January 24, 2007
Six years of Cruftbox

Well, I missed the actual anniversary by 3 days, but six years ago, I started posting on my site as a weblog. I had been posting stuff on my site since 1997 in pure html, but I consider it a weblog when I started using software to post. Initially I used Newspro, since my hero, Lum the Mad, used it.

Take a look at the first postings. Hrrm, I was writing about video games and trends on the internet. At least I'm consistent.

The site came into being in 1997 as a family site, but in June 1998 I started fairly intensive work on detailing the adventures of my guild in Ultima Online. For the next four years, that was the main focus of my online presence. Cruftbox started in 2000, but most of my effort was on things like the Cookie Story, which in it's time was considered hilarious. Just to claim the credit, I was basically blogging about events in a virtual world in 1998. How far ahead of my time was I, huh? ;)

While I wasn't in the elite group considered as the first webloggers, it was still fairly early in the whole weblog thingie to have gotten involved. 1999 was the year that weblogging took off in it's current form with people like Anil Dash and Rebecca Blood getting rolling. Cruftbox sprung into webloggedness six months after them. I've written about my theory of weblog origins, which differs from the idea that someone invented the weblog. Blogger launched in August 1999 and suddenly you didn't need to understand things like CHMOD to have a weblog.

Looking back over the last six years, as you might imagine, I have enjoyed having this site. While I love my work, it does not offer me a great amount of creativity or chance to share what I do with many others. Cruftbox has been a way for me to put smiles on the faces of others. As the Dali Lama says, our purpose in life shoudl be to alleviate the suffering of others. If my weblog can even help a litlte in this manner, it's worth the effort.

Despite what I just wrote, I still stand by my thoughts on why people blog. Even after six years, getting comments and trackbacks make me happy.

Things I've learned about weblogging

People at work will find and read your weblog.
Your friends & family will find and read your weblog.
People you meet will google you and find and read your weblog.

That being true, leads to:

Cruftbox's First Law of Weblogging: Post only what you are OK with your co-workers, friends, family, and strangers knowing.

Consistently, the pages with the most hits are the following:

Loading Windows XP on a SATA drive
The Turduckhen
How to make a Smoker from a Trash Can
Images of GLAT - Google Labs Aptitude Test
Review of USB Coffee Cup Warmer
How TrackBack Works

In fact, the Loading Windows XP on a SATA drive page is the leading by far. Nothing else comes close. Who woulda thunk?

Cruftbox's Second Law of Weblogging: You will never know what will be a popular post on a weblog, so don't try to make posts you intend to be popular.

One thing that weblogs have proved is that a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words. Humans are visual creatures and seeing things is almost always better than reading things. Here's a simple post where the story is OK, but the image is what makes it a good post.

Pictures, images, and graphics really help get your point across. Simply using other people's images doesn't cut it. Original images and graphics are what people want to see.

Cruftbox's Third Law of Weblogging: Make your own images and photos for your weblog, because original visual content is what people crave most.

Lastly, I want to thank you, the Loyal Cruft Reader. Over the years I have made friends with many of you, enjoyed the comments and emails, and loved having an audience to share my fascination with junk food, science, video games, and technology with. Thank you for your support and continued reading.

Posted by michael at January 24, 2007 09:59 PM


But it was just yesterday!

Posted by: Mom [http://momothealert.com] on January 25, 2007 9:05 PM

Been reading your crap since you would post links on the old UO forums. -MM

Posted by: Garen [] on January 27, 2007 1:03 AM

Yes of course it was the great UO stories that made me read you initially, but have continued long after UO(may it rest in peace). Thanks for all the good times. :)

Posted by: DMagee [] on January 29, 2007 1:15 PM

I stumbled upon your site a couple of years ago. Where I work most websites are blocked but for some reason yours is not. On slow nites (usually once a week) I come to your site and read up on your "adventures". I wanted to thank you for interesting reads. Thanks!

Posted by: KY Desk Jockey [] on February 1, 2007 1:04 AM

Well, me and the mortgage spammers appreciate your blog, anyway. Thanks for all the Boston Marathon DVD-Rs over the years. That would never have happened if not for blogging! Hey, I hear you're in Toronto today. Shoot me an email if you're around long enough for a beer.

Posted by: James McNally [http://www.consolationchamps.com/] on February 6, 2007 1:39 PM
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