From the email:
This is the tenth year of the BlogHer conference (coming up in just four short weeks! Are you going?), and to celebrate this milestone, we've made DECADE the theme of July's NaBloPoMo.Follow over the jump for the announcement on the Nablopomo webpage and my comments.
A lot can change in ten years. Take a second to think back ten years ago: What did you know? What were you doing? Who were the most important people in your life? And then look at now. See? Pretty different.
It's not just our personal lives that change drastically over a decade. Look at the state of the blogosphere. Ten years ago, 32 million Americans admitted to reading blogs. Ten years later, Wordpress alone has over double that number of people writing blogs, and there are millions upon millions on other platforms. We've gone from general diarists to experts, published books, and generated ad revenue. For some, blogging is a hobby or free therapy, while others make their livelihood on the screen.
Ten years. One decade. A lot of change.
Celebrate the Decade with July's NaBloPoMo.
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?I'm a male blogger, not a female one, and the emphasis on this blog is what's happening now and coming up a decade ahead, not ten years ago, but I'll play along. After all, it's worth looking back at what I was doing a decade ago. One of the things I wasn't doing was blogging. I didn't start doing that until November 2005 on LiveJournal. Instead, I was posting to Usenet and to discussion boards, neither of which I'm doing now; blogging and commenting on other people's blogs has replaced that. Still, I have been writing online that whole time. In fact, I've been online since January 1990, when I got my first account at the University of Michigan. That means that next year will not only be the tenth anniversary of my beginning to blog, but the twenty-fifth of my being online. I'm looking forward to celebrating both occasions.
10 years ago, if you wanted to find women bloggers online... well... it was hard. Sure, women were obviously writing, but the vast majority of people couldn't find them unless the writer won a Bloggie or got quoted in Glamour in a cutting-edge article on this newfangled thing called "blogging." Just to set the scene, in 2004, the most popular website was Yahoo, Facebook wasn't even on the map, and Merriam-Webster made "blog" the word of the year. By the next year, 32 million Americans would be reading blogs. Time magazine stated in a 2004 article,
Men may have taken the lead in the early (read: geeky) days of blogging, but that's not the case now. According to a survey of more than 4 million blogs by Perseus Development, 56% were created by women. More bad news for the boys: men are more likely than women to abandon their blog once it's created. Call blogging a 21st century room of one's own.
So... where were the women bloggers?
That was the question Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins asked 10 years ago when they created this site and threw the first BlogHer conference, bringing together about 300 bloggers and blog readers. Suddenly, we knew how to find Elise Bauer and her recipes, or Jenn Satterwhite and her never-ending need for coffee, or Erin Kotecki Vest and her political viewpoint. In other words, they found the women online, rounded them up into a centralized space, and opened the door for millions of other women to realize they had something to say and add their voice to the conversation.
That's what we're tackling this month with NaBloPoMo: a decade of conversation, a decade of ideas, a decade of change, a decade of words. In ten short years, many of us have developed computer skills we could have never imagined mastering. I, for one, am shocked beyond belief that I can self-host a site and don't need to use a cheatsheet anymore to write HTML tags. We've seen blogging open the door to opportunities we never imagined would be possible. We've made intense friendships, had our viewpoint blown wide open, and virtually traveled the globe through people's words.
So we're going to take a month to look back at the last ten years; as it applies to blogging and as it applies to other aspects of your personal life.
So, did I follow the advice from the email--"I hope you'll join me in looking back on the last decade"--and the website--"Sign up for July's NaBloPoMo and let's look back on a decade?" Yes, I did. In fact, I'm ninth on this month's blogroll, the highest I can remember. It was enough to get my blog two visits from that page yesterday, the most I can recall in one day from Nablopomo. I'd like more of that.
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