almost 5 years
I finally got around to putting the monthly archives back on the sidebar. I removed them originally because I have this nifty by-page navigator and didn't want this big-ass month-to-month archive list on the sidebar. However I said fuggit and put it back. I have it set up in a way now that when you hit an archive link it shows titles only with all the posts for the given month. In fact I used to have my blog like this years ago when I was on my previous blog engine.
Speaking of which, this blog has been around almost five years.
It's gone thru three blog engines: Serendipity (used for a couple of months in 2004), MovableType (2004-2007) and WordPress (2007-present).
Its design has changed at least a ba-zillion times.
It started around two months after Gmail came into existence and almost a year before YouTube existed.
Blog spam didn't exist in 2004 but now obviously it does. This was a huge reason I switched over to WP because of its integrated Akismet. It just goes to show that whenever something gets popular on the internet, it will be spammed. It happened with email, then forums, then blogs, then YouTube comments (where it's still a major problem), then Twitter and so on.
Gone dark, abandoned (archive?)
The most interesting that's happened in the near-five years since I started blogging is how many sites/blogs that have either gone dark (i.e. offline) or have been completely abandoned and serve as an archive until they inevitably shut down.
The last time this site was updated was 2001. Eight eff'ing years ago.
Many of the links on this site have gone dark.
This place is a good archive of really old internet stuff. A good place to start is searching for animated GIF or star trek. You'll see pages and pages of ancient stuff like this one that haven't been updated for over ten years. Think about that. Ten years.
I'm sure Yahoo would love to permanently delete the Geocities service but I'm glad they don't because it serves as a really cool archive of The Internet That Was. No Web 2.0. No video. No blogs. No CSS. Just a bunch of hand-coded really old plain Jane HTML.
MySpace has been around long enough where you can find abandoned blogs easily if you know how to search for them. Search for a major event (such as happy new year 2005), start combing thru the search results and you'll find many abandoned blogs.
Trends that have come and gone or are about to go
Most people think this means an audio-only recording, a.k.a. and audioblog. I agree with this definition even though technically it can mean video as well - but people call that vlogging.
Podcasting was supposed to be the Next Big Thing on the internet but it never really took off. What it graduated towards was audiobook-style.
I have entertained the idea of recording a few podcasts. I didn't before because space was a concern, but since Skydrive offers 25GB of free storage that anyone can access to download stuff, I might give it a go.
Videologging better known as vlogging was the thing to do when online video started gaining popularity. I tried it for a very brief period of time (just one video actually) and said fuggit because it's just too much of a pain in the ass to do. Furthermore whenever you vlog, people will pay attention to everything but what you have to say.
What I mean by this is that if there is the slightest imperfection in the way you look and/or speak, or if where you vlog has any distraction whatsoever - people will hone in on that and completely ignore everything else.
You will notice that in the world of vlogging, pretty well-spoken people (i.e. actors) reign supreme and take extra special care to make sure the background is pleasing to the eye. I'm not one of the beautiful people. Yes I can speak well but doing the whole perfect-backdrop thing is a huge pain, so screw it. It's not worth my time when I can sit down, write and get the same point across.
Vlogging at this point is old hat, extremely lame and plagued by the jump cut. Anyone with a brain realizes that YouTube is nothing but a huge crappy worldwide public access channel. And for those who don't know, your cable TV subscription has a public access channel. Imagine all the crap on there worldwide. That's YouTube.
Microblogging (which is very trendy right now) seemingly came out of nowhere. The most popular microblog site is Twitter. I have a Twitter account and update it semi-regularly.
There are two major problems with microblogging at present.
First, it's overexposed.
A word that describes Twitter in a nutshell is noise. There is a lot of noise on that system, meaning lots of chaos. And there's no way to stop it. Whether a follower or being followed, nobody can keep up with it once you're monitoring over 25 active Twitterers; I don't care who says otherwise. The reason is because the system isn't threaded at all. It's just one big long line of chaos.
Second, the novelty has worn off.
With anything that becomes popular on the internet, it fires up in popularity, peaks and fizzles out. After that you get "lifers" of the system where only the dedicated stay to support an otherwise sinking ship.
Twitter at this point is already becoming dangerously close to that point and there's not darn thing they can do about it.
It will revert back to blogs once again. No question.
Third, it does have an "elite" crowd.
When this happens it's a bad situation, because when the elite decide, "Okay, I've had my fill of this, on to sometihng else..", the site dies a quick death. I have seen this happen on many places on the internet, mostly with forums. When the "cool people" leave, people jump ship right along with them.
It all leads back to blogs - AGAIN
Have you ever noticed that whenever something new/"cool" appears on the 'net that like clockwork they all point back to blogs? It's true. People get e-famous, register a web site and tell their followers, "GO TO MY BLOG!", and they do. Why? Because it's truly the only way of offering any sort of (as far as internet places are concerned) permanence for a presence.
Have you also noticed that every few years there are those who proclaim loudly that "blogging is dead", and every time they're flat-out wrong?