Monday, January 21, 2008

Blogging for Two Years

Trust me, I can't believe it either. But since it is a bit of a milestone, I thought I'd take this time to reflect back on my formative blogging years. (Apologies upfront, but please be prepared to see the word, blogging, at least 50x.)

Probably the first thing I learned was that it was "unrealistic" to use "dreams" as a strict theme for this blog. (Here is my first post. Note my first 4 had that word in the title.) More importantly, I realized I didn't really want to limit myself that early. At the beginning, I was using this blog as an experiment, as a way to better understand the space (sphere). Learning is still the primary goal but it has now taken different forms, which I'll touch on later in this post.

The second (in time and second biggest) thing I learned was regardless of theme, it is hard to sustain momentum in posting. At three months I briefly joined the 45% of people that give up on their blog after the initial honeymoon period. See. I think it's safe to say I burned myself out; I had 27 posts in my first month. That was cut in half in the second month, and by month three I was down to 1 post. April was a complete drought, and then I picked back up in May and June (even changed the color of the site) only to stop blogging for about eight months until March of 2007. (So I guess this post should really be titled, "Having a Blog for Two Years.") Anyway, since then I've been pretty consistent on a month-to-month basis.

I got my start contributing to the blogosphere at Fallon's Planning Blog. Specifically, I found my niche in that team was presenting links to the videos, articles, and sites that were being passed around my young "professional" group of friends. The Inbox of Immaturity was meant to give people a quick look into the taste level of twenty-something guys and if not that deep, a quick break from work and the heady posts of others in the plannersphere. Posting almost weekly for the IOI helped me get into a rhythm and develop my voice.

It also inspired the renaming of my blog. No, it wasn't always called El Gaffney. Likely only my parents and a few friends remember the days of Salvador Walleye. My Vonnegut obsession at the time, and the fact that I lived in Minnesota led me there. Man, did I think I was clever! (The renaming post should clarify.)

At this point, I must thank Aki (AKI SYSTEMS 2600) for starting that blog and opening up this world to me as well as being my most helpful teacher of everything Web 2.0. I also must thank Michael for deciding to interview me back then and showing me the potential of blogging for sharing ideas and making friendships.

Honestly when I look back over these couple of years, those have been the two greatest roles my blog has played:

1. A gateway to (trying) new technologies (for ex: twitter,, slideshare)
2. A gateway to (making) new friends (for ex: clay, whom I met in person last week - and confirmed is just as awesome as expected)

I had no idea what a catalyst this blog would become. Blogging has helped me stay interested (and perhaps become more interesting) and get involved in the conversations happening in the advertising industry mostly. And I am proud to have inspired other friends to create blogs.

What excited me most is I realize that I've only scratched the surface of what this blog can be and do. I look forward to more experimentation, learning, entertainment, inspiration (both being inspired and hopefully inspiring), and action. So it goes...with a plethora of pinatas!

(Picture from B-Mel on Flickr)


mikekarnj said...

Two years? Geez! I'm coming up to my 2 year anniversary in a couple of months. I wonder if I'll ever go back and read all of my old posts...

BTW, Adrian Ho called us out with his Nike Plus challenge. Check out the ZJ latest post. Set yours up!

noah brier said...

congrats dude, that's great.

Clay said...

Yeah, congratulations. Salud and all that.

Thanks for calling me awesome. Thus far I've met you, Noah and Johanna and y'all certainly lived up to expectations.

Keep it up.

Eric said...

Congrats man! Thats a huge accomplishment. Looking forward to 2008 and all that is on the schedule.

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

Damn...2 years? That's considered "old school" now. Congrats, Seth. Thanx for the shout outs, too.