Eight Years of One Man & His Blog

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Worthing Pier from the beach

How time flies. Eight years ago – and at work, based on the publication time – I started this blog. It wasn’t my first blog, but it’s by far the longest-lasting and the one I’m most committed to. And this won’t be my most significant blogging anniversary of the year – this autumn will see me hit my decade of blogging. I will have been blogging for a quarter of my life, which is at once both staggering, and strangely brief, given how central online “personal publishing” as we used to call it, back in the day, has become to my life.

The picture is the closest one I can find to the 5th March 2003 – it was actually taken on the 9th, on Worthing Beach, after we’d been to visit my grandmother, who sadly is no longer with us. Ironically, it’s just down the coast from where I’m sitting now, typing this in our temporary Shoreham Beach residence. And, actually, a lot has changed in the year since my last blogiversary post. My job has evolved. I no longer have the word “Blogging” in my job title, but working with our bloggers is still a big part of what I do. Indeed, we’re about to embark on another round of experimentation with our blogging, which should be great fun. Dr T. and I have made the first step in our great escape from London (the second being rather dependent on someone buying our Lewisham flat). I became an uncle.

And, despite the innumerable stories that hit in the annual cycle of “blogging is dead” stories, it shows no signs of petering out. Indeed, there are strong signs that it’s still growing. The reverse-chronological style it pioneered is driving Facebook, Twitter and even traditional news sites in ever-increasing numbers. Comments are becoming an ever-more expected part of all publishing. (Sadly, I lost the first three or four months of comments on this site, thanks to having to use an external commenting service with Blogger, back when I started.)

In the next few months, I have to make some technology decisions on the future of OM&HB. I’ve stuck with Movable Type for the majority of those eight years, because I’ve never really had a compelling reason to move away. However, the version running this site is aging, and I can’t stick with it for ever. Do I take the (significant) leap to Movable Type 5? It’s not a straight-forward process, the new website structure can cause, uh, complications in the move. But it has some lovely new features, and a clean, attractive interface. Do I make the leap to the open source fork of MT, called Melody? I know and like many of the people involved in the project, but the speed of development hasn’t been stellar.

Or do I finally follow the rest of the self-hosted world into WordPress?

I’m playing with all three, and once MT 5.1 and Melody 1.0 are finally released, I’ll make my choice.

This is the 2,885th post to this blog – which means I’ve added 317 posts over the last year. That’s slightly below my yearly average of 360.6. But it’s not the start of a decline. I imagine blogging is here to stay for a very long time to come, and I’m convinced I’ll be blogging here, in some form or another, right into my dotage…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.