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Today my blog turns three.

Given this has been my longest run at any one blog spot in cyberspace, it’s gotten me all blog nostalgic and pensive.

On the pensive front, given my now vast experience and the obvious lack of blogging advice out there (amiright?!), I thought I’d give you some reflections on why this time the blog has “stuck” for me.

But first, I thought I’d spend some time bringing you down my bloggy memory lane.

  1. 1996 – My First Webpage

During my first year of university, I took “Introduction to Computers for Arts and Social Science Students”.

I took it to boost my average. But instead found myself learning DOS …

Links to source

…and html.

One of our last projects was to create a webpage.

While I think it would be fair to say I had a friend who gave me an awful lot of help (enough that I joked I should name the webpage after him) I did retain the basics.

Which brings us to:

2. 1997 – GeoCities

Ah! Christmas of 1997. With dial-up and WAY too much time on my hands I set up a GeoCities homepage.

‘Twas there I posted all my high school writing and established my Depeche Mode and Vampire fiction fan pages. So really? Not that different from here.

Links to source

For those unfamiliar with that fallen empire, GeoCities basically popularized the concept of “web sites for everybody.” Before MySpace and LiveJournal there was GeoCities. That space where you could set up a free personal website with minimal technical proficiency. It was bought by Yahoo! in 1999 and my sense is it sort of failed to keep up with the rest of the Internet after that. The company formally shut down in October 2009.

3. 2005-2006 – Students For Literacy Ottawa

In September 2004 I started graduate school and needed a part-time job. I’d been volunteering as a reading circle tutor for kids with Frontier College – Canada’s oldest literacy organization! – since 2001 and they needed a coordinator for their Ottawa programs. I was hired and so for “20 hours” a week I threw my heart and soul into setting up reading circles and homework clubs across Ottawa and training volunteers who wanted to read with kids.

In March of 2005, due to funding issues, the Ottawa Office was shut down and my contract wasn’t renewed. I still remember the call from then President John O’Leary to let me know. It was a stressful time for the College and I appreciated his making the call.

I often joke that while I was “fired”, I refused to go away. For the next few years a group of us volunteers, led by a student intern, kept the Ottawa programs going.

Our first intern was former key volunteer Lyndsay. And she set up a blog that she invited the volunteer leaders to join and let’s just say I found my space (in non caps). I LOVED blogging about literacy – which I did at Students for Literacy Ottawa for about a year.

Lyndsay (one of my early blog muses) and I – at a Frontier College conference about 10 years ago.

Lyndsay (one of my early blog muses) and I – at a Frontier College conference about 10 years ago.

We blogged about our programming …

…but I also met some great folk on the web that I lost track of when I stopped blogging about literacy.

So, I checked if they are still around: Jen Robinson, who was one of my earliest blog connections is still going strong. Kelly from Big A little a closed in 2012. Liz from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy is still blogging. Chicken Spaghetti is still updates on best books and Susan, the author, tweets here.

4. May – September 2010 – Mommycrat

Mommycrat_archiveCheck out my blog button. This is a moment that no one will think is significant except me.

This was my “anonymous mommy blog” during my first mat leave. For about five months.

Because I thought blogging about my kids might be career limiting.

The name was also a good example of “maybe you Google that first” because I thought I was being clever with the fact that I was a bureaucrat – but the term had already been used in the US.

I feel rather like I'm Desperately Seeking Susan here. I claim no credit for this graphic and would love to credit the blogger who made it - but the blog I use to follow with it no longer exists. Please let me know if it's you!

Button from the now defunct Working Mom Blog hop I used to participate in.

In any event, I did a series recently pulling from this blog which gives a flavour of where my mind was at.

My other big memories from this blog stint was meeting Nolie, the first blogger I’d ever met in real life, for non-fictional beers (after being stood up twice by traditional IRL folk who, ironically, just emailed about going for beer, but never actually went), and finding communities at the Mom Bloggers Club that have (I think) since been taken over by others (but whose “new members!” still show up in my inbox). There was Adriel’s Oh Baby! group. She’s changed blogs, but is still online here. And Julia’s Working Mommy Bloggers Group. She’s also stopped mom blogging since then, but I believe she’s now here and body building – which is AWESOME.

That blog went offline when I went back to work and ran out of time/lost interest.

5. Baby Gates Down – 2013 – ongoing

And that brings us to June 9, 2013 when I put up my first post here.

So, at the beginning, I said I’d give you my deep insights into why this one has “stuck”.

You can read my “About Me” page, but mostly I think it’s because I made the decision to blog as myself, connect with others online as myself, and connect locally through my blog with the community and other bloggers.

In short? I got over my “people might think this is silly” mindset and just made this part of what I do along with all the other parts of my life.

Speaking of things people might find silly…

… I still have that broken baby gate that inspired my blog name.

My kids were kind enough to pose for a commemorative bloggy birthday pic to A) confirm it’s still not keeping them down and B) show how much they’ve grown in the past three years!

Baby Gates Down Turns Three

Here’s to another year past the gates with all of you! Thank you for reading.

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