On this day in 2004 I started this blog. I had blogged on and off since 2001, but October 19 2004 was the start of an uniterupped, WordPress-supported journey, across four cities, 1,892 blogposts and goodness knows how many comments, emails, tweets, shares and other interactions.
On my first blogpost I stated my intention to write about “… art, film, photography, music as well as daily life” and in my first month the topics I wrote mostly about music and golf, interspersed with articles and links about religion and current affairs.
Knowing at the start of 2014 that this anniversary was coming inspired my book, which started its life as a collection of blogposts about creativity, but quickly became something much bigger. I’ll be sharing some more information about that soon. But, for now, I wanted to share ten of the best blogposts from the last 10 years, which reflect a little of the range of topics I’ve discussed here.
I Want Less Choice And I Want It Now (2005) – on consumerism, marketing and decision-making. A lot of my earlier blogposts were shorter, like this.
It Takes Courage (2005) - asking whether, in debates about refugees, we could be a little more honest about the role of migration in the history of religion and modern societies.
11 Links For A Sunday (2006) – this isn’t a remarkable blogpost, except for the fact that this was one of the ways we used to share links in the pre-Social Media Days. Pumping links out through Twitter or Facebook is easier, but less permanent, especially since the half-life of so many tweets and shares is so short these days.
It’s Not About The A-List, Or About Hierachies (2006) When Praising Your Kids Can Be Harmful- blogging was very different in 2006 and most bloggers were not professionals or trying to monetise their work. But, the obsession with numbers and online celebrity was bubbling away.
When Praising Your Kids Can Be Harmful (2007) – I’ve shied away from writing about parenting, but looking back, some of my favourite articles (and the ones that got most noticed), were about child-raising issues. This one still fascinates me, because the current research seems to be so opposed to the way most parents I know see this issue.
What Do People Really Think Of Stay At Home Dads – Or Why Women Are Using The Playground To Kill Feminism (2008) – one of my most viewed blogposts, this article helped me land a writing gig with The South China Morning Post. I’ve also had a lot of very moving, authentic email exchanges with other fathers about this topic, all of whom agree with the theme.
Stealth Photography And Other Urban Problems (2011) – when I wrote this article, about street-photography, it got very little attention. I can remember feeling a little frustrated by that. However, in the last year and a bit, it has generated a steady flow of traffic and social media comments from fellow photographers.
7 Kinds Of People You Need In Your Creative Universe (2011) – the most read article in the history of this blog is, not surprisingly, one of the most helpful as well. I really set out to “open the kimono” with this one, revealing some of the deepest insights I have from my years of work, about how to structure our personal and professional networks.
Fuji X-Pro1 InfraRed (2012) – this blogpost generated a wild, unexpected spike in traffic. It just goes to show that a simple, actionable insight about a recently piece of technology will always attract viewers. If my goal was simply to get more readers, I’d write these kind of articles a lot more often (or exclusively).
Multi-Output With Logic Pro And EZdrummer2 (2014) – one of the most popular music articles of recent years, this simple tutorial is also a reminder than I don’t really share enough insights from my studio work on the blog. In fact, when I look back over my blogposts I really feel like I should have done a better job of sharing my music here, both the songs I’ve written and recorded and also the things I’ve learnt in the studio.
Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have read this blog. First, the haters who’ve accused me of being everything from a CIA-sponsored agitator, to an abusive parent and every derivation of a swear-word in-between (maybe I shouldn’t have deleted all the abusive comments, they would be so fun to read now). And, second, all the other more sae folks like yourself, who have made the time to read my (often misspelt) attempts at explaining various ideas, experiences and emotions over the last ten years. Here’s to the future!