September 26, 2006

Last but not least...

As I wrap up my fifth year blogging and head toward number six (in November), I've been thinking more and more about why we stay. Never mind why we start--a lark, curiosity, anger, the possibility of making a difference, whatever--but what keeps us here? And even when we leave, why do we keep coming back? About blogging, a certain raging boy once told me, "Just don't quit--there's something in lasting, in hanging on."

That was during a time of great personal drama and trauma in my life, when I wanted to walk away from everything--especially this blog. To delete it. To send it away. To show I still had control of something, I was tempted to turn this space to dust. By hanging on to this blog, I think, I held on to myself--and in the undoing of so many things, I reconstruct myself here. Still.

It is so simple what we're doing here. And yet, it embodies layers and layers of complexity in relating.

People have asked me so many times, why do you stay with Blogger? Why do you stay on blogspot? Why didn't you move everything over to on Wordpress? If you're using Qumana, what does it matter where you post to?

These are all very good questions. I rarely have a way to answer them that satisfies the asker or me. True, I have stayed here for five years although I've gone off and tried starting a typepad blog and wordpress blogs. Although I use a blog editor to post the majority of my posts. Even when Blogger has given me the most of its trouble, I have stayed. And each time I stay, the resolve to stay is stronger.

I can't say exactly why. Maybe Blogger was my mama goose for the Internet--imprinting itself on me with a homing instinct that drives me back. Or maybe it's because Blogger was and still is an accessible, free service--not just for me, but for people I care about, or because blogger's user interface is still superior to the other blogging tools for non-techs, or that blogger has gotten more of my friends and even a relative or two blogging who would not have blogged otherwise.

Yes, you can "set a noob up" with a wordpress or typepad blog, but if they're your aunt, or your aunt's priest, or your kid, or your friend, you can simply say: go to'll tell you what to do.

When Ev coined the Blogger tagline, "Pushbutton Publishing for the People," which is still the best description of what we're doing here six years later, it was no joke. That's exactly what Blogger was. And something about it's never trying to be MORE than that appeals to me.

I still think about the first time I hit the publish button and saw how much faster, easier, and powerful Blogger was for writing to the Web. I was no longer designing web pages. I was WRITING ONLINE.

So I guess that's why I stay. I stay because I came.

And because my staying helped other people come, I stay still.

And the easiest way to say Come, for me anyway, has always been: go to and follow the directions.

I accomplish MORE while I'm here using Qumana, which has turned me into a posting machine and makes editing and offline composition so much easier--and it can post to my blogs no matter what platform I'm on.

But I stay with Blogger because it's home.

I used to bitch about never getting a Blogger Hoodie when Google bought Blogger. I've bitched quite often when Blogger pisses me off. I've also stood up for Blogger and Blogspot to those who see this space as a Low Rent District.

I figured, if I'm not a good billboard, who is? In Gonzo Engaged, I started the first team blog ever on Blogspot. I was on BloggerPro the second day it came out, and I bought the highest subscription rate for Blogspot hosting in 2001-02, for both Allied and Blog Sisters. Blog Sisters was the first women's team blog on Blogger.

With all of this pretty well known, after the Google acquisition, when I saw all the old-time Blogger bloggers with t-shirts and Hoodies, I was like, "Why not me?" Folks were like, "You were supposed to request a Hoodie on the site." I said, "I DID request a Hoodie. I just never got one."

Well after a few years of wondering why my Hoodie never came, today it arrived.

And, to be honest, I cried when I opened the nondescript box and saw what was inside.

No, Really. I mean, I didn't sob. Tears simply came when I read the note: "Hi Jeneane, Thanks for all your years of blogging."

I finally got my welcome home.

Thank you, Blogger.

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