Question of the day.

When did you join WordPress and when did you start blogging? How did it feel like at the beginning? How much has changed since then?

My answer:

I started blogging when I was 13 I guess, in a programme developed for the blind. It served as a way to get blind people together, or something like that, it was fully accessible of course, people could message each other, there were forums, groups, people could have their sound avatars, it could play a variety of multimedia, stream Internet radio, YouTube videos, had a very simple browser, some audiogames etc. etc. and also blogs. It was very easy to make a blog there, you didn’t have to do much except agree that you want to start a blog and write. No making up a URL, choosing a theme, playing around with widgets, SEO or plugins. It was both good and bad. Good because of course it was easy and fun, very quick and absolutely everyone could blog and pretty much everyone did blog, more or less consistently. You didn’t have to worry about how your blog looks or that something doesn’t work with a screenreader or whatever. Bad, because despite it was built somehow based on WordPress, there was a very slim chance that someone outside of the community, who didn’t have an account there, would find your blog, unless you’d give them the URL address. And you weren’t able to make it more personalised, like adjust things and make them more your own, which would annoy me right now but I didn’t care about that back thenn at all. I started blogging out of curiosity, it felt very interesting and cool to me, and people were telling me I’m good at writing so I thought I could do that well and enjoy it. I did. I wrote mainly about my daily life I guess, and some other silly stuff like logging my dreams, I don’t remember really… I had 3 different blogs there over the years, one after another. The programme was soon left by its developers and it was hanging in the Internet for some more years before they killed it completely, but slowly different features were dying, for example YouTube was gone when YouTube got an update, stuff like Google search and Wikipedia browser followed and so – very slowly – did the blogs since they were based on WordPress so people were migrating to different platforms, seeing that things are getting less and less stable, before their old blogs would disappear completely, or they just stopped blogging altogether.

And that was more or less when I started blogging on WordPress, no idea which year it was but I guess I could be about 17. I’m not sure. I had little to no technical idea how one sets up a blog properly, I don’t think I have it now but the second time round I guess I either had more luck, more help or more determination to do it right. That first time was a disaster and the blog wasn’t even very accessible for myself, let alone for my blind readers, and my readers were mostly blind, mostly people from that old community, because my blog wouldn’t even show up in Google, unless you’d search for its actual name, which wasn’t very generic at all so not many random people would think about that. 😀 It was called Drimolandia, so kind of like Dreamland (it doesn’t mean Dreamland in Polish but I’d say you could call it a polonisation of the English word Dreamland, drim is how you would phonetically spell dream in Polish, and -landia is like English suffix -land, in countries). So, my traffic was just absolutely, extremely, unbelievably low, how low I can fully comprehend only now that I have a (much) better performing blog, seriously, in the whole career of that blog my record daily amount of views was 35! 😀 I think I could also blame Polish WordPress, there is a lot of Polish blogs set up on pl.wordpress.com but, at least from my observations, people don’t get many comments usually, and forget about the kind of community that is in the English blogosphere, with stuff like writing prompts or blog awards (okay I’ve seen a blog award post once). I copy-pasted all my posts from the previous blog I had onto Drimolandia, hoping to expand that further and write new posts over time, but because working with WordPress editor was a really painful, slow process – I don’t know if WordPress was so inaccessible then or if I had such a rubbish theme or what – that I had less and less motivation and finally abandoned it altogether and just left it hanging in the Internet by itself.

Then I joined another blind app which is still alive and being developed, based on that first one in terms of the general idea, created by one of the former users of that old app who is also a programmer. It had blogs too and I was blogging there for virtually a couple months. That was about the time when I started having my wild ideas about having an English blog, and not necessarily, preferably not, in the blind community. I really enjoyed being there and I liked a lot of people, I know many of them in real life from school or other places. And that was fun in a way, and in a way it wasn’t. I’d been thinking for a long time that I actually don’t like the fact that a lot of people there knew me in real life, or knew someone who knew me, that they had their own idea about me and had every right to it of course, and I felt like that was holding me back from making all those blogs what I really wanted them to be and I felt that I had to hold myself back and wasn’t really writing for myself and was censoring myself all the time or I felt very exposed otherwise. Maybe freaky for some, but that’s how I felt about it. Also, I was interested in things, or involved in things, that I wanted to write about, but even when I did, I didn’t really feel it was interesting for my readers and that they got it, because they didn’t feel it. I felt weird, I mean, I know I’m weird and I like being weird and if someone tells me I’m weird I take it as a compliment, but it wasn’t that kind of weird. I wanted to have a wider group of readers and for it to be more likely that someone who can really relate and/or will be interested can read it, whether they will let me know about that and comment or not, so that I could seriously feel that my opening up is useful and pays off somehow. Otherwise I could write in my diary, which I’ve had for years and write freely in it about everything that comes to my brain. Then also all the mental health stuff started to come up to the surface for me and I couldn’t ignore it any longer, some time later I started diving deeper into the English Internet, writing with people, learning more about myself and people in general, finally it felt necessary for me to have an outlet, for all that was going on in my brain, especially the mental health struggles as I had little support then, and that community wasn’t an option for me to write about such private things , and I also felt for other reasons that I needed to leave it.

