Looking back, 2009 was one of the most auspicious years of my life. I finished a thesis, earned a Master’s degree, got engaged, launched a blog(!), moved out of state, started a doctoral program, and maintained a long-distance relationship. But you know what I just realized I really miss? Google Reader. Stay with me.
During that time period, I used the brand new blog to stay in touch and share tales of Cactus Land with my family. I had no idea how to be a blogger and my early posts are a lot of picture-less but funny drivel. One thing I did well though was create a sense of blog community. Someone turned me onto Google Reader and I collected nearly 20 blogs and started watching them closely.
I followed some good friends–Kristi from Puppies and Pancakes, Bethany from In My Own Words, Ali at Side of Honeydew, among others. As a burgeoning home cook, I stalked Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen. As a wedding planner, I kept up with A Practical Wedding, Offbeat Bride, and The Broke-Ass Bride. And pretty astoundingly, I made friends online, like with Soleil from Jehara and Karen from My Random Life Story and Gravy Training, respectively. Not to mention, I participated in the goofy weekly meme writing at Thursday 13.
Every day, I looked forward to new blog posts showing up in my feed. I’d read and comment. Folks would read and comment back. I never realized how much Google Reader’s* shut down in 2013 would impact how I interacted with other bloggers. It just occurred to me how little I read other’s work consistently now, how little we comment back and forth anymore, and how sad that makes me. (Indeed, I just noticed how many of the folks listed above don’t write much anymore.)
These realizations hit over the weekend when Mr. T came home with our wedding save-the-date from six years ago. Wowza.
I’d won the design from a blog contest. A friend turned me onto The Broke-Ass Bride and her “Wedding in a Week” contest. I think I wrote a haiku about our wedding that was entered into a drawing. In any case, we got the genius from the sadly now-defunct Pantomime Papers to hand draw a custom map for us. The map included our favorite haunts, our ceremony and reception sites, and lots of aviation references to complement our Love Is In the Air theme. Six years on, I love how much the locations and icons are still so relevant.
But now I’m grieving the loss of my blog friends and community, in part due to the shut down of Google Reader and how easy it made staying connected. It’s partially why I’m hell bent on actually finishing the year’s National Blog Posting Month, and actually reading and commenting on other peoples’ work. And what’s more, I hope to get back to BlogHer next summer and have kindled some new blog friendships.
The best laid plans