[Ugh, sour self-indulgence… proof-reading this makes me nauseous. As a disclaimer, some of the links here duplicate because I’ve taken this as a conversation with myself through my older writings]
So a couple days ago, WordPress told me that I had earned an “achievement”: “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com one year ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.”
I always laugh when WordPress gives me an achievement. Why gamify blogging, an activity which already offers so many extrinsic motivators like views, likes, and follows to push users to remain engaged, viewing ads and producing free content and — oh, that’s why. I guess I just never thought about blogging that way until I started using WordPress.com[mercial], though I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I do sometimes feel that pull for validation to produce a “successful” post, whatever penny-trifle that might mean for my impersonal patron’s ad revenue. The gamification works… even if I hate to admit it.
But, as much as I can, I try to suppress that game-induced anxiety. The achievement only reminds me that I really should get around to moving to a self-hosted site via the open-source WordPress.org software to free myself from a commercial system that can sometimes feel a little manipulative with its tiered service plans hawked on never-ending “flash sales.” However, whenever I look at hosting options, I overwhelm myself with that “paradox of choice” (how can they all have a special offer? Oxymorons.) and begin to feel lethargic and lazy and think eh, ‘might as well settle for the .com for another week. After all, I only started this site so that I could tell my friends to “just check my blog” instead of fiddling through the sharing settings on Google Docs every time we hit some conversational tangent about anime or literature. I don’t need anything fancy.
Thinking about the achievement again though, “anniversary” isn’t quite right… a couple weeks before I made this current site, I made a “testing 1 2 3”-type throw-away account that I deleted a few days later. And months before even that, I had already written several private “posts” (a few republished here) circulated around with just my friends. Then in the other direction, I didn’t use this site for several more days until I uploaded my first post on Friday, June 15 — for some inexcusable reason at 3:29pm (work hours!). Though I often write during downtime between class, I never manage the site from the office (because my computer has no internet access… Japan, techno-wonderland!). Did I use compensated leave that day or, god-forbid, upload from my phone? I can’t remember. Time cares for nothing regarding human periodization, so I suppose I’ll compromise and call it one year, plus or minus a fat, flexible <?>.
Anyway, I’m not a big fan of periodization either (without clocks and calendars, would we worry so much about time?), but I thought I could turn that silly “achievement” into a fun opportunity to reflect on what I’ve done here for the past year.
Aaannnddd… meh? Nothing much, really?Continue reading “Achievement Get: a modest first year of anime blogging, in review”