7 years blogging, 17 years online

It is no wonder this blog feels like a major part of my life; I started it 7 years ago, before I had any children, before my mum died and before we moved to our family house. Yes my posting has had its ups and downs, but just like diary writing it appears I can’t stop blogging.  To help me on topics you want to read it would be great if you would answer my 1 question survey about what you’d like to see  here.

HTML site

However, this was not my first web presence, that goes back another 10 years! I created my first website in 1997 at university from scratch using html code. I kept a record of what I was doing and shared some of my amusing pictures (through static pages not in the form of a blog). I kept a site for 5 years, although it focused on photo sharing in the last few years (no wonder I like self hosting my pictures). Thanks to Wayback Machine I can share my first site; looking good with a guest book, animated email link and a frame; the must have feature at the time!

darktea first website 1997


I created my first  blogger site in March 2005 as a way of sharing book reviews. I started my second Blogger one in May that year and appears to be collating my input from other sites about progress towards my goals (I’m guessing mostly 43things a site I haven’t been on in years).

Mambo CMS

I progressed my book review site to a self hosted Mambo site, I’m guessing at sometime in 2005. I used  the CMS features of Mambo, but also included a blog.  This site is no longer available, but again thanks to Wayback Machine I can share what it looked like. I’ve progressed from black to a lighter colour scheme and love the poll to get input on my next book to read (on the right of the screenshot). I’m almost tempted to do something similar again ..

mambo cms - book review website


I started my Livejournal blog in February 2006, because a lot of my online friends through Bookcrossing were using it. It was great being able to connect to people outside the restrictions of forums.


And in March 2007 I started this blog, a picture of my original design is here and shows my current one isn’t that new anymore. I’d been reading about blogging (through google reader, even that sounds old now) and realised I wanted to have a go at writing in a different style to my informal writing on Livejournal; I also wanted the challenge of writing for an unknown audience.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but just jumped in; and seven years later I’m still going.

My online future

I have no plans to go anywhere. Sure I have my concerns about the cloud, but the web is a key part of my life – for learning as well as sharing. I suspect I will keep experimenting and trying new things, because really I’m a geek at heart.

Thanks to bookcrossing I’ve met online friends in real life before, but I’m very excited about going to my first blog events this year (do get in touch if you’d like to sponsor me to go to BritMums Live) and I suspect these will lead to a large increase in my enthusiasm and motivation.

I would really like to write about topics you are interested in, and in formats you like so would appreciate it if you could answer my one question survey, or let me know in the comments. The current favourites are to have more pictures and  more discussion / opinion posts covering topics of scrapbooking and collecting memories – do you agree?



    • says

      In some ways I wonder if it is fair to say I’ve been blogging for 7 years because my posting frequency dropped so low for several years, but I think it is an achievement to be still here. I’m definitely finding it more addictive now because there is a network around the blog as well.

  1. says

    How interesting! I have had a few websites before, using geocities back in the day. I may try and see if it still exists – it was a poetry website! I am finding your posts about journals and collating memories really interesting. Happy blog birthday!

    • says

      Oh definitely go and see if you can find your old site, you only need to know the url. I remember Geocities, that was big when I was about universities, but I never understood it because there seemed to be so more adverts on the pages so I couldn’t find the content I’d gone to find. Do you still have a copy of your poetry?

      Thank you for the comment about journal writing and collecting memories. It was something I was interested in before having children, but now I feel pretty obsessed.

    • says

      Blogs are such a good way to share information, I created one for our family as well but don’t think anyone looked at it so I stopped updating it. Like you I think that is a shame now because it is a record very different to my blog and my diary.

      Thank you for trying the survey. I think the link was correct, but a plugin was preventing any links being clicked. Hopefully I’ve sorted it.

  2. says

    Wow, so interesting to see the evolution of your time on the web! Its so much easier to get involved with the online world without any knowledge of html now isnt it!

    • says

      Absolutely! I’m glad that you don’t need to use code now, but I’m also glad for the coding knowledge I’ve got as I’m not scared to go into theme and css files and change things.

    • says

      Thank you! Although when I look around at other blogs I wonder what I was doing for all those years because I was writing to myself for most of the time. It was a revelation finding the UK parent blogging network last year. I’ll “hop” to meet you at BritMum Live as well.

    • says

      Yes that will be interesting. I have seen many times people saying that blogging is dead, but it keeps surviving because people like to write. The mobile internet is likely to have a big impact does that mean people will want shorter articles? As broadband and technology improve will there be greater interactions and videos.

    • says

      Thank you Jo, I’m looking forward to continuing for another 7 years. I don’t tend to look back on my previous posts (a bit like my diaries) so I’m not sure how many memories are there, but it will be fun sometime in the future.

  3. says

    Congratulations! I’m fairly new to blogging so seven years feels like forever – and haven’t you seen some changes. All very inspirational! Great to have found your blog and well done on your Team Honk achievement! Always great to meet a fellow team honker! :)

    • says

      Thank you, although my Team Honk experience was nothing compared to your ‘fun’. I’m enjoying your blog too and hope it will help motivate me to keep cycling.

  4. Carin says

    I love this. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has been all over the place over the years. And thanks to you I have realised it must be about 10 years since I made myself known on the internet with my newsletter type website for friends and family. I wrote it in word and published with a private ftp. Thank goodness we don’t have to go through that palaver anymore!

    Hope to see you at Britmums :)

    • says

      You are right things are simpler now, although I suspect there were benefits to the old methods such as having greater control over access and ownership.

      I’m looking forward to BritMums Live, hopefully see you there.

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