10 years, that's a long time, I find it hard to wrap my head around this little slice of cyberheaven having existed that long. A decade. Groovy.
On May 20th, 2002 the current incarnation of Sillyness went live. It wasn't my first blog, but it is the one that stuck. In 18 days Sillyness will turn 10 years old.
What is that in internet years, like a bazillion? Looking back over the last ten years Sillyness has gone through periods of almost manic activity, as well as large stretches of silence. One can imagine the digital tumbleweeds blowing across the screens of the six people who still stop by to check on me.
Over the last 10 years this site has seen the birth and death of great software, great designs and hacky writing. I know I can claim the former, hopefully some of the latter rests at my doorstep as well. A brother can dream can't he?
As I peck this out on my iPad, it occurs to me how much the world, and our lives, have changed over the last 10 years. Today clouds are the craze, and tablet computers are the future.
10 years ago clouds were what I would gaze at on a lazy Saturday, stretched out on a blanket in a park, trying to describe what I would see in them to my wife.
Table computers were those pitiful things you saw at trade shows, holding so much promise, but ultimately failing at even the most basic tasks.
Over the last 5 years the traffic and readership of Sillyness has dwindled to almost nothing. Gone are the heady days of a Google PR rank of 8, and tens of thousands of unique visits a week.
Now this old place is lucky to see 100 visits a week.
I have thought more than once over the last year to move Sillyness to an inactive state. To preserve it as a piece of internet history. To shutter the doors and douse the lights.
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here, as it were. Most days I question whether I really have anything of value to add to the global conversation anymore.
But then again, did I really ever have anything worth while to say, or is that just the hubris of ego talking. When I started Sillyness it was just that, sillyness. A place for me to write about what I wanted to write about, not what increased traffic, sold ads or convinced people to buy my book.
Maybe it can be again.
10 years ago blogs were the platform of change and evolution. Today, services like Twitter and Facebook are where the action is. There stories are broke, lives are changed and the future is made a little brighter, or dimmer, as the case may be.
In this new ecosystem, where does the longform content platform have to rest its weary head? Is it a final walk into the wild night for blogs, or is there still a place for an individual to craft well thought out, grammatically correct prose?
10 years ago, email was king, and hand writing letters was looked upon as quaint.
Today there is a revitalization in this nearly lost artform. The ritual of putting thoughts on paper, folding it lovingly into an envelope and sending it to a friend. The reclamation of the tactile, the re-emergence of the real is happening as we speak.
Maybe there still is a place in the world for conversations that contain more than 140 characters internet, maybe there is.
And maybe I'm not ready to shutter the doors after all.