Eight Years Down the Road

2015 blog portrait

So much has changed on this blog in the eight years I’ve been writing Around the Grid.  Second Life most of all, of course; the constant changes, the occasional battles with Linden Lab over that time, the way we look and dress and live in the digital world.  I don’t know if I’ve always been a reliable reporter, but I’ve certainly tried to be over all these days living in two lives.

How much have I written in that time?  In terms of published pieces, nearly 1,200 articles — this one is number 1,180.  At an average of 500 words an article, that’s some 600,000 words, a pretty serious range indeed.  Some would rate that at between six and twelve full-size novels, not an unimpressive output!  Not as much as, say, Isaac Asimov, but still I won’t sneeze at it.  Over 150,000 views during that time, from some 21,000 visitors; that’s some seven views per visitor, though it’s probably not really like that.  But those, as impressive as they are, as much as I keep driving to get more people visiting and reading, are just statistics.

The more meaningful criteria is how much I’ve enjoyed this writing.  Eight years of seeing beautiful sights, some possible only in a digital world; of wearing fantastic clothing and playing characters I could never do in real life; the people and friendships I’ve made during that time — it’s all been fun!  If it hadn’t been, then I wouldn’t have kept coming back, spending loads of both time and treasure in this place that, in a tactile sense, doesn’t exist.  Some would claim it’s a waste.  In a meaningful sense, it has been.  But in a creative sense, oh far from it!  Sure, not everything I’ve done here has been great, or even good.  But when you hit it right, when you make your talent and experience pay off in that moment when the framing of the picture is perfect, or the dress, makeup and lighting work just right, or when the words are coming in a stream so fast and perfect that your brain is racing to make your fingers move fast enough on the keyboard — that’s when it’s worth it.

And it’s worth it when I get compliments and encouragement from you, my readers.  I’m never entirely sure how many I have, for there’s such a cacophony of blogs for Second Life now that I’ve slipped down some into the shadows.  (One reason I use every trick I can think of to publicize this blog!)  What I can say is that there are many subscribers to the blog’s various forms of feeds, and others visit from all those links I scatter across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Flickr.  Others simply stumble through via a search.  If I’ve entertained you with my silliness, moved you with my occasional poems, touched your eyes and senses with my photos or made you think with my words, that makes things worth it as well as the enjoyment I get personally.

Here’s looking at you, kids.  Keep on coming back; I’ll try to hold up my end of the bargain.

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