2 months after actually pushing through the site redesign, I've finished going through all previous blog posts and updating them to work with the new layout, and to stop them from throwing errors when anybody stumbles across them. (That last one was really annoying me, and should make the search robots that come through here a bit happier).
Excluding this blog post, major post updates (which count towards the Archives/date list on the right), and of course all the other posts that I never kept from before 2005, I've written 239 blog posts, which isn't a massive number when you break it down for the almost-7-year time period that this covers: roughly 34 posts a year, or 2-3 posts a month. As far as long-term goals go, this is probably one of the least-demanding tasks I could ever set myself.
In cleaning-up all the older posts, I came across a couple of things I thought interesting. The first was that I've actually forgotten a lot of what I had written over the years. I remember the subjects I had covered, but re-reading those old posts dug-up memories of how I felt when I wrote those posts, or the circumstances surrounding my inclination to write about those things.
Another thing I got from the clean-up exercise was watching the evolution of certain views or tastes, like my attitude towards music storage. Here's a post from 2009 where I stubbornly stick with CDs. Ever since then I've been slowly migrating towards digital downloads such that I rarely buy CDs anymore, barring of course the purchase of Birdy's album earlier this year (but only because I couldn't get it in digital form at the time). Then of course last week I'm heaping praise upon Spotify which basically does away with the need for CDs, going even a step further by doing-away with the need to even keep the music on your own computer.
Lastly, this cleanup exercise has showed me that plenty of websites out there don't really last that long. I discovered this when I was having to find new images to link to for my blog posts because the sites that contained the images I used, just didn't exist anymore. My brother often says things along the lines of "the internet never forgets", but after finding so many sites that have disappeared in just the last 4 years (around the time I started putting images into my blog posts), I'm thinking the internet has been forgetting a lot, but it's all the parts that nobody is really interested in that nobody will really miss. Only the really big sites, commercial sites, sites with communities that have reached a critical mass, or sites with dedicated owner(s) are the ones that are sticking around - everything else just gathers dust until the domain name expires and, without anybody around to pay the bills, disappears.
Jeff Atwood recently blogged about something similar - in an effort to highlight the work done by organizations like The Internet Archive - looking at his own blog posts from around 2007 and finding that so many of the pages he linked to are simply gone.
To keep the images from getting stale too quickly, I'm starting work on copying them over to my site, then linking back to the original source. I'm also wondering if I should write a small program to sweep this site for dead links on a rare but regular basis, alerting me to the early signs of link rot.
Anyway, here's to another 239 blog posts, another 12 years on the internet, and hoping I maintain a steady stream of income over that period of time to make those 2 goals possible.