Celebrating and reflecting on 10 years of blogging


I just realized I missed my 10th anniversary of blogging. My first post on the Trends in Living Networks blog was on October 5, 2002, beginning:

The emergence of the “living web”: In just the same way as the networks are coming to life, the language that we use to describe this new world is emerging and evolving. In the last few months, the blogging community has started using the term “living web” to describe the flow of information in the networks.

This blog was launched to accompany the publication of my book Living Networks, which opened with a description of corporate blogging, and went on to look at how social networks would arise and impact business.

The title of the blog, “Trends in the Living Networks”, was pointing to the ongoing nature of a blog, picking up on what is current, in counterpoint to the static nature of a book. Of course the blog is now simply my primary vehicle for sharing content and ideas on a day-to-day basis.

There is much to reflect on from those 10 years of blogging.

Blogging has long become mainstream, and in fact in its original form largely supplanted by micro-blogging – largely in the form of Twitter – and social networks such as Facebook, which are largely derived from the format of blogging. However for many of us who were blogging since before social networks emerged, blogging is still a core activity, complemented by other media and formats.

When I registered the domain rossdawsonblog.com I actually thought the word ‘blog’ might not have real longevity, however it has proven to last fairly well.

As I predicted, the boundaries between mainstream media and social media have blurred beyond recognition, with traditional media companies using blog formats in earnest, and many platforms that began as blogs now rivaling long-established media.

My experience for a long time now is of feeling frustrated that I am not able to share more on my blog. Blogging is a core part of my work, however client work and working on ventures have to take precedence.

I will increasingly work with other people in creating content, however I feel my blog is still my own personal space, so I need to carve out the time to write on it as I can.

Perhaps my blog style and format is too established. I use it primarily to provide quick insights from work I am doing, with some other perspectives and content thrown in. It would be nice to do some longer-form pieces, however I tend to put the deeper-dive content into books or reports. I will try to experiment a bit more.

Blogging has been central to my life for much of the last decade. It is an ongoing commitment, which undoubtedly adds to the stress and pressure of a busy life. However its value has been immense to me.

My ability to reach people with my ideas and to be found is significantly founded on the visibility of my blog. A significant proportion of my client work over many years has come about directly through my blog.

At least as importantly, blogging consistently has helped me to research well and frame my thinking. I continually get asked about what you need to do to be a futurist. Many of the disciplines are the same as those of blogging: scanning for interesting insights, thinking them through and giving them structure, and communicating them usefully to others.

Unquestionably, blogging is an invaluable path to making sense of a complex world.

Will I blog for another decade? Undoubtedly.

I will no doubt use a variety of platforms new and old for sharing ideas and content. But right now it looks like the word ‘blogging’ has at last another 10 years of currency, and I expect to be regularly adding for many years to come to the 1,520 blog posts I have written so far.