Today marks the first day of the 13th year of Cruftbox. I've been blogging regularly for 12 years now. Like raising children, it seems like just yesterday and an eternity since I started.
I wrote about my feelings after 10 years and pretty much it still all applies. I did do a bit of a redesign, so I feel good that it only took me around two years to do that.
Since then social networks and micro-blogging have accelerated dramatically. It is a very good thing that more and more people are finding their public voice. But what is troubling that so much of the stuff people are writing is basically disappearing. For a vast a majority of posts, that's not a problem since they are about what someone ate for lunch or thought about a movie. But the good stuff also appears to get lost. Either behind a privacy wall, not indexed by Google, or simply deleted by the service provider over time.
For good information to stick around, a weblog is still the best thing around. Searchable, linkable, and usually archived somewhere, it stands the best chance for being useful to someone in the future.
Maintaining a weblog doesn't work against social networks, it works well with them. Linking to your weblog rather than posting a Facebook or Google+ entry is more easy to share, likely to branch into other social networks, and most importantly, you maintain complete control over your words.
No one knows what the future will bring to the Internet and the ways people communicate, but if you want your words to continue into the future, your best bet to have them survive is to have a weblog.
Update: Felt like adding a little more.
Another thing about blogging that an individual can get is wide distribution. As an example, I wrote a little post about making Lasagna Cupcakes. For some reason it hit a note with people and has been read over a million times by people in the last year. Reading the comments on places like Stumbleupon are rewarding when I see people enjoying what I helped share. The post from 2003 about making a smoker from a trash can is well over a million as well. I still get emails from people seeing it for the first time and asking questions.
When was the last time someone got value from a Tweet you made last week, let alone a year ago?
Lastly, thank you to all the Loyal Cruft Readers that have put up with my shenanigans for more than a decade.