Inspired by blog archives

What’s the next place you want to visit?

Someone that I know and follow on Instagram posted a story about which cities have you visited. Normally, I’m not a big travel person. I enjoy the delights of what is around me. But my wife loves to travel, so I’m opening up to that idea more.

This list of international cities on Instagram looked like a big bowl of soup to me. I wouldn’t know which one to visit. I’d be happy with any of them. However, one did stick out a bit—Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is where I want to visit

Amsterdam has more than 1,200 bridges. That’s a place I’d like to visit. In Chicago we have lots of moveable bridges in our downtown. I love photographing those bridges. Thus, I think I’d enjoy photographing Amsterdam’s bridges. They tend to look so local and integrated within the neighborhoods.

The blog archive about Amsterdam

I went to blog about this, and it seemed I might have already expressed this idea about Amsterdam. Sure enough, in 2008 I blogged about wanting to visit Amsterdam.

One of the comments on that 2008 blog post is from “design for mankind”: “I WANT TO VISIT AMSTERDAM, TOO! Your blogs are so lovely. 🙂”

What a nice comment. I’m a sucker for anyone that says something nice about my blog posts—even if that comment is from 2008. I rather miss blog comments.

Design for mankind. That sounds so familiar. The website is by someone who now has thousands of followers on social media. Wow. So fascinating to see how people grow out a following.

Her blog and book are about simplyfing your life. That’s always nice. Honestly, I’m not always sure I’m on board with the simplfying notion. I’m a plethora of things. I love the plurality of interests. However, my plurality lacks focus.

And thus, there are less readers for my blog. I think that’s what happens. If your blog isn’t about something, then people lose interest. I’ve always thought the plurality of fun ideas would keep people coming. But I’m not so sure. Maybe I do need more of a focus.

Anyhow, clicking over to design for mankind’s instagram. It’s got lovely photos of simple things. I miss photographing things like that.

Just as I’m on my laptop looking at these things on my screen, just to the right of my screen is this bowl on the table.

It’s casting a lovely reflection on the wood surface.

Sure. I’ll take a pic of that. I think part of my lack of taking pictures of every day things is that I think people don’t care. So then I lose interest sharing them.

Maybe I should just get back into posting things.

Heh. what a cycle. I do that. I post a lot, get excited. But then I get sad when it seems nobody is reading it. Just look at this year. In January, February, March, I posted a ton on Then I kinda fizzled out.

Maybe I’m not reaching out to people enough. Making personal connections.

The biggest thing I’ve been craving is connection. What am I expecting? That post things to some impersonal blog, and expect people to comment? That’s rather self-centered.

I used to be a voracious commenter on people’s blogs. But then people stopped making blog posts. It moved to social media. But there’s something impersonal about replying on Facebook. I don’t know why. It just feels different.

Facebook archives vs blog archives

Replying on Facebook should be even more engaging, because more people can see and interact with the comments. Right? But then it seems Facebook fades off in time.

Granted, blog comments fade off in time too. But here I am, looking at a comment from 2008. Digging into that one comment.

The archive of comments on a personal blog feel more alive than the archive of comments on Facebook.

Maybe because Facebook is a STREAM. It’s continual. Flowing. What is today is today. Then today becomes the past. Forgotten.

Whereas a blog is more like a book. You can go back to old passages. Some people use their blog as a garden, where they update certain pages over time. I’ve thought about that, but I haven’t really gotten into that yet. For now this blog is a book. Or a diary of sorts.

I love looking at my old blog posts where I would publish freely. A one paragraph post? Sure! Why not.

The hidden notepad to encourage posting, and to temper my expectations

To keep that publishing spirit alive, this year I’ve made a dedicated section called the “notepad” where the posts don’t get put to the email newsletter. They don’t appear on the RSS feed. I make the posts in the notepad for me. They don’t appear in my email newsletter, so I don’t feel the pressure to write for someone.

Most importantly, the notepad lowers my expectations that people WOULD respond. When I publishing something really interesting, I ALWAYS think, “oh people will love this” and then—Zip—zero comments. Then I get sad.

So now I use this notepad to publish things. Right now I’m being more open and frank than I normally would. I’m being vulnerable. But it’s on my notepad, so people will probably not read it much anyways. And if you are reading it now, thank you. That’s wonderful. And I love you for reading it.

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