What I’ve Learned from 15 Years of Blogging


I started my site in 1999, and I’m currently in the process of clearing out my posts according to these criteria.

Looking at what I used to post has been a jarring experience. You don’t notice changes in yourself because they come gradually. But looking back at your thoughts from 10 or 15 years ago will lay it out for you.

Here are my main takeaways:

  • I was quite raw. Any random thought went online

  • I was more conservative when I was younger

  • I was more willing to flame people, things, and ideas in a young sort of way, which makes sense given my age at the time

  • So many of my posts were not evergreen. They were about my thoughts on a given technology coming out, then on it once it came, and then about how I was leaving it behind. Not super useful when you come back to it a decade or two later

  • I used far too much bold and italic

  • I was really bad at naming things

  • I didn’t use images for posts like I should have

  • Many posts were nothing but an image or link from another site, which of course are now dead links

  • I should never have used things like Posterous to create/host content on a third-party site. Always keep your posts local and under your control. I had to delete over 1,300 posts from Posterous alone

  • My titles were far too long

  • I had hundreds upon hundreds of links to random YouTube videos that illustrated a point I wanted to highlight

  • Never have content on your site that depends on external stuff (as much as possible). Videos expire unless you’re hosting them.

  • The site was much more like a heads-up for anything interesting. Almost like pinterest or twitter is for some people now. It’s what I’m using my Discovered feed for now (see the right sidebar)

  • I used cliche like no there’s no tomorrow (sorry)

  • I used to think Steve Pavlina was cool

  • I used to basically be a live streaming commentary on anything tech that I touched

  • I have a lot of tech history in these 15 years. Showing when Google Calendar launched, the iPhone came out, etc.

  • I need to do less meta (about blogging) and more pure ideas and content. The meta doesn’t age well at all

  • I wrote an obscene amount about Ron Paul

  • Removing Google ads out of stuff is super annoying. Never manually add content to posts again

  • Don’t link out to other things with small comments. Take the idea and explore it completely on the site itself

  • I had literally HUNDREDS of posts on the 2008 and 2012 elections. Obama, McCain, Palin, etc. So many. And so topical and temporary.

Fascinating to see the evolution, and to imagine what I’ll think of where I am now in another 10 years.

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