On this day, five years ago I posted the first message on this blog in a move from chatting on a private website forum to posting my thoughts on a public blog.
IanVisits is five years old today. Happy Birthday!
At the time, the blog had a plan, of which nothing has actually come to pass, but who knew that at the time?
It’s been a strange few years, with the first year of the blog being a bit haphazard, but slowly settling down to what it has become today, which is still quite haphazard, but ever so slightly less so. Originally, it was to act as a conduit to continue something I had been doing for some years already in “the other place”, which was organising group tours to interesting places.
Indeed, the blog’s original title was “IanVisits… interesting places”.
When I left that other website, I notified people that I would carry on with the events, but the audience size wasn’t really large enough at the start, and my own personal life took a turn for the worse, so they died off, and I stopped visiting interesting places quite as often.
Which disappointed me at the time, but the blog has instead taken a life of its own, and as a result got me visiting interesting places again (even if I have go alone instead of taking 20 of you with me).
Of course, most of those interesting places are thanks to you reading the blog so regularly – and thus persuading other people I am the sort of chap they should let wander round their building sites or similar.
It’s what you might call enlightened self-interest.
Thanks to you reading this blog, I have meet some very interesting people, and stood in some very interesting places over the past few years.
So thank you!
Although I don’t organise events myself any more (more about that another time), this coming Tuesday coincidentally marks the 3rd anniversary of the listings guide I started on here.
It’ll never be more than a niche listings guide, but the niche seems to be slowly growing in audience size – so that is very exciting.
It’s also deeply reassuring to learn that there are people out there who are interested in the same sorts of things that interest me!
More importantly though, I get occasional feedback from venues letting me know that people mentioned IanVisits when attending something. That’s quite important as having a listings guide that gets web traffic is nice, but having a listings guide that results in people going out and doing something, is far more rewarding for me personally.
On a personal note, despite the pleasures that come from writing a blog, it has been for me a difficult time, as I started the blog while still recovering from a serious illness, and while my health recovered, the pendulum swung the other way as the recession destroyed my finances to the point I seriously considered personal bankruptcy earlier this year. Fortunately, the finances, while still dire are slowly improving.
I hope to resume organising my own guided tours and events again maybe next year if the financial situation stabilises (and I don’t get buried by debt and tax collectors!). Here’s hoping that I’ll be writing a more upbeat 10th anniversary report in 5 years time.
Regardless of that, I shall have a drink this evening to celebrate.