Today is the second anniversary of this blog and of me blogging. Last year, I marked the anniversary by waxing philosophical on how blogging triggered and/or coincided with my regained enthusiasm for the Internet and some profound personal and career changes as a result. While asserting my passion for the Internet, I remarked on how my other interests were equally important.
I did not intend the anniversary of blogging to be an occasion for cloying sentiment, but it does seem that blogging has formed a pivotal role in my life this last year again, so I will indulge myself.
What's changed since last year?
Coincidentally, just 3 days ago, I was offered to be paid to blog regularly, opposed to the zero amount I make from blogging here and being picked up by Backbone Magazine. As much as I would like to blog more often, lately I haven't had time to sleep fully, let alone commit to regular blogging. So I reluctantly had to postpone the offer. As it is, I love blogging here and for Backbone, but find I just don't have the time either to blog or even to keep up with interesting developments worthy of posting. Although I have been using my Netvibes page to quickly keep track of important Internet news, and I finally succumbed to Twitter and realized it was great for microblogging (see right).
As far as keeping a balance with my other interests and hobbies, that's been complete history for the past year. My master's program at Royal Roads University, while fascinating and enriching, has proven to be so much work that it leaves little time for anything other than school and family time (which I won't sacrifice).
But I still have had time to pursue Internet activities and learning. I attended Mesh again (the best conference I've been to), some Casecamps and Facebook camps, as well as recently some of Toronto Tech Week. I've read some interesting related books either for a class or on my own (recent highlights are: Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins, Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger, Structures of Participation in Digital Culture, edited by Joe Karaganis, and Groundswell -- one of these days I'll blog about the Internet canon.)
Career-wise, I've had huge changes as I quit my job managing the website for a pension plan. I won a research grant to study website accessibility so that money was enough that I can afford to focus on studies to pursue more meaningful work. When working at the pension plan, I felt the parade was passing me by. And it was for years and years. But blogging was a great way to make my own float and join the parade at least somewhat. It also let me chronicle my other cyber-adventures, such as my love affair with social bookmarking (delicious) and social networking. Before I left the pension plan, I helped with the launch of a fully transactional website for plan members, which was really the last applicable online thing left to do there.
This blog has been great for letting me publish some of my essays from class, which would have otherwise been confined to the dusty recesses of my computer. I intend to continue blogging about my research and findings in school, including an upcoming conference to India for the Internet Society and my thesis findings on website accessibility. I'm now certain I want to do a doctorate, but have not found a suitable place (other than Oxford) where one can devote oneself to studying the Internet so I'll probably continue with communications, and focus as much as possible on the Internet.
Over the last year, my blog postings have got more coverage, which is great. I love seeing other people quoting my blog (who doesn't) and Technorati and AideRSS have made that really easy. I still do the vanity googles, but Technorati and AideRSS pull up stuff Google doesn't.
So right now, my only problem with blogging is not having the time to do more of it.