Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today, I Am 4

Dessert tray at Habitat, where I lunched with several Pittsburgh bloggers on Saturday.
Photo taken by me, August 11, 2012

Today, I am 4.

(Or, to be more specific, this blog is 4 years old. Today.)

Every year, without fail, I tell myself I'm going to "do something" for my blogiversary (one of those made-up Internet words that I admittedly cannot stand).

And every year, without fail, this day somehow sneaks up on me and I'm caught unprepared.

No giveaway, no poignant pre-written post, no survey, no State of the Blog, no lofty goals or vision for the future.

(In the last four years, I've seen where plans get me. It ain't always pretty.)

So here we are, four years into this blogging thing, still winging it. Four years and 108,004 pageviews and 4,929 comments and 1,428 published posts and another 260 posts lingering in drafts later.

I have a tendency to sometimes not finish what I've started. Despite The Summer of My Unemployment, there are still many unpacked boxes from our move four months ago. There's still an unfinished novel (although it is further along than it would have been without the summer of unemployment). My kids' baby albums are not yet complete.

But that's true of all of us, isn't it, no matter where we are in our life stages and our journeys. Whether we are 4 or 44 or 104, we are all works-in-progress. I certainly am and it is no secret that I have been reflecting on and, yes, sometimes struggling with the direction of the blog.

When I wrote my first post 4 years ago (you can read it here), I wasn't sure what this blog would become. It was intended to be simply a chronicle of the goings on of our life, particularly as it concerned Betty and Boo - the nicknames for my now-10 year old twins. It was a way to keep the long-distance grandparents connected on our everyday doings and especially, to give people a glimpse of our life with autism. (I can tell you that my earliest blogging influences and inspirations were MOM-NOS, who writes so poignantly about her son Bud, and author/blogger Susan Senator, who writes about her family, especially her son Nat.) So many have become inspirations and influences and friends since.

Recently, I've long felt a name change is needed - but to what, and how, and when? In a world that demands that we all (not just bloggers, but especially bloggers) have a personal brand, and that writers like me create a platform on which we can instantly catapult when our books are ready for you to read and to buy, where does that leave an everyday unniched blogger like me who writes about a hodgepodge of things like the books she likes, parenting a child with autism and the funny/poignant things that kid does, the recipes I want to remember, the incredible things I'm still discovering in Pittsburgh, the ways that this city reminds me so much of my beloved Philadelphia, the issues in the news that make me drag out my soapbox and yell "pay attention to this, dammit!"

For now, at age 4, it leaves me right here. Not going anywhere, feeling so incredibly grateful for all of you who take the time to read what I have to say. Whether you're one of the 4,929 comments here or on Facebook, I hope you know that I am so thankful to you. There are so many people I could and want to send shout-outs to, but we'd be here all day, and besides, you probably know who you are. Don't you?

And I have boxes to unpack and novels to write.

One more thing. Since you know how much I love lists, here's the Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts (by pageviews) Since 2008.  (I'm especially proud that #5 and #9 made the list).

1. Announcing the Memorable Memoirs Challenge - Dec. 6, 2010
1,717 pageviews

2. Book Review: Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who are Rewriting the Rules, by Pamela Haag - Feb. 14, 2012
1,187 pageviews

3. Going Gaga for Greyson Chance - Nov. 9, 2010
771 pageviews (This was my all time highest post at one time. The photo has been stolen a lot, too. Still, I happen to be fond of this post.)

4. Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Oct. 21, 2011
748 pageviews

5. For Elaine - Nov. 15, 2010
639 pageviews

6. Introducing the Memorable Memoirs - Dec. 27, 2009
302 pageviews

7. Weekend Cooking: Broccoli Cheese Soup - Jan. 15, 2011
288 pageviews

8. Announcing The 2012 Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge - Dec. 11, 2011
264 pageviews

9. "Mommy, Why Does Baby G. Have to Go to Jail?" - May 25, 2011
190 pageviews

10. I'm Still Giving Away ... 2 Books (GIVEAWAY CLOSED) - Feb. 8, 2011
164 pageviews

Thanks for reading. As some politicians say, here's to four more years.

Maybe even with some changes.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Melissa Sarno said...

Well, I've just found your blog so I am looking forward to four more years! :) Happy Blog birthday! (And I fully understand and support hodgepodge content)

Cindy Smith said...

Happy Bloggiversary to you. Wishing you many more years of bloggiversaries :)

Alex @ Brain, Body, Because said...

Four years is quite a long time to dedicate to a project and something to be proud of! Hoping for many more years of good reads and family adventures :)

Anna said...

Happy blog birthday!!

Belle Wong said...

Happy blog birthday! When I think about the authors whose blogs I like to follow, that's the type of content they post about - snippets of their lives, a bit about their writing, their reading. A real hodgepodge, as you said. I think it's the perfect kind of writer's platform :)

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

Happy blogiversary! As you know, I'm all in favor of mixing it up blog-wise. But if you're thinking of a name change, I always liked this from the tagline you used to have here: "My two cents, on sale." I think it sums up your approach pretty well :-D. Here's to four more years!