As you can see after much difficulty and frustration, I got Scott-O-Rama.com back online finally with a spiffy new look (if I can say so myself). It is ironic then that this will be my last blog post. Please let me explain.
When I went on my second blogging hiatus back in March, it was because I had lost all my motivation to blog. It seemed like blogging was something I felt compelled to do, not something I enjoyed doing. I was having difficulty organizing the random thoughts in my head into intelligent (well at least readable) blog entries. I also found that I was writing for an audience and not for myself.
I had originally intended to return on May 1st, but that soon became June 1st and then that became July 1st and so on. Part of the reason for the delay was I wanted to give my blog a new look, and it took me a long time to decide on something. I was hoping that a fresh, shiny new blog look would inspire me again. It didn’t.
(I also intended to implement Disqus for comments. I haven’t done that because now it would be pointless. I highly suggest for other bloggers out there to consider using it on their blogs though.)
During my time away I also talked to a lot of my blogger friends about the state of the blogosphere so to speak. It is my feeling that the blogosphere has changed significantly from the time I started my blog until now. For the first couple of years it seemed there was a huge (gay) blog community. Everyone had a blog, and we all knew each other and commented on each blogs on a daily basis. Slowly that began to break apart. People found that they just couldn’t keep up with the blog reading let alone writing. I would say of that initial blog community, less than half of them are still online. Those that are still around are significantly less active. Funny what happens when real life gets in the way.
On top of that, the rise of MySpace and Facebook followed by Twitter and Plurk stole people’s attention away from blogs even futher. Suddenly it wasn’t necessary to read or write big long blog posts to stay in touch with your online friends. You could challenge them to a game of Scrabble on Facebook or write a 140-character or less tweet/plurk to tell them what you were up to. Eventually these “micro-blogging” communities will fade in popularity too, and something else will replace them. As evidence of this cyclical pattern of the web, I would ask the old-timers if they remember Tribe. At one time, it was the hot spot for the gay social online community.
While I’ve been on hiatus, I’ve had a chance to concentrate on some other areas in my life. Buckaroo and I adopted a new puppy Kayla. Although also an Australian Cattle Dog (at least primarily), she’s completely unlike our other dog Karter and our dear late Bailey. It took a little readjusting of our expectations, but Kayla has brought us much joy. Through this and my pursuit of other interests, I discovered that I no longer felt a need to return to Scott-O-Rama.com.
The other part of all this is that I’ve been very vigilant in keeping my online persona “Scott-O-Rama” and my real life persona separate. Only a handful of my online friends know my full name or Buckaroo’s real name. Likewise very few of my real world friends have been told about my blog. I’ve had some real problems keeping the two identities separate. Friends that know both of the real me and online me have been caught in the crossfire causing me more and more frustration, and I’ve come to resent my “Scott-O-Rama” profile because it no longer feels honest.
If everything would have gone as planned and my blog online relaunched last Sunday, I wouldn’t be writing this post now. I would probably be spending a few more months with the growing conflict between online privacy and connecting with real life friends online. Fortunately, however, I screwed up some DNS records on my domain and while I waited for that to be straightened out, I came to the somewhat sad realization that it was time to let go of Scott-O-Rama. Once I made this decision, I’ve felt a sense of relief so I know it’s the right choice.
Although my blog will remain online for a month or two longer until my hosting subscription expires, I am closing down Scott-O-Rama and saying goodbye. I am also going to begin deleting or closing my “Scott-O-Rama” profiles on places such as Facebook, Twitter, and even my beloved Plurk. I’ll probably step away from the online world for a bit and experience this thing called “First Life“.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you all for the past four-five years. This site has been so cathartic and theraputic, and your words, comments, and e-mails have really mean a lot. I’ve so enjoyed the witty comments, the thoughtful debates, and raw emotions. It is with a heavy heart I say “goodbye”, but I know I need to move on to a new phase of my life too.
Wishing you the very best life has to offer,
P.S. Buckaroo wishes to thank you all as well and says “Happy Trails…”