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12 Year Blogging Anniversary at WordPress.com

The other day I got this in my WordPress notifications:

It got me to thinking about my blogging and how it has evolved to get where it is today. So many posts have been written and more than a few have been lost over the years and because of many moves between different sites.

While this is not my first blog post it is one of the first weekly reviews and though I started on Blogger, I moved between it, self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com several times over the years. To the consternation of many of my “followers” who had to constantly keep updating my web address. To those of you who stuck with me through all the changes, all I can say is thank you.

Although I have to admit when I started, I was not nearly as verbose.

October 28, 2007

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS – 10/25/10 Week #2 Shaw2.0

Well it has been an interesting week in learning about Web2.0! I have bookmarked many 2.0 web resources and joined several sites that interested me, but didn’t have time to learn the complexities or intricacies of individual websites. One that really intrigued me and seemed to present a lot of information is Classroom2.0 http://classroom20.ning.com/

It is based on Ning Networks and had several forums that I was interested in and the way the site was setup was very appealing to me. So I have made it a part of my homepage start up in iGoogle.

I found some really interesting sites that I will need to learn more about, but seem like they will help me a lot in the future (especially once I get to know them better):

http://preview.getbuzzword.com/
http://www.scrapblog.com/explore/explore.aspx
http://twblive.org/
http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/


These are only a few of the sites and stuff that I have learned this week. I still feel very overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that is out there, but with the help of Craig (Tech guru at school), I might just slow down enough, to put it into practical use for my students.

I have initiated a blog that my class can use next week.


http://shaw-english-topics.wikispaces.com/message/view/home/1431665?o=0#1445275

It gives the weekly vocab words and an idea that we are going to use Mummymaker to encourage reading and then blog entries on how you make a mummy to practice writing skills.

Not all the students have internet access at night, so I will continue with pen and paper homework for now, but I can see that going away by the end of next quarter :).

Well that’s all, as I improve in this technology adventure, I am sure that I will spice up my blogs with things I never heard of or at least didn’t realize what they really were before 2 weeks ago.

Thanks again Craig for all your help and guidance and yes I will be bugging you a lot…you’ve created a fledgling techno monster. I really like this video from Taylor Mali watch it and let me know what you think.

Lots of memories in that post to say the least.

When I first started this blogging journey of mine, I was a Special Education teacher at Good Will Hinckley’s Averill/Alfond Schools. The tech guy at the school and I were interested in looking into this new thing called social media and increasing technology use in the classroom. We just needed to figure out how we could introduce our students to it.

Blogging seemed like a good place to start and I jumped in with both feet. At first the blog was about teaching and education, with a focus on Special Education and technology in education, since that was my job. Unfortunately, I never found blogging to work that well for my students in the classroom, but for me personally, I loved it.

Then when I switched jobs it became a bit about volunteering, AmeriCorps and other stuff that interested me like my running, technology and some general life things.

When I went back to teaching (I figured out that I didn’t enjoy being a bean counter), I jumped into the edublogging world with both feet. My focuses for the next couple of years was Special Education, Technology use in the classroom and whining about Standards Based education reforms.

Somewhere along the line, I injured my right knee, gained 50 pounds, was stressed out all the time from teaching, but blogging was helping to keep me semi-sane. It was an outlet that allowed me some respite and a chance to carefully reflect on what was going on in my life.

Because I couldn’t walk without a cane, I decided to have knee surgery in May 2011 and while recovering from that I went back through and re-read all the blog entries from the previous year.

The posts showed a decline in health both physically and mentally to the point where I had become morbidly obese, with a gray pallor that indicated my time on this blue marble was not going to be all that long. Yeah, I was a massive heart attack waiting to happen.

My blog posts from that time period showed a man in torment and misery. At that point, the wife and I decided that my health was more important than staying as a teacher. I resigned my teaching position and took the next year to regain my health.

I won’t say that blogging saved my life, but it sure as hell showed me how badly and quickly my health was declining. It was the proof that I needed to take care of myself or I would become just another statistic.

After teaching I started to write about simple living and how we were setting up our little 8 acre wood for self-sufficiency. However, life was more about me regaining my health and I started to write more and more about getting healthy again.

Now I did not have any initials after my name and still don’t, so I am not an expert on being healthy or how to get healthy, but I am an expert on one thing – me.

So I my blog became more and more focused on writing about my journey back to being healthy and the goal of running the Marine Corps Marathon 30 years after I had finished in 1983.

It was during this time that I was getting delusions of grandeur in my head about becoming a professional blogger/writer. I had gotten invited to be a blogger at the inaugural Runners World festival in 2012 and that event pushed the envelope for me.

I got picked up by a major corporation to be a featured health blogger. However, I found that some of the expectations didn’t quite match my sense of ethics from over 20 years in the military and when I could not reconcile the two…

After a long reflection on what I believed was important to me, I moved on and walked away from my fledgling Internet marketing empire. Hehehee yeah right, but the truth was it was a pretty big decision because I was making more as blogger per year than I ever did as a teacher.

However, there are still many blog posts that I have written and never published, because I do not want to get into the political, societal, religious rabbit holes and deal with the seamier side of the Internet – The Trolls. They exist and are nasty at times, but I choose not to deal with their delusions of grandeur.

The other part of blogging is that I have “met” some wonderful people through my blogging. A few I have had the pleasure to meet in real life – Sam, Amanda, David and others I will probably never sit down and have a cup of coffee (or tea) with, but feel as though they are old friends – Graham, Mike, Dorathea, AJ, Nick. There are many others that I could mention but the lists are getting long and I have to wrap this up.

The reality is

I have pretty much come full circle I started out with a personal weblog. While I don’t write about education anymore, my blog has reverted back to being more of web log or journal. Yes, I still write a lot about running and a little about technology, but there is more of the daily life’s chatter in there as well.

Blogging has become a part of what I do most days and I enjoy writing about my running, life and other thoughts about what is going on around me. It doesn’t matter that my stats are no where near what they were once upon a time or that just a few people read my blog, I write now more for personal pleasure than anything.

Not that I am a great writer or anything, but blogging does give me a chance to put my thoughts somewhere outside of my head and more importantly that I can go back to and re-read at a later date to see what I was actually thinking/feeling about something. You know those faulty memories that we all seem to have about what actually happened versus what we want to believe happened.

The only change that I would make through this journey would be to stay at one site throughout the 12 years. Instead of all the jumping between different providers (WordPress.com, self hosted, Blogger, Microsoft’s & Apple’s blog host (yeah, they had them) and the different blogs (15 or so that I could remember off the top of my head).

I hope you have enjoyed this quick look back through my 12 years of blogging.

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