Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Reflections from an Old-Timer
...well, not that old. But the combo of Carole's question last week about long-time blogging, coupled with my 44th birthday on the 3rd (officially in my mid-forties, whatever that means), I've been thinking about what I've learned over the last five years of GTTSB.
It seems there are two levels of change: macro and micro. Macro is the level of sophistication in the process-both in the software and the bloggers themselves. Vlogs, audio, video, beautiful graphics, bold templates; everything looks and runs so professionally (remember how long it use to take to just get one dinky photo uploaded?). And the authors: marketing savvy, cross-platforming, multiple technologies. Tweet, tweet. People are much more skilled at drawing attention to their work and themselves (for good and bad). Reading blogs is much more of an event, and I like all the interaction across these platforms and the humor and wit that bubbles up to the surface. Writing them seems to be a lot more work, tho, to stay abreast of all the technology.
The micro is how I've changed. It's funny to look back at the oldest posts--so earnest and helpful. More didactic than personal. I thought this would be more of an infomation clearinghouse: sequences, explanations of poses, lists of resources...a place to refer students who were asking for suggestions. I got a chuckle out of a post from November '06, when I speculated about the possibility of yogis all over the world communicating on the internet. Who knew?
The first few months I pined away for comments from non-relatives (altho I was very grateful for relatives who were actually reading), and finally figured out how to hook up with statcounter to measure hits and see where people were coming from. I began writing for Yoga Journal.com (Thank, Erica!), which was a wonderful opportunity to take a closer look at some topics I'd written about and also interview various notables about said topics. This also increased readership and invited more commenting.
In March of '07, I started to include more links on the page (good ole' Yoga Dawg gets a mention), which encouraged me to interact more with other bloggers. Son #2 was born in August of '07, and this seems to have given me a more personal focus. Maybe I was tired of "teacher voice" and wanted to start using my own "writer voice."
By '08 the topics sound more like what we're all used to: teacher training, hot bods vs blissed-out bods, what's authentic, etc etc. I can't go back to my "old" blog rolls, but it would be interesting to see who was on the scene at that point and how that affected the conversation (Y. Dawg, Nadine Falwell and Linda S. all commented, so that crowd is very familiar). In February of '09, I joined facebook...it seems wild that social networking wasn't really on the scene until three years after I started. I project all the back and forth onto earlier memories.
By the middle of '09 the conversations were just that--chatty, sharing experiences and ideas (I cracked up re-reading a discussion of some one's "problem student" who always ended up with an erection during savasana. Gracious!) By October of '09, we were venturing into more controversial territory and many of the same conundrums (conundra?) that face us today; more people were responding on their own blogs and it was nice to read carefully thought-out arguments. By 2010, it was all-out, perhaps culminating in l'affaire toesox.
So I like this new vein that we seem to be in--the evolution of yoga and how it serves us on an individual basis. Maybe we can finally put the "maybe you just need to do more yoga" suggestion for those who question hierarchies and tradition out to pasture. Waaay out. Do away with angry, ungrammatical commenting. We are thinkers who write (obviously) so of course we want to explore these ideals out loud. I'm all for it. Svadhyaya is its own niyama, after all, and even the ancients encouraged some self-reflection.
That's what I see from my perch of a half decade. But enough about me...what do the rest of you oldies have to say? What do you think is the biggest difference? The best improvement? Worst development? What's next? What have you learned during your tenure on the blog rolls?