I don't have a whole lot to say about that, specifically -- I blog because it's fun and I enjoy sharing things I know and feel with others, and I enjoy having others share what they know and feel with me, and that's basically what the whole blogging thing is about. Yes, there's also some pure egoboosting in there as well, but I think I can honestly say that every regular reader I gain is one that I've earned, by writing stuff that's either witty, smart, insightful, or touching. Or maybe the readers are here for the occasional photos of women. I'm not picky.
I started this blog when the Salt Lake Winter Olympics of 2002 were just getting underway (or maybe hadn't quite even started yet), when The Daughter was in her Terrible Two's (which weren't that "terrible", really), when I was working a dead-end telesales job, when there were still two Star Wars and two Lord of the Rings movies in the offing, when The X-Files was winding down and when Scrubs and American Idol were just getting going, when 9-11 was a terribly fresh memory (and don't even try claiming that it still is, at least in the same way), and when the political sector of Blogistan had yet to welcome such folks as Atrios and TBogg and Kevin Drum and Lance Mannion and so on.
And I can't help but think of how when I launched this blog, figuring to do it for a few months or maybe a year at most, having a second child was a distant thought that The Wife and I rarely discussed. How things change, eh? Assuming I'm still maintaining Byzantium's Shores when its fifth anniversary rolls around in February 2007, I will have been blogging for more than half the time I've been married. And yet I would trade every post, every sentence, every word, every letter of this blog, without question, if I could have back the son whom this blog outlived. The things that go, the things that stay.
By the way, my current impression is that Byzantium's Shores is one of the oldest Buffalo Blogs in existence. Alex Halavais's blog has sporadic archives dating back to 1994, but the regular archives begin in May of 2002, and I don't know how much of the preceding material can be termed as a "blog" at all (i.e., how much of that was re-cast as blog entries at some later date). Jennifer has been around almost as long as I have, and I'm sure there are others. But four years is a pretty damn long time in Blogistan! That's a lot of books, of movies, of music, of whining about the Bills sucking and the Stupid Patriots not sucking, of wishing the Democrats would get a clue and George W. Bush would just go away, and of writing and meeting cool people. I've gone from maintaining strict pseudonym status to posting tons of photos of myself and attending blog meet-ups. And I've grown about six inches on my hair and added a beard.
Four years in Blogistan. Will there be four more? Who knows? I'd like to think I've got it in me to keep going that long; after all, I don't see anybody else charging in to maintain Blogistan's proper mix of geekdom and workwear. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.