~~ This is a public service announcement. Your regularly scheduled Highland Fling dramatization will return shortly. ~~
I’m a little unsure where to start explaining myself… if I even need to explain myself at all. I’m taking a step that tends to invite controversy; plus, I once told myself I’d never do it. On the other hand, it’s so normal these days that you might not even notice, so I suppose this explaining is mostly for my own benefit. Confused yet?
I began blogging in 2002 when only a handful of my friends had even heard of the term and Blogger logo t-shirts were cool. I wrote through my junior year of college, and blogging can take a lot of credit for my decision to switch to an English degree. I thrived on the creative outlet and daily feedback. Around the time I got married, though, my online persona no longer felt comfortable hanging out in real world. Figuring out how to be a fiancée and then a newlywed while still in college was challenging enough without putting the process on show and tell, so I killed my blog in an alleyway one dark night.
When I officially re-joined the blogosphere four years later after a springtime of reading her and her and her and her, the territory was unfamiliar. It seemed that everyone had a blog; even toddlers I once babysat had Xanga accounts (remember those days?). Women from across the world were converging on Chicago to meet friends in person for the first time, learn how to generate income on their sites, and pick up swag from companies eager to advertise to this powerful new demographic. I saw ads on Dooce’s site and initially thought Good for her! Later, I saw Keri Smith’s purposefully ad-free blog and thought Oh… good for her! At the time (and considering my readership base of approximately one and a half), the ethical side of the debate was more relevant to me than the lucrative side, and I preferred an uncluttered design anyway.
Lately, though, we’ve found ourselves looking for creative ways to make ends meet, and I’ve had trouble justifying this blog to myself. We can’t eat it, we can’t wear it, and it takes time and resources that could be spent elsewhere more effectively. However, I love writing here and reading your words in return. Through this, I am connected to a community across the globe that I am no more willing to abandon than I am the friends I see face-to-face, and the inspiration I find here is invaluable. I’m simply not ready to give this up.
That’s why I’m scooting over to make room for some advertising. I understand that this may not sit well with everyone, but if it means that I can post more regularly, comment more regularly, and remain part of the collective wonderfulness of us… well, I’d take a little controversy over another dark alleyway any day.