This Thing Still On?

I have no idea if anybody is out there reading this, but welcome back, one way or another.

The topic came up the other day with some friends and coworkers about some of our “back in our day” younger exploits and the topic came up of the things we used do and say online back in the early days of the web. I was starting to talk to them about this blog I used to manage and how I used to post all the time. I used to get quite a bit of traffic back in the day (usually was averaging 3000-4000 unique visitors per day, which was a big deal back then) and was pretty influential in the space.

Then I began to think about it and got a little sad. I used to write on this site nearly every day. I loved writing, and I loved reading other individual’s blogs on their own sites. I loved to ask questions, and I used to be a pretty sought-after source in local media and in the local blogosphere for … well, a bit of everything.

I also remember before social media took over the world and there were just bloggers writing on their own sites, browsing their own blogrolls, commenting and sharing each other’s content. It was social media before there really was what you’d define now as social media. I tire of reading people’s content via current social media sites like Facebook or the like — it just makes me feel like it’s Facebook’s content, not their own (which I’m sure, if you read their T&Cs, it probably is).

I ran some numbers on what I had written on here before I mostly moth-balled it when I changed jobs years ago (a company I still work at, just in different roles than previously).

  • 612,864 Total Words
  • 6,466 Posts

And at the day job, I’m in charge of their blog, too, and while I’m not really the prolific writer over there that I was here, I’m still spitting out content (this was as of last month when I ran these numbers):

  • 232,771 words
  • 574 posts

If I am able to ever get around to all the stuff I wrote for the Emerald back in the day, I’d easily have over a million words, I’m sure.

Long story short, I miss the occasional outburst of prose. Even if it’s sometimes a bit non-sensical. And even if it was just to dump my thoughts and some links so I would remember them in the future. I started using this site for that over 20 years ago, and then stopped when real-life got in the way a bit.

I hadn’t touched this site much in a over a decade or so, so if I was ever to be able to dump verbiage again, it needed to be functional again. It was running an old, non-functional and horribly-out-of-date copy of Movable Type, and I figured I should at least get it back up and running on something if I’m ever going to write on here again. Since there was still a functional MoveableType to WordPress Import Tool, I figured I’d give that a shot, and it mostly went OK. After a lot of .htaccess redirects and various SQL search and replaces to clean up the import, the data was mostly in-place. Then just tracked down a quick and dirty (and fast) WordPress template (nice and boring, which was appropriate for here), and now it’s mostly back up and running again. There are still a bunch of random images and thumbnails that aren’t being embedded properly and pop-ups to the full image that don’t work. But I’ll get there and fix it eventually.

In looking through everything I’ve written over the years, it’s fascinating how much the world (and I, for that matter) have changed. I’ve grown up and realized that having super strong opinions about anything just really closes you off to outside views — which is not a good thing. I’ve changed as a person. The world around all of us has changed. My family dynamic has changed, too, as my wife and I are empty-nesters. My eldest daughter, her husband, and their daughter (with another one on the way) live in Salem. Yup, I’m a grandpa and it’s awesome. My youngest daughter is 20 years old, lives in Eugene, and is in the first year of a PhD Program at University of Oregon’s Institute of Neuroscience. My kids are awesome and the house is definitely quieter (and life is a bit more lonely) when they’re not here. Thankfully my car gets good gas mileage as we’ve been making quite a few trips over the pass to see them.

So I’m writing this today … well, I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I mostly just wanted to make sure things worked properly and brain dump a bit. It’s my 46th birthday today and maybe I was feeling nostalgic, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll continue writing on here or not. But I at least wanted a place to easily be able to do so where I was fully in control of things. Step one complete, step two to come.

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