June 4, 2004
Wordherders, Year One
Wordherders is one year old today. Two of the three first blogs were imported over from other installations (George's and mine) and the third, The Huffalump's Rump -turned- Injuring Eternity, was fresh-baked.
Wordherders developed over drinks in downtown College Park as we celebrated the graduation of George, Mike, and Lara. I had been investigating server space for my blog, started only a few months earlier, because I wanted to shift from a university-owned server to a private one, especially since I was switching jobs and leaving my computing community at the university (and lucky that I did, since the server where my first installation was housed crashed and was wiped only a few days after I moved). Others expressed interest in blogging, or in hosting elsewhere, or in participating in a community, so I offered to buy a domain, run a host for friends and friends-of-friends, all at a low-low cost of nearly free. Chip in on the server space cost, I said, and I'll set up a blog. A win-win situation for all.
Now, a year later, Wordherders is 15 strong and spread across a few different servers (for those who wanted to be included in the community but already had their own host). Bloggers vary from the prolific to the occasional (and, in a rare case or two, the nonexistent, but I won't mention *cough*Marc*cough* names).
Of the Herders housed on wordherders.net, George gets the award for most prolific, with 463 entries and 1048 comments. Chuck is a close second, with 413 entries and 867 comments. But blogging - and herding - is not simply about numbers. I have read with great pleasure over the past year wonderful reviews of films, insights about ekphrastic poetry, compositions on art and culture (digital and otherwise), adventures in writing about culinary delights, thoughts on autobiography, meditations on critters (loud, exploding, and simply cute and cuddly), stories about parents, grandparents and family history, thoughts on teaching, introductions of babies to the world (at least 4 herders have had - or are about to have - babies in the past year, and several others are parents), all against the backdrop of a developing community reflected in our comment sections, our trackbacks, and in our blogrolls.
And like all communities, changes must occur to keep them happy and healthy. While unable to complete it before this blogoversary, I am working towards a redesign of the long-stagnant Wordherder homepage, where I hope to house a working RSS feed of all herder blogs (basic prototype of the feed here). My hope is to change the main Wordherder page into a better center for the community, while allowing each blogger to maintain their own unique identities. I'd also like to solicit ideas from the community - what changes would you like to see and why?
Meanwhile, happy blogoversary to Wordherders! I look forward to another year of communal blogging.