As those who read this blog on the actual site will have noticed, I’ve been playing around a bit with my “look.” Neither famous nor influential, I’m just a regular guy with a doctorate who wants to make some use of it. This blog is a way of doing that. In any case, as I was changing templates and background images, I noticed my rather lengthy blogroll. Apart from sounding like a particularly tasteless eastern appetizer, blogrolls are pretty much outdated these days. Back when I started this, there was a community of like-minded bloggers who linked to each others’ pages and helped stir some stats. In those days doing something like posting on the winner of the Super Bowl could garner you a thousand hits in a day. The web’s become a bit more crowded since then, I suspect.
So I went to edit my blogroll. As I did so I found no other blogs linked to mine—no offense taken!—and many that had become defunct. Many, many. And there were many blogs that hadn’t been updated in years. Now, I understand that it is possible to make a living as a blogger these days. According to my stats, this will be my 3,447th post. When I consider the time it takes each day to write one of these things, I realize it’s a considerable piece of my life. Seeing the blogs that have become inactive was like walking through a technological graveyard where many virtual comrades are buried. For me, the exercise of writing (and I don’t mean the physical typing) is an essential part of each day. I’d miss it if I stopped.
My redesign focuses on a couple of things: books and pelicans. Since the books part should be obvious, the pelicans might need explaining. The background image is one I took while visiting the University of California, Santa Barbara for Routledge. On my lunch break I went down to the beach and this flock of pelicans flew right over my head. The iPhone was new in those days, so I pulled it out and snapped a picture. It won a company photo of the month prize (no monetary value). There’s quite a bit of symbolism in this image of birds against the California sun. This blog tends to be metaphorical and those who’ve complained on it over the years don’t really get that. That’s because things are not what they seem. There’s something valuable about having to dig for meaning, even if it means looking up.