Some stuff I read on the Internet:
There's a new blog created every second of every hour of every day.
There are more than 700 million blogs, of which all but 70 million are abandoned. Seven million are updated more than a few times a year, 70o,000 are read by more than 15 people daily, 70,000 earn detectable amounts of money, and 7,000, known as "elite blogs," are full-time jobs for the blogger.
By such reckoning, I'm an "elite blogger," which seems like a suitably contemporary thing to be, if a body's gotta be something.
Of course, the above numbers are probably wildly wrong. How would you know? How would I?
However you slice and dice the stats, this has been an unusual adventure. I've known a lot of very smart and good people who've started blogs, and I would say that of the ones I've known, the average number of posts they manage is...four.
After four posts, two things happen: ideas start to get a little thinner on the ground, and the writing starts to seem like rather too much work. So, after four posts, the earnest wannabe blogger takes a short break—which then lengthens into a long break, and then, after a few months or years, it gradually becomes apparent that the blog has joined the abovementioned 630,000,000 others and become an ex-blog.
That TOP is not yet an ex-blog is pretty amazing. Somehow I've managed an average of 1.8357 posts a day for ten years—very roughly 3,000,000 words. That's an interesting coincidence, because when I was invited to a breakfast reception for Saul Bellow just after he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a fellow student asked him how to become a writer, and Mr. Bellow said, "write three million words." When people ask me what I do for a living, I say "I'm a writer."
It still sounds a bit pretentious when I say that, but then, going by the numbers, I've earned it.
A writer was one thing I always wanted to be, so I'm happy.
My sister-in-law Tetiana slices carrots for Thanksgiving dinner, in my kitchen.
Butters has discovered he loves carrots. Photo by HJ.
Photography hurtles onward
The original mission of TOP was to help connect the digital photographers of today, especially new ones, to photography's history and traditions, and to help shine a light on photographic accomplishments. At that I've had only mixed success—writing 1.8 posts a day allows a lot of freedom but, it must be said, prevents a high degree of focus. (I'd love someday to be able to write only two longer, more serious posts each week. A hundred essays a year...ah, leisure!)
Still, photography goes on, and in some ways is more popular and robust than ever, although its hard-won traditions and customs have been partially blitzed by recent developments. But everything evolves, and photography has done so too. The picture above was taken by my talented niece using her tablet—the same one she uses to text her friends, watch TV shows before bed with her father, and play "Crossy Road," a sophisticated variant of Frogger at which she is dismayingly adept. She's just about the same age as TOP. From the perspective of her aging uncle, we're already living in the future.
I doubt TOP will make it another ten years—the Blog Moment has not ended, but it's passing by—but I still intend to ride this horse as far as it will take me. Next step: mobile-friendliness. I'm watching Lynda.com tutorials every day, doggedly, trying mightily to come up to speed for our coming virtual house move. Mastering software ain't my best thing.
More words tomorrow...as ever and always. Thank you for reading, and for your support. See you around.
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Paul Bass: "Here's to the next three million words. Happy Birthday TOP!"
Mike replies: Yikes, and thanks.
Richard: "I only stick around because I'm determined to get those last few printed issues of The 37th Frame you still owe me! ;-) Congrats Mike!"
Mike replies: Yikes, and thanks, again.
Richard Alan Fox: "I read almost all of those three million words, and still want more. Thank you Mike, it has been a real pleasure."
Don Schneller: "My family had a sweet little female dog named Corky once. Every day my Mom would completely peel a carrot for her. Corky would then grasp the carrot between her front legs, and even though the carrot was fully peeled, she would always bite off the tip of the carrot, spit the tip out, and then eat the rest of the carrot. A very fond memory for me. Cheers to Butters!"
psu: "A friend and I managed to pump about one post total per day into a hobby blog of ours for about three years...then a bit less than that for a couple more. Both of us were software developers by day, and it always seemed to me that the difference between us dabblers and 'real' writers was endurance, perhaps a sense for how to be paid for the content, and a maintained interest in the subject matter.
"Interestingly, this is also the difference between pro and amateur photographers.
"Anyway, I still keep my web site around, but only write something into it once a month or so now. That's as fast as I can get an idea that is interesting enough. Congrats on keeping this thing going. I'd never be able to work for myself and don't really understand how people do it. But bravo to those who can."
Bill Mitchell: "Happy Birthday. Some days you 'make my day,' some days you ruin it."