28 November 2008


Today is the third anniversary of this blog.

It is now three years since I started Notes from underground on 28 November 2005, and in that time there have been 741 published posts (this is the 742nd).

This wasn't by any means my first online blog or journal.

I atarted an online journal at DearDiary at the beginning of the new millennium

I was then invited by Bishop Seraphim Sigrist to join LiveJournal, which I still use as a journal for personal events and happenings.

I then discovered Blogger, and started a blog here, because the Blogger software was specifically designed from blogging rather than journalling. The distinction between blogging and journalling is rather fuzzy nowadays, but a blog, or web log, is still basically a commentary on things one finds on the web, and Blogger had the "Blog this" feature that made it easy to link to web sites and comment on them.

Then Google took over Blogger, and introduced a new beta version of the software, in which many of the features, including "Blog this", no longer worked. At that point, from about October 2006, many Blogger users began moving to WordPress, and when more and more things in Blogger were broken, I myself started a WordPress blog, Khanya, in February 2007, in case it became necessary to move.

At first the Khanya blog was just experimental, just to see what could be done with it, but I began using it more and more, as Blogger remained crippled. Then about a year ago Blogger began to improve again, and many of the features like "Blog this" began working again.

So now I have two main blogs, which I use about equally. This one, Notes from underground, I still use mainly as a blog proper, to comment on other web sites, because the "Blog this" feature makes it easy. So if there is a distinction, this blog is more for news commentary, while Khanya is more for articles and ideas. But the distinction is not by any means absolute, and the choice of which blog I put something in is often determined not by subject matter, but by which one makes it technically easiest to accomplish whatever I want to do.

A lot of stuff that would previously have gone into my LiveJournal now also goes into this blog or Khanya, because they include pictures directly, while LiveJournal only allows one to link to pictures uploaded to a third-party site like Photobucket, which makes it more of a hassle to include pictures.

One thing that seems strange, however, is that even though I use this blog and Khanya interchangeably, the Khanya blog, on WordPress, always seems to attract more readers, as the following graph from Amatomu shows:

And that's in spite of the fact that this blog has been going almost twice as long as the Khanya one, and should thus have been able to gather more readers.

Anyway, it's now three years old, and I wonder if it (or I) will still be around after another three years.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has read it and commented on the posts over the last few years. It's the comments that make blogging worthwhile, and help one to see whether ideas are worth pursuing or not. Well, perhaps I should qualify that by saying intelligent comments. Spam comments, and other comments that have nothing to do with the post and so add nothing to the subject, are worse than useless.


theburningbush said...

Hey Steve!

Any particular reason why you have three different blog sites?

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Congratulations, Steve. Your story slightly gives the lie to the idea that Blogger gets a higher hit count than other platforms because of the Google connection, perhaps...

Macrina said...

Happy birthday!

I must confess that I do rather wish that everyone would use Wordpress, simply because, seeing that I do, I find it much easier to follow comments I make and tags I'm interested in, and I'm also quicker in including Wordpress blogs on my blogroll simply because of the ease of doing so. Presumably Blogger has something similar for its users, so it's a bit like half the world driving on the left hand side of the road and the other half on the right hand side. But, then again, I don't really approve of monopolies, so perhaps it's just as well that there are alternatives.

The Scylding said...

Congratulations, Steve. Yours is one of the blogs that got me to eventually start my own - which will reach its second anniversary soon.

And as you well know, our blogging contact bought other people in my life - people who have been the greatest blessing any friends have ever been in my whole life. For that I will be eternally grateful.

The Scylding said...

BTW Steve, did you see this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7753763.stm

It was brought to my attention by http://melangerie.blogspot.com/

Steve Hayes said...

Burning Bush,

I thought I explained why there were three different blog sites in the post itself!

Steve Hayes said...

Bishop Alan,

Yes - other things being equal (and I think they are), more people seem to read my Wordpress blog than my Blogger one, even though the Blogger one hss been going twice as long.

One thing that may have caused that, I think, was that Google ignored the maxim "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

They were in a great hurry to add lots of bells and whistles to the program, and in the process of doing that, many of the basic features stopped working, and it took them over a year to fix the things they themselves had broken.

That caused a huge migration to Wordpress, and I nearly moved as well. When I started my Wordpress blog in Feb 2007 there were about 600000 blogs there, now there are over 4 million.

Now Google have fixed the Blogger software, but the move the other way is slower. And when there was a glitch with Blogger back in May, I moved my family history blog to Wordpress pronto. They fixed it within a day, but past experience suggested that they could take up to a year to do so, so I didn't want to take any chances, and haven't moved that one back.

Steve Hayes said...


Yes I did see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7753763.stm, or actuially a related story linked from Elizaphanian -- you see you can put links in comments :-)

I actually nearly blogged about it, not because of the story itsel, but because of the message that said "Please turn on Javascript. Media requires Javascript in order to play", which rejoiced my heart, because it shows that the Noscript add-on to Firefox is doing its job, and protecting me from malicious bandwidth-hogging scripts on sites like the BBC that cost me a fortune and enrich Telkom.

BruceA said...

Happy Blogiversary!


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