50 posts each and the photos in a folder, but do you mean something beyond that? Ever since I lost all my comments from February 2007 to October 2008 (see how I remember the dates without having to check? I was that upset) I've been afraid that parts of the blog or the whole damn thing will go up in smoke someday.

Such cute pictures of the kids!
Busy Bee Suz said…
You ALWAYS make me laugh so I can't see how any of your jokes ever went flat. Ever.
I totally get the co-dependency thing. Like, we were friends for so long, then poof! my friend(s) just disappeared. What the hell man?
Like you though, I'd be overwhelmed trying to follow up with 100 comments or even reciprocating that many blogs to read. I'd be exhausted.
I sometimes go back through my old posts (1474 today!) and I don't remember a lot of them either. Was I out of my body? My mind? Or was I sipping some wine while writing. It's a toss-up.
All that to say, I'm glad you are here and I can't unsee the frog's PDA.

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