So apparently as of May 1, my blog has existed for one year. I think the appropriate blogging response to one's blogiversary (a term I'm confident will be added to Merriam Webster shortly in the tradition of "mouse potato" and "google" as a verb), is to acknowledge it with some sort of fanfare. Unfortunately, I just now noticed. Hopefully, my readers won't mind a little slightly late celebratory blogging.
It's not a party until there's fire.
I've never been much for anniversaries in relationships (although perhaps this comes from being an unmarried person). While peers proudly celebrated their first month together or 6-month anniversary, I would always vaguely acknowledge "Oh him? Yeah, we've been dating for a couple of years." This came partly from never knowing how people really pinpointed their first date from all the other friendly hang-outs and partly from not really focusing on the passing of time. But while boyfriends have never been concerned with my lack of drawing attention to a date where the onus is apparently on them to buy flowers and make dinner reservations, I feel Astorian Dream would be sullied without formal recognition. After all, I consider it an accomplishment that I could maintain fairly regular bi-weekly posts for a whole year. Yes, it's true, said posts may have been of varying length and quality, and I might have borrowed from previous work from time to time, but the quantity of output, if nothing else, was consistent. So many of my writing projects fizzle out when I lose interest or get busy with other things, but with Astorian Dream I've persevered despite not having a real theme, flagging readership at times, and occasional instances when I'm writing just for the sake of posting something.
So now that I've established the need to celebrate, I'm not sure what form the festivities should take. I could recap this year in blogging I suppose, but that seems like those lame "flashback" episodes in sit-coms that no one really looks forward to. Plus, I just did it a few months ago. Instead, I'm just going to give you a few thoughts and reflections--truth sprinkles, if you will--on my year of blogging.
Celebrating. First Thanksgiving-style.
1) I can't figure out why I don't get any spam. I allow unmoderated comments from unregistered users, and yet I've never had to filter anything. I'm not complaining or anything; I'm just surprised. I can't write an email or log-in to facebook without seeing ads for everything from designer handbags to information on egg donation (the advertiser's have me pegged as a hip, fertile 20-something), so it seems curious that my blog is the only spam-free corner of the Internet. I like to think of it as the last frontier. I hope it stays that way another year.
2) When I first started blogging, I was more concerned with personal anonymity. In my last blog, I almost never posted photos of myself and always referred to people I referenced as "friend." I started off that way here too, but I've relaxed my standards a lot. I've mentioned people by name (or obliquely referenced them in thinly-veiled code) and posted dozens of photos of myself (even some less than attractive ones). Since the majority of my readers know me personally, anonymity seemed a little silly, and for those who don't know me personally, I don't think I've revealed anything that would benefit a proper identity thief. The only standard I've really maintained is that I try not to post pictures of other people without their permission. Except for Al Pacino, of course. His people never got back to me, but I assume he's cool with the exposure.
This photo succinctly expresses how I feel about blogging and celebrations.
3) Throughout this year, I've noticed that I tend to write more with my specific readers (the ones I know about anyway) in mind, instead of for myself. This makes sense in that if and when I want to write purely for myself, I don't publish it online. But it also means I place probably too much emphasis on the feedback I do or do not get. If a post doesn't get any comments, I sometimes feel like it was a failure, when in reality it might just be that I didn't leave much to comment on. I notice this is particularly true when I post about Astoria. I know that most of my readers don't really care about extremely localized news about my neighborhood, but my blog name compels me to keep throwing these things out there in the hopes of local readership.
4) Sometimes I wonder if James Franco ever googles himself and finds my blog. In my heart of hearts, I know he likely lacks the time.
5) In the last year, I've written 91 posts (an average of 7.6 per month). I've had about 9,000 pageviews (although I feel like about half of those are me), thanks to the handy "stats" feature I just now noticed blogger has. It also tells me that my most frequently read post is this one that I did last month on world travel. I assume it's because I filled it with images I got off the Internet, so a lot of people were led there by google image search. Nevertheless, I'll take what I can get. To that end, I've filled this post with completely random images I found by google image searching "celebration." The one below is my favorite.
So that about wraps up this toast to Astorian Dream's one year. May we have many more years together to come!