Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of this blog’s first post: my blogiversary. I had dreams of Internet fame on that day in 2007, dreams that if they aren’t realized by now probably never will be!
What happened instead is I met all of you, through your comments. It’s been deeply rewarding. You have taught me things, made me laugh, and told me both when I’ve moved you and when I’ve missed the mark. Interacting with you here has enriched my life!
I’ve been curious for years who has commented the most often here. Because I upgraded to the WordPress.com Business plan some time ago, I have access to this blog’s database. A little querying gave me the answers! Here are the most frequent commenters each year.
2007: Michael. One of my oldest and best friends, Michael and I met in college. We used to stay up until all hours of the morning talking about life. He and I have seen each other through some stuff.
2008: Dani. A friend and colleague, Dani and I we work in the same industry here in central Indiana. Our kids are the same age, and when they were small we used to let them play together.
2009 and 2010: Lone Primate. I’m pretty sure Lone Primate found my blog while searching for old and abandoned roads, an interest we share. He doesn’t update his blog very much anymore, but if you dig through the archives you’ll find lots of interesting old-road scenes around Toronto. He still pops up in the comments here from time to time.
2011 and 2012: Irene/ryoko861. I’m not sure how Irene found my blog or why she found it appealing, but she sure commented a lot for a few years! But then she fell away and finally disappeared. I hope she’s well, wherever she is and whatever she’s doing.
2013 and 2015: Ted Kappes/pesoto74. Ted shares my interest in vintage cameras, and blogged about his collection for several years. Ted doesn’t comment anymore, but every once in a while I’ll get an email from him about something I’ve written. (This option is open to you, too; just fill out my contact form on my About page.)
2014: bodegabayf2. We both enjoy vintage cameras; he blogs about his photograpy as well. He’s been incredibly generous to me, donating some wonderful equipment and helping me grow as a photographer through sharing his experience.
2016: Sam. Another committed photographer and blogger, Sam is unfailingly encouraging when he drops by. So many film photographers are anti-digital — Sam and I agree that this is silly, and that there’s a time for film and a time for digital.
2017, 2018, and 2019: Dan James. Yet another committed photographer and blogger, Dan didn’t know he was working his way out of film photography during these years. Yet that’s exactly what happened. He continues his photography with a cache of simple but good older digital cameras.
2020: brandib1977. A fellow traveler and adventurer, brandib1977’s blog is all about what’s around that next curve in the road. As you know, I’m always showing what I see around that bend, so perhaps that’s why she has become such a frequent commenter.
A whole bunch of other people have been frequent commenters here: Bill Bussell, ambaker49, Nancy Stewart, Brandon Campbell/bwc1976, Dan Cluley, Derek/dehk, Denny Gibson, DougD, eppar, George Denzinger, Gerald, Heide, urbanhafner, Jason Shafer, jacullman, Joshua Fast, The Trailhead, Jon Campo, Joe shoots resurrected cameras, J P Cavanaugh, Steve Miller, Bernie Kasper, Photobooth Journal, Kurt Garner, Kurt Ingham, versa kay, Photography Journal Blog, Marcus Peddle, M. B. Henry, Michael McNeill, Mike Connealy, Christopher May, tbm3fan, Moni, nobbyknipst, Neil, SilverFox, N. S. Palmer, Bob Dungan, Reinhold Graf, Richard Kraneis, Roy Karlsvik, Christopher Smith, kiwiskan/Maureen Sudlow, Jennifer S, Todd Pack, Tori Nelson, traveller858, Andy Umbo, davidvanilla, Ward Fogelsanger, and zorgor.
Even if you didn’t make that list, I value your comments no less and am always glad when you write!
As I looked back through commenters’ names, I noticed many who don’t comment anymore. Sometimes people naturally move on. I can think of a few blogs where I used to be a frequent commenter myself. Sometimes you have to change where you give your time. Sometimes you move on from a blog’s subject matter. Sometimes a blog’s subject matter moves on from you. This is how it goes. But I miss the people who don’t comment anymore.
I’ve been trying to think of a metaphor for a good comments section and the closest I can come up with is a neighborhood tavern. When you walk in the door, you feel like everybody knows you and you know everybody. You get into some deep conversations with some, and with others you always keep it light. Everyone sees only the side of you that you bring to the room, but there’s still a feeling of friendship and camaraderie.
This is hard to come by in this modern age. Thank you for giving it to me here.