Happy birthday to me ....
Who'd have thought it? Philobiblon is one year old.
The curious thing is that I really can't remember what it was that prompted me to go to Blogger and start it up - I don't think I was even terribly clear what a blog was.
But I do recall making those first couple of posts, when I was thinking mainly of putting up fascinating little snippets of historical information - stories, mainly of women's lives - that I felt should be broadcast, but didn't fit within the other work I was doing.
And that's still a large part of what Philobiblon is (and it will probably get larger in the coming months, when I hope to get back to intensive research).
The book element has grown in recent months when, in large part due to my involvement with Blogcritics, I've started to write formally formatted reviews. That, combined with recent events, has also probably boosted the political content - I'm not sure how much of that will remain in the long term, or indeed if I should split that off in a separate blog, or leave the posts just on blogcritics. (Any comments, complaints?)
I started off saying that I didn't care about the level of readership - and in some ways that is true: one of the values of Philobiblon to me is simply its push to make a personal record of what I've read and seen.
But I doubt there're many bloggers who, once they've found a web counter, don't check it at least semi-regularly, and it is nice to think you are part of a community. For all of the complaints about the decline of civil society in the information age, there could hardly be a better way to gather compatible people together. (And it would be nice to regularly top 100 readers a day some time - such a nice round number.)
I thought the occasion should be marked, so I've done a little redesign - nothing too flash - Philobiblon has improved my HTML skills, but I'll never be a full-on geek - and I've only just worked out photo posting. (And yes I know it is showing my age, but I do marvel at the ease with which you can post to Flickr, get a URL and drop it in your blog. They even give you different sizes to choose from!)
And I've, finally, got around to cleaning up my blogroll and at least partially updating it. I still have many more Femmes Fatales I should add (and indeed a whole FF section in the sidebar), which I will get too soon. As indeed I WILL get to updating my website, which has been shamefully neglected in the past year, as several people have pointed out to me.
So for the next year? More of the same, I expect. Blogging and blog reading has, for good or ill, now become a fundamental part of my life. I'm probably kidding myself on the downward side when I say I spend two hours a day at it. (But it has led me to get rid of the TV that I never got around to switching on, so I count it as the equivalent use of leisure time - and it is considerably more productive and stimulating.)
Vive la blog!