I don't normally think much about my blogs anniversary - I didn't even remember I'd begun in May - but I happened to be looking at my stats and I thought people might be interested in the details.
My first post, "A Beginning" was posted on May 5th, 2009, so this blog is now five years old. The first post was long after I began my Flickr account (which was in January 2009) with a bunch of images from Gaia Online, where I began my virtual fashion addiction. My second post, "Dancing the Night Away" and talks mostly about how I began in second life, in August of 2008. I was a lot more active in philosophical circles, then, and that's where I made the majority of my early friends.
You can see how rudimentary my photography skills were - this was before windlight, before I understood facelights and their use and misuse. From here on out, the posts were spotty and I missed a few months; it wasn't until the first Color Challenge that I began to codify and become more regular in my posting habits, and this is long before I began to use tags more intelligently (I'm slowly bringing my old posts into line and cleaning up the style as I do as well). It's amazing to look back and see how much I've changed over time, and how much I haven't - for example, once I started doing photoshoots, I settled on six pictures pretty early.
In 2010, I only had one post in May, the aptly named "Virtual Time". I was still doing a decent number of ballroom and motion shots, something which these days I do only very rarely. My framing could still use some work, and indeed I think framing is one of the skills I'm still struggling with today - I have a marked tendency to include too much, which can lessen the effect of an image.
In 2011, I had a bunch of posts in May and was beginning to have a clutch of posts every month, instead of a smattering here and there. On the 25th, my post was "Little Battles" and it showed a bunch of different pictures I'd take over time. One of my top five posts also dates from this year, "Newbie Resources: Second Life Dictionary", which has had over 1000 views as of this post. I was doing photoshoots in the sense of six at a itme, but I hadn't yet begun reliably doing the standard variations of one or two headshots, one foot or let shot, a couple of torso portraits, and at least one full length shot; now and then you see a flash of a more unusual angle or limited cropping, but that wouldn't really kick in for every shoot until the next few years.
In 2012, I began trying to make posts about all of the LEA sims; that project began in May but wouldn't finish until late last year, when I finally bit the bullet and organized posts about each sim by backdating them. The other post on the 25th was "Paths and Pilings", one of my many posts about Bryn Oh's art. With a rare few exceptions, I have blogged everything she's done since I became aware of her. This was really when I started picking up creators who would pass me things, too, but before I ever applied to blog for a store, and the only event I blogged was Fantasy Faire.
In 2013, I had branched out to a lot of different types of posts. On the 25th I did a song-based one, "Cold November Rain", inspired by an art gallery. I think you can see the marked changes in my photography, from neophyte to apprentice, but I'm still sometimes struggling with using light to my advantage in world. My angles have become more exploratory, though, and now and then different emotions filter their way into and through my images. My month with the most pageviews is also this year, in September, when I broke 9000. Four of my five highest posts also come from this year - three of them are reviews of MadPea Hunts: "Lennon Park Massacre" with over 2200 views, "Room 326 Hunt" with over 1300 views, and "Dark Dimension" with over 700 views. The outsider, coming in with just over 1000 views, is a "Monday Meme: Google", and Monday Memes feature alongside hunt posts for the remaining top ten.
And now, 2014, where I think I've improved greatly even in just a year, especially in terms of lighting and angles. I'm averaging around 5000 pageviews a month, most of them from google or unidentified sources but a healthy chunk as a result of the Monday Memes, which remain my quickest rising posts in terms of both pageviews and comments. It seems unlikely that I'll have any quick jumps in readership any time soon, but it's a healthy rate of growth and a respectable, if not influential, presence in the blogosphere. Going forward, I'd love a wider readership and a more regular commetariate, but I think that's unlikely given my style. I'd love more favorites, but I think that's unlikely given my photography style. I may, in the coming months, try to make a few changes, but to be honest I like what I do more than I regret not getting recognition, so any changes are likely to be minor - like revisiting old, favorite images in photoshop to play around with them.
I'm looking forward to five more years, though, and I hope you'll come along with me.