Today is my (blog’s) birthday

2009 March 25
by David J. Ringer

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS — On March 25, 2005, shortly after 4 p.m., I published Search and Serendipity’s first post (It’s spring!) after a beautiful, birdy Saturday in East Texas. I was a senior in college. (Astute observers may notice that my archives go back slightly further than that, but those are bits of writing I had done and then back-dated after I started the blog.)

I had heard of blogs during college but didn’t really know anybody who had one. I had been trying to think of a reason that anyone would want to write a blog when, one March day, I saw a small gang of Brown-headed Cowbirds singing and displaying in the spring sunshine, and something clicked. I could write a blog about birds! A few days later, I signed up for Blogger and got started.

I suppose that in blog years, Search and Serendipity is middle-aged.

When I started blogging, Google Maps was less than six weeks old, and it did not have satellite view. When I started blogging, nobody I knew had ever heard of Facebook. When I started blogging, Twitter was still an entire year away from its debut, and even farther from fame.

According to an estimate by John Trapp of Birds Etcetera, there may have been fewer than 35 birding blogs based in North America when I started Search and Serendipity four years ago. (See the estimate, plus a list of bird blog pioneers who started in 2002 and 2003 here.)

Today, there are hundreds. Instead of blogrolls that could once contain most known birding blogs, we now have services like Nature Blog Network that let us explore seemingly endless blogs from all over the world. Wow.

Identifying the oldest bird blog probably isn’t possible — definitions would derail the discussion if nothing else — but Janet Egan of The Plover Warden Diaries has dated entries going back to 1996 on her old site, and the Internet Archive confirms that some of those pages date back to at least January 1998. That was about the same time that the word “blog” was coined, and before any blog publishing services became available.

For a look at who else was around in 2005, have a look at I and the Bird #1! (That was in July 2005. I found IATB and started participating in September, I think.)

Well, enough nostalgia. My life has changed hugely over the last four years, but on this fourth anniversary of Search and Serendipity’s debut, I find myself enjoying a Texas spring once again.

I haven’t been able to be as prolific as some, nor as influential as others, but I’m really enjoying writing this blog and getting to know so many of you through it.

Bird on!

Related posts:

  1. Maintenance downtime today!
  2. A few warblers today
10 Responses
  1. March 25, 2009

    Congratulations and happy birthday! I’m happy to know another birder and nature blogger. (And I love the Vigilance theme too.) I just checked out your Rocky Mountain adventure, and the photos are wonderful. Am happy to hear the blogging bug is sustainable.

  2. March 25, 2009

    Happy blogday (blogversary?), and congratulations on not just surviving, but thriving. And though I suppose you can somewhat precisely determine how prolific one may be, influence is likely beyond measure – don’t sell yourself (or your blog) short!

    Looking forward to the next year, one post at a time . . .

  3. March 25, 2009

    Happy blog birthday, youngster. Your blog made me go back at look at when I started my Empty Nest blog–it was nearly a year before you! Think of it–that from and old hen like me. Actually, it was your friend Charley who introduced me to blogging. And when I complained to him that the blogs from his college friends seemed a bit, umm, shallow, he gave me a list of blogs approved for old ladies. :-)

    My blog has a bird theme too, but more in literary terms, with just a few real birds thrown in. I didn’t actually get interested in birding until my own chickadees had flown the coop and I needed a new hobby to deal with the lonely empty nest. When one fledgling took a biology class taught by an ornithologist, I got interested in birding while trying to help her find 50 birds so she could pass her class!

  4. March 25, 2009

    Oh, and I got a good laugh out of that comment on your very first blog!

  5. March 25, 2009

    Happy Blogoversary!

  6. March 25, 2009

    Happy Anniversary! You’re blog is one of the few I began reading that inspired me to start my own. So congrats for four great years!

  7. March 25, 2009

    Should be your blog, of course. Ugh, homophones.

  8. March 25, 2009

    Happy Blogoversary. I believe I discovered the gem that is your blog back at that first IATB that you participated in. Envious of your travels, and your writing I’ve enjoyed following along all of these years.

    Keep it up.

  9. March 26, 2009

    Happy (belated) blogiversary! Congratulations on another year! I’m glad you decided to throw your hat in the ring and I’m glad you’re still doing it. And I’m looking forward to another year of the gifts you bestow upon the rest of us.

  10. David J. Ringer permalink*
    March 26, 2009

    Thanks, everyone. Y’all are the best. :)

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