A Decade of Blogging


It was a Monday, just over ten years ago. I sat at my computer and typed the following words.

I’m sure it’ll all work out. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. I’m sure I’ll be able to post stuff that’s not about trying to work out the technical side of blogging.

I’m just trying to set up the template so it has the kind of stuff I want on it. Then I’ll get down to business.

It was, as the title of the blog post suggested, the dreaded first post.

That was the 3rd of November 2003 and there have been a lot of blog posts since then. Over a decade of blogging.

The second post wasn’t a whole lot better. It was titled, Does It Look OK?

I think I’ve got things sorted out.

I guess that means I should introduce myself. My name is Rodney and I live in Perth, Western Australia.

The loves of my life are God, my gorgeous wife, my adorable kids and cycling.

I’m sure this blog will take its own shape so I won’t predict anything at this early stage.

I’m hoping you’ll agree that things have improved since then.

Back then I had only recently returned from cycling from Perth, Western Australia, to Hobart, Tasmania. It was the fifth time I’d cycled across Australia. (I really need to arrange another ride across the country.) Earlier in the year I had visited India for the first time. I’ve been back twice since then and I’m always open to offers to return.

When I started my blog I’d been married for almost 11 years. I had a 7 year old daughter. I had a 5 year old son.

It all seems so far away.

At the time I was working for the Bible Society. I left the Bible Society the following August to go back to 98five Sonshine FM where I’ve been working ever since.

Blogging was very new and exciting back then and it wasn’t long before I felt part of a community of bloggers. We would stay up to date with each other’s posts and often leave comments. I’m still connected to people around the world thanks to the early blogging years.

The posts here have been less frequent over recent months but I’m sure that things will pick up again soon. I’ve been breathing life into this blog for over ten years. I’m not going to let it die now.

If you’re new here, why not check out some of the archives and read some older posts?

If you’ve been reading my blog for years …. thanks. It’s meant a lot to me.

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Sitemeter Dead


[UPDATE: It would seem that Sitemeter is back but with all the issues it has had in the last few years I won’t be relying on it any more. I’ll be noting down my stats to this point and looking at alternatives.]

I guess that’s what you get with a free service. Of course there was the premium service but I never paid for that. Maybe that was the problem. Most of us stuck with the free version.

Sitemeter was a web tracking service that allowed bloggers and web site owners to see a range of statistics about the traffic to their sites. Tens of thousands of bloggers relied on the service to see how visitors arrived on their sites and where they clicked within the sites. Now all of that seems to have disappeared.

Site Meter’s comprehensive real time website tracking and counter tools give you instant access to vital information and data about your sites audience. With our detailed reporting you’ll have a clear picture of who is visiting your site, how they found you, where they came from, what interests them and much more.

Their domain was due for renewal yesterday and while some are saying they forgot to renew, I reckon they just decided to let it die. I only wish they’d let us know it was going to happen so those of us still using the service could have grabbed a few stats before saying goodbye.

Sitemeter has been a bit flaky for years and even in the last few months there has been some concerning downtime from their site, but I was hoping that they’d keep limping along. I’ve been blogging for about nine and a half years and for almost all of that time I’ve relied on Sitemeter to keep an eye on how many people were reading what I was writing.

I suppose I’ll now rely on my WordPress site stats and maybe even Google Analytics.

Thanks for all the good years, Sitememter. You’ll be missed.

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The Death of Google Reader

Sad news today for those of us still using Google Reader to stay up to date with a range of blogs and news websites. Google’s killing it off on the 1st of July.

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

There’s already a website dedicated to saving Google Reader.

I don’t think it’s the death of RSS but it will change how it’s used.

Lifehacker has already posted The Best Google Reader Alternatives but I guess that with fewer people using RSS aggregators of any kind to read content we need to look at other ways of staying up to date.

If you’re looking for other ways to stay in touch with what’s happening here at RodneyOlsen.net, maybe you’d like to use my Facebook Page. If you ‘like’ the page you’ll see whenever I post something in your own Facebook timeline.

You could also follow me on Twitter. Along with other tweets you’ll be able to see links to new posts as they are published.

Are you, like me, one of the dying breed of Google Reader users? What do you intend to do from here? Find another service or start relying on social media to stay in touch?

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I missed it … again

For the second year in a row I’ve missed my ‘blogaversary’ or anniversary of blogging. I used to mark the 3rd of November each year with a blog post but with the busyness of life, especially at this time of year, the day has slipped past unnoticed.

I’ve now been blogging for over eight years.

The first time I ever heard of blogging I thought, “What a stupid idea. Why would you want to share all your most personal thoughts with a bunch of complete strangers?”

Since that time a couple of things have happened. Firstly, I realised that I only had to share what I decided I wanted to share, and secondly, a lot of those ‘complete strangers’ have become good friends, even though I’ve never met many of them face to face.

I’ve really enjoyed the ups and downs of blogging and what you see now is rather different than the original post back on the 3rd of November 2003. I hope you enjoy what you read here and that you’ll stay with me as I enter my ninth year of blogging.

If you’re looking to help me celebrate my eight years of blogging there are a few things you might like to do.

  • I would really appreciate it if you linked to my blog or to any of my posts that you enjoy.
  • If you’re a StumbleUpon user you might like to Stumble a post or two. (Of course you’re welcome to do that at anytime.)
  • You can use the sharing buttons at the bottom of any of my posts. You can share my posts on your Facebook wall, via Twitter, email or any other way you choose.
  • You may also choose to support my upcoming ride to raise funds for Compassion by clicking this link.

When I have remembered my blogaversary over the last several years I’ve opened the blog up for questions. I reckon it’s time to give it another go.

Most days of the week my job involves asking a number of different people to tell me more about themselves. I normally sit behind a microphone and ask others to tell me all sorts of things. It’s very safe being the one asking the questions. It’s not always quite so easy being the one on the other end of the questions.

So, are there any questions you want to ask me? Is there something you’ve been wondering about? Is there a particular subject you’d like me to post about? It can be about blogging, radio, cycling or whatever else you choose to ask about.

What do you want to know? Just leave a question or post topic in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do to respond. No promises but I’ll give it a shot.

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Happy New Year 2011

It’s my first post for the new year so I wanted to do something a little different and chat face to face.

Check out the video and then feel free to leave your comments below.

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