Ten years ago today, I started a subsection on my Angelfire website dedicated to the Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers character Monterey Jack to just act as a sort of online journal. The first entry consisted of a picture of my head from my mission (seen above), a description of a random murder mystery thing happening that day, some rambling about starting a blog, and a quote from President Boyd K. Packer about music that I used to have on my AOL Instant Messenger bio.
Now, my face is a bit older and chubbier, my Angelfire site is basically gone, I haven’t been active in the Rescue Rangers community for several years (ever since it became obsessed with My Little Pony), Pres. Boyd K. Packer has passed away (this actually happened, like, last week; they haven’t even had the funeral yet), and I probably haven’t used AOL Instant Messenger for about ten years. But this blog has kept chugging along, though the entries have gotten far longer and more sparse since the beginning.
The last time this blog had an anniversary (five years ago), I mostly took suggestions from readers and did a completely random post. During the first five years most of my posts were fairly short and random: small thoughts, online quiz results, pictures I liked, and so on — basically, everything that people do on Facebook now (here’s a good example). In a post-Facebook world, however, those kinds of posts dried up and moved to social media, so instead of short pictures or fun little things, this blog evolved into giant essays, mostly regarding dating, religion, and/or philosophy derived from video games.
It’s kind of interesting, for me at least, to go back and look at some of those earlier entries. I haven’t felt like I’ve changed a whole lot over the years, but reading the stuff I was writing ten years ago definitely shows a younger viewpoint. Some of the problems I was having are still the same then as they are now (singlehood, in particular, has always been a staple topic of this blog), though my approach to them has definitely matured over time. Compare an early entry where I was mooning over Kim Isom like a lovestruck puppy (even though I still never contacted her literally until her wedding reception), to a recent entry where I finally decided to be proactive in my dating life. True, I’m still single, but I like to think that at least I have a more mature outlook about it now.
I think the biggest shift occurred around this entry (the post right after the five year anniversary, interestingly enough) which is when I finally graduated college. Nearly every entry after that is a big long analysis of something, whether it be gingers, Glenn Beck, reactions to terrible robberies, LDS culture and alienation (if you really want to know why I’m taking a break from the Church, that article is a good starting point), or even an in-depth analysis of why I make in-depth analyses. Not that nothing before that date was philosophical or rambly (or both), but I seem to have focused a lot more on that for the latter half of the life of my blog so far, which is also why I’ve made a lot fewer posts in the past five years than the previous five (44 posts after that one vs. 202 before, not counting the 64 posts that I copied from my childhood journal).
In any case, I’ll continue blogging on occasion into the future, mostly about topics that will probably not be of any interest to the vast majority of readers, but sometimes about raw emotional experiences that change people’s viewpoints about either me or the world. Pretty much just like how my life usually goes.
To close, here are some random stats (at least since I moved to WordPress in 2007):
- 29% of my views have occurred on Saturdays
- I’ve had over 80,000 views from nearly 16,000 unique visitors
- The most views I ever got on a single day was March 20, 2013, when I got 1,062 views. This is especially baffling as I didn’t publish anything that month, and my most recent post at the time was a fluff piece about the TV show Arthur.
- My top five commenters have been (in order): Johnathan Whiting, Kjersti Parkes, Marné Lierman, Haley Greer (now Smedley), and Nate Winder.
- My most popular post: The Third Date Dump, with 12,033 views. I guess I coined a phrase? Or is it due to the link to an article on oprah.com that’s in it? Yeah, probably the second one. It’s still pretty impressive, especially since it was posted years after the runners-up:
- My second most popular post: the results of my Myers-Briggs personality test, with 11,918 views, though more than 9,000 of those were in 2010, probably by people just looking for the test itself, or possibly just a picture of Michael Jordan or Frederic Chopin (since 2012 it’s averaged about 55 views a year).
- My third most popular post: Mickey Mouse trying to commit suicide, with 4,922 views. I don’t quite know what to make of that.
- My fourth most popular post: The meaning of Tarantella, with 3,127 views. Probably mostly from students studying the poem in classes.
- Fifth and beyond are pretty close to call.
Happy tenth anniversary, blog.