Five Years

Seems kinda hard to believe it, but this blog was started five years ago. It’s interesting to look back and see both how the content and my approach to the blog have evolved.

Originally it was created with the idea of sharing my experiences as a recent arrival to Montréal and also as an effort to reach out to others in the same situation. That first year or so was basically a brain dump of the many thoughts and observations I had in the 20 months between moving here and starting the blog. About six months after beginning, Chris “Zeke” Hand stumbled across it and introduced me to the YULblog community of Montreal bloggers. I quickly became active in both attending the monthly get-togethers and also following other YULblog bloggers. I met a lot of great people who I’ve become friends with (and are likely the only people reading this post).

In that early time with the blog I, like many other newbie bloggers, was obsessed with my statistics. How many people are reading and from where? That along with the number of comments seemed to give some validation that what I was writing is worth the effort.

After most of the brain dump of observations of Montreal were written about, I began to actively observe life in Montreal. As you become more familiar with any place, you get a better understanding of how things work. You take an interest in the politics and the government. So many of the posts following that first year reflected that. It also became my space for expressing opinion or observations of life in general. Plus there were many posts sharing ideas, experiences, and ideas between my fellow bloggers.

Also as time progressed, my intended audience changed. Although I do often post for a general public audience, I know that for the most part it is primarily a loyal audience of friends and family. So for most posts my intention is to share things with those friends and family.

Then the time I had available for blogging began to erode. Looking back now it has not been that the time I have had available to blog was reduced, but rather taken up by other online activities. In an odd sense, it is partly due to the influence of fellow bloggers (well the online society actually) who introduced me to other avenues such as Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook.

In the case of Flickr, it reignited my interest in photography in a big way. The reason that I stopped taking photos back in college was because I didn’t feel that I had anyone to share them with and much less on a regular basis. I have had a blast to share not only photos that I take today, but also those that I have taken in the past. Flickr is also quite special for it’s social aspects. I’ve come in contact with people from all over the world and met many of them in person.

In regards to Twitter and Facebook, they have both taken the place of blogging more for time than content. They are like having a watercooler with people you know at your demand. You can either briefly share your thoughts or share links of things you find interesting. While the former is not something you would normally put on a blog, the later would normally include your thoughts on the matter.

Taking a step back, it’s quite amazing the affect this blog has had on my life. All of the people that I’ve encountered and become friends with. It has given me a better understanding of life here from the anglophone viewpoint. Before almost all my contacts were francophone. I’ve also come in contact with people from all over the US and the world. I’ve been reintroduced to an former hobby that has become a passion. And like many I’ve been reconnected from people from my past. That has taken me back to remember where I’ve come from and rekindled many memories. It has transformed my interaction with the internet from being an observer to being an active participant.

So where does this leave the blog. Postings have been quite sparce over the last few months if not the past year. Something that both Twitter and Facebook do not have, or at least not in the format I’m used to, is the space for long deep involved thoughts, memories, and observations. And obviously a post like this is representative of that. Of course the links to the posts will be shared on Twitter and Facebook, but this is the space for those thoughts, memories, and observations. They can’t replace that. The trick for me is to pull myself away from the tickertape of Twitter and Facebook and set aside time to express those thoughts, memories, and observations. I hope I will be successful and continue to see you all back here often.

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~ by Frank on February 21, 2010.

3 Responses to “Five Years”

  1. I adore your blog so much I am giving you the Beautiful Blogger Award! Check it out on my blog and then pass it on!

    http://doubleshotofexpresso.blogspot.com/

  2. Congrats on the five years. So true about how it changes over time. I haven’t checked my stats in ages. And I’m distracted by the tickertape too. My five years is coming up in May.

  3. Hey Lisa. Thanks for the award. I appreciate that you like the blog.

    Thanks, torn. Funny, I figured yours was older than mine. I still find it bizarre how are lives have been similar in many ways.

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