Last month marked the 13 year anniversary of sushi-cat.net. A domain name I created my freshmen year of college as a sushi-newcomer and a lover of cats. Honestly I mostly only eat crustacean type sushi and I’m now pretty allergic to cats (but I still love em.) A lot of people have asked how I’ve managed to keep my blog for so long and I struggle to find a singular reason. It’s been a combination of laziness, familiarity, and scraping together a bit of cash flow to keep it up and running. Mainly it’s just something I do. It’s mine; my space. And I want it in my life.
When I first started out I had previously had blogs on free hosting sites and affiliates. The blog community was really homegrown back in the day. You made friends and often they’d introduce you to someone who happened to own site space and you piggy-backed off them. Awesome people really! Who would even do that these days?
Then you had THE BLOG QUIZZES. Oh those were the rage long before Facebook. I had created quite a number of my own and the challenge was to find image hosting that allowed hotlinking! Because bandwidth was a serious matter back then. You couldn’t just host linked images on your site or else your account would be locked for “Excessive Bandwidth” violations! A blogger’s nightmare!
The quizzes led a lot of people to my blog. And soon after I had gotten into Japanese fashion and was importing magazines (for a pretty penny) and scanning them to share. I eventually created a “CUTiE” sub-domain with a mailing list of over 3,000 subscribers. How I managed to accumulate that many people I’ll never know, but it was during the days the LiveJournal FRUiTS community was red hot and I was working with friends on things like an online crafts store called “Luff Puff” (shoutout to Em!!) to bring in some extra money during college. This was all before social media and I think Etsy was just starting up. Basically if you wanted to sell anything online you either had to create the store yourself or use eBay.
Those days were fun especially as a web developer. I’d churn out a new layout about every 2 weeks. Everyone did! New layouts were the expectation and to have the same one for over a few weeks typically meant you didn’t care about your site.
Past layouts by date!
The oldest layouts. There were too many of these to even display them all. I had to grab these off archive.org. Back when many (2003-2007) people still had 56k (or DSL if you were rich) so everything was tiny. The photos, the text, the text area, the skill (LOL.)
Honestly I still love this header. LOVE IT. The 6 different fonts on the page though… no thanks.
This was my honeymoon layout when I eloped after realizing planning a traditional wedding was bumming me out every day of the week.
Made this during the days zozopeople blog community was peaking. I miss those days. Those blogs were so inspiring and were what inspired me to get an Olympus Pen camera.
Now when I update my blog it’s typically more behind the scenes and during the summer. There’s something about coding all night during summer with the windows open that just hits a soft spot in me. I don’t give a lot of time to my site these days. For one, working on sites all day for work leaves little desire to do it for “fun” all the time. Another reason is social media. I update those so often that my blog is more for documenting purposes rather than simple sharing like in the past.
Blogging and Privacy
When you have a blog for so long you’re going to end up dealing with the overall transparency it eventually creates. These days “Blogger” is a profession and so telling friends and family of your blog is an easy choice. But years ago you’d
1) have to explain what a blog is and
2) ensure your mother that no you were not giving out your address to murderers.
Over the years friends and family and coworkers have found this blog. Some choose to let me know in a positive way. Others chose to use it against me as an emotional weapon. And then there’s the ones who simply kept it to themselves. I prefer the last group. Because if I did not tell you about my blog I probably had a good reason or didn’t feel it was important and wanted to share my life through a different means.
This has led me down a road of waxing and waning when it comes to what I want to share on this blog. There are times I want to share very personal struggles in the hope that maybe it could help at least 1 other person. But there is the reality that these are struggles I may not want to have brought up to me by the people in my daily life who may read it as well. Not to mention the times I’ve been recognized from my blog. While extremely flattering and sweet, I’m not one looking for attention. I’m very introvert and people stopping me while I’m at the grocery store, clothes shopping, or dining out was always very startling. So when people comment for more outfit posts, selfies, etc. it’s only because I’ve chosen to try and be a bit more private over the years.
I’ve also been asked why I leave up my archives and don’t delete them even though I had changed so much! I’ll admit many of those posts are cringe-worthy, but they were who I was. And while I have grown, I don’t want to forget those things either. I’m not the type to “erase the past.” I want to grow and learn from it (while trying not to re-live it.) And really, deleting the archives would make me feel I was taking myself much too seriously! :)
That’s where I am today. Somewhere between serious and trivial.