November 10, 2007

Four years of blogging...

I started this blog four years ago and it feels like I've been doing this a long, long time.


Still, it's been an interesting year for the blog.
On this 'blogiversary', a few thoughts and observations...

General impression at 4 years...

What have I learned by the experience of writing and maintaining a blog for four years? For one thing, I've learned that blogs are quite organic things, at least in the sense that they begin and end, and in between, they stretch and change direction and lie fallow and change again. Whether you want them to or not, they evolve.

Blogging itself has evolved - four years ago most blogs were run by individuals.
While most still are, many have morphed into multi person operations and others have been created as part of larger institutions. For example, newspapers are incorporating blogs featuring their main arts writers (i.e. the Boston Globe’s art blog Exhibitionist), and museums are including blogs as part of their marketing and outreach efforts (i.e. the joint blog for the Contemporary Art Museum and Pulitzer Museum in St Louis). Like it or not, the idea of the blog is being absorbed into the mainstream of arts journalism.

In terms of this blog, I have consciously moved toward doing fewer and fewer posts about me and my work, making it less and less a diary type blog. There are several reasons for this but it mainly comes down to what I'm interested in at the moment and for now I'm more interested in doing longer posts on stained glass in general, particularly on windows and subjects that are not being covered elsewhere.

Quick stats and facts -

My website as a whole gets from 7000 to 10000 unique visits a month, with the majority of those going to the two blogs directly. I can't tell how many go to which blog or how much they overlap.

The most trafficed blog post so far is the original post on bottle walls.

In the next month, the drawing blog will reach its one thousandth posted drawing. Yikes.

For Vitreosity, at any given time, I have anywhere from 15-20 posts in draft form, which I add to as I come across more material or as inspiration hits me. Some may never see the light of day. The original bottle wall post entry was percolating for some six months before it found its final form.

I still get the question - What is a blog?


Part of the blogging experience is to have other bloggers link to your site, or to exchange posts.

Some highlights...

Burl Veneer's Tie Blog (just what it sounds like and quite amazing) linked to Vitreosity on September 15, 2006.

I exchanged posts (mine and his) with Zeevveez, a man in Israel who has a Star of David blog. It's great to have this kind of communication with someone so far away.

and perhaps the most curious -
After my post on the Burne Jones Viking Ship Panel, I found this curious culinary blogpost related to it. Never in my wildest imagination...

The future - wish list

I would like to upgrade the look of the blog but probably won't get to it for a few months. October-December tend to be my busiest months. Low priority, but it will happen eventually

I would really really like to bring back comments at some point. When I had a comments section I got hit with so much comment spam that I had to take it off.

As always, I would like to post on a more regular and consistent manner - no gaps of more than a week. It turns out to be nearly impossible unless I do posts and then save them for the busy times. Again, certain months tend to be busier than others so I will likely just have to let this slide... again.

This may be dreamland speaking but, ideally, I would like Vitreosity to eventually evolve into a multi-person or community type blog on the subject of stained glass - along the lines of Drawn (for illustration) or Design Observer (for design). The advantage of this is obvious to me - having a steadier stream of entries, while being able to diversify the perspectives. It would take a good amount of time and some money to get it started, and who knows when the stars may align to make this happen, but I can see it happening some day...

Posted by Tom at November 10, 2007 08:36 AM