And that’s how My Inner MishMash started out, in 2018! I’m so glad that I actually did it, and made this idea come true, it was beneficial to me in so many ways. I wonder now if I have written a post on that, if not, one would definitely be necessary at some point. My Inner MishMash was born on January 24th, but more officially on January 26th, as I was setting it up for 2 days, I was so scared not to screw it up! 😀 I don’t think it has changed very significantly over those two years (though maybe it’s different from a reader’s perspective?), other than when I sometimes look back at my older posts I can see that my English has improved a bit more and I have developed a bit more of an individual writing style, though it’s still very far from my very characteristic Polish writing style and sometimes I feel like that sucks, but I guess such things take time. On the other hand, as I’ve said many times, I feel much more emotionally expressive in English so everything has its good and bad aspects.

How about your blogging? 🙂

15 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

  1. I have been blogging many years. My first blog was a deaf blog, which I started in 2008 here on WP, but before I came here with it, I was on blogger.
    I had that blog running until about a year before I started this one, when I decided to close the deaf one down.

    While writing my deaf blog, I had another one for my cat Lady and I wrote it like it was coming from her. My friends said they learnt more about me via that one.
    It was fun to wriite and I did that one for about 2 years, before closing it down, as I felt it was a bit too much writing two blogs.
    My current blog I have been writing since 2016 and like my deaf blog was, it’s a place to air what I feel. But I feel I share myself better with this one. It also does better I feel than my deaf blog did, viewing wise and commenting.
    I never thought my current one I would be writing as long as I have done. But I am still here.

    I have enjoyed reading this post about your time in blogging and I have to say in the time I have been reading and following your blog, you have very good english.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that sounds like you have a lot of experience in blogging, especially that you’ve had quite distinct blogs in different niches.
      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this post, and thanks for your kind feedback about my English. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s that good that I actually thought you were english. 🙂
        Yes, I have had some years of experience blogging and they have all been good in some way the past blogs I have written. But I think my time with my current blog wjth exception when I wrote my cat blog, as that was fun, that this current blog I write has been more better for me, in a positive way.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Haha, that’s great! A lot of people seem to think so these days. I was quite fluent already when starting this blog but it has definitely helped me to use English more effortlessly.
      I’m glad your blogging experience has been so positive. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I started with an online diary on DiaryLand in 2002 or 2003 when I was 16. I think I had several in fact before starting my last DiaryLand diary. It was simply called Astrid’s Diary or something. I moved that one to WordPress in February of 2007, also importing (well, copy/pasting) some posts from the various diaries I’d had on other diary sites. My first entries dated back to October 2002. I had no idea about WordPress when I joined and did practically everything re SEO wrong. I ran that blog till sometime in 2011, then ran Blogging Astrid (my current “old blog”) from 2013 till 2018 and then started my current blog. That is, I had briefly had a blog on this URL in like 2011 too and closed and restarted it several times.

    By the way, 35 views a day is about my average now, so now I feel discouraged as you say that’s extremely low. I don’t mean to offend you, of course, since you weren’t meaning to say anything about other bloggers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve had a really long history withh online diary and blogging, that’s great! 🙂
      Oh, no, of course I didn’t mean to say anything negative about anyone! I’m no guru at blog statistics, in fact I’m the last person you could go to for any sort of advice involving anything to do with numbers, and I wouldn’t like you to feel discouraged because of something so subjective. My current blog isn’t performing nearly as well as some bloggers I follow, though I’m trying to be rather lax about it, but what I was basing my opinion on was simply and only the fact that my daily record amount of views on this blog is quite significantly higher than on that Drimolandia one (and 35 was my record amount of views there, not average per day, but most views ever, I considered myself lucky to get more than 10 during a day, and Drimolandia was out there for more years). I think for an average amount of views per day 35 is decent, though as I said I don’t feel an expert and it’s subjective, I don’t think I’d feel too bad with that as average per day as long as I do get some visitors who would engage with my blog in any way, but for a record amount for a 4-or-so-year-old blog, that seems rather little to me.
      I hope you won’t put yourself down because of that too much. At least seeing it from a reader’s perspective I can see that your blog is performing way better than my Drimolandia did and you have far more engaged readers, likes and comments than I did on there.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s so wild that you’ve been blogging since you were thirteen! I had a diary at that age, but there was no internet! 😀 The times sure have changed!

    I think I started blogging at some point after I moved home from Georgia, where I had the job that pretty much made me go crazy; but I’m not sure when it was, exactly? I moved home in 2005 and started blogging at some point after that. My first blog, which was two blogs ago, was just filled with anger and rage. It made sense, if you knew my life then. In good news, the Idiots (as I called them, and I have to say that sounds mean now) were writing Ann Landers’ advice column. Their advice was so colossally bad that I had blog fodder out the wazoo. They quit their advice column many years ago, and now it’s headed by Annie Lane.

    I find her column rather dull, but in a broad sense, she’s so much better than the Idiots were. (Yeah, that still sounds mean. I was really angry back then!) So it was helpful that I had their column to latch onto and criticize.

    Then I switched to my most recent blog, and then I ended it and started my new blog. I think it’s good to start fresh, because sometimes I worry that I’ve shared too much personal info, and it’s not like I can always go back and catalogue it. I blog too often!

    Fun question!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve had quite a long blogging career really if you’ve been blogging since more or less 2005, that’s really cool.
      I quite like the idea of getting rid of your anger and frustration by criticising an advice column, about what no one probably would care very much or take it personally anyway, even if someone associated with the column had found your blog, rather than pouring your rage out on the actual people in your life who made you feel this way.
      Well yeah, judging from the bits from those various advice columns you posted on your previous blog, I’d say Annie Lane was the most dull, quite impressively dull at times. The Idiots had to be really bland then. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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