For the past few days, I have been looking at each of the 572 previous posts1 I published on the blog. My main purpose was to keep a limited blog inventory; that is, I wanted to record all the titles and permalinks. I also took a trip down memory lane.
Initially, I was just going through the Posts page on this blog and recording the data from there, but that got tedious. I then tried to go through the WP Admin page, but that was taking longer than I expected, and I didn’t want to accidentally erase anything. I finally decided to click directly on my first post and do some copying and pasting from there.
I honestly meant to do this from the beginning. In fact, I created a Word document for this purpose and started putting my first links in, but I got lazy soon afterward. Maybe it was for the best because I lost 3 years of work because of my old computer.2
Anyway, I finally caught up. After recording all the titles and permalinks from my previous posts, I have a few notes. And yes, this is a blog update.
My Initial Thoughts
While doing my blog inventory, I couldn’t help but notice how many posts I managed to write and publish in the 2010s. There were two years, specifically, when I was the most inspired: 2016 and 2017.
I started this blog in 2015, but I did not find my groove until the following year. Even though 2016 was a rough year overall, it was a good writing year for me. Somehow, I managed to establish a reasonable writing schedule and publish on time (for the most part).
The thing that helped me come out of my shell (somewhat) was my participation in the Blogging University courses.3
I also had a good blogging year in 2017. Even though 2016 was more productive overall, I created more original posts in 2017. Regardless, I am amazed at how well I kept to a rigorous blogging schedule for over two years.
What Did I Find During My Blog Inventory?
During this blog inventory, I started reading some of my posts, looking at the media, and checking if some of the links within the text worked. This is what I found:
- Numerous grammatical and spelling errors.4That’s what I get for rushing posts (and comments) and not doing basic proofreading. However, in some cases, I made honest mistakes since grammar rules had changed over the years. At least I have Grammarly now.
- Defunct links. Whenever I used links, I knew that they worked at the time of publishing. However, over time, some websites went down, changed URLs, or removed pages entirely.
- Missing media. In most cases, it was a YouTube Issue because it took down those videos. In one instance, an image I took from Imgur was gone. Several tweets were missing, although the quotes were still there.
- Duplicate media. On at least one post, I the same image twice. That’s because when I shared my posts on Facebook, the preview would take the last image I used in the post. I just forgot to erase the second instance of the image.
- Formatting issues. Sometimes, I forgot to put some text in quotes. In other cases, I found extra spaces between media that shouldn’t be there.
These are all problems that I could easily fix, but it will take days to do since I published so many posts. Maybe it is a good thing that I slowed down in the three previous years.
What Do I Need to Do to Update My Blog?
I edited a few of the posts, too. However, I have a lot of work to do5 — besides making new posts. I will need to:
- Add images to posts that don’t have any. I might also add “featured” images6 to posts that only have them within the body.
- Add in-text links and internal links where needed.
- Check all the internal links I use and adjust them if needed. Since I have a free plan, I need to cut off the first part of internal links (https://shmaltzandmenudo.wordpress.com) so I will not get pingback messages.
- Check all the external links in all posts with hypertext and update them if needed. If any post has a defunct link and there is no other source to link to, I will just remove the links entirely.
- Remove the links to media that disappeared. If I can, I should link to other media. If there is any text that indicates an image and there is no replacement for that image, I will have to remove/update that text.
- Check the grammar and spelling on each post and update accordingly. This is self-explanatory.
- Check the coding on some posts and update accordingly. This may be difficult, especially with blocks.
- Copy the text from dead tweets and reformat them as quotes. I keep the text of my posts on my computer, so I will need to paste that text there, too.
- Replace some tweets with screenshots. Twitter users can delete tweets or change their handles, so I may opt to use screenshots more.
- Possibly convert all posts to blocks. It seems easier to edit in blocks sometimes.
I will leave notes at the bottom of posts to indicate the changes I make to each post I update. I have already done this with some posts.
Which Posts Are My Favorite?
Since I did take some time to look over my website, I can humbly say that I made some great posts over these past 5 years. Of all the posts, I can say the following are my favorites (in this order):
- I Explicate: The New Colossus
- The Rift on the Left Series
- The entire Sexism in Naruto series
- Why Do We Use Fireworks on the Fourth of July?
- The Things I Don’t Like About Television series
Of course, I love doing the Famous Sayings posts, but the posts I listed stand out the most. Some of the posts on the list received some wonderful feedback, and the Sexism in Naruto series brought me the most overall traffic. But the poem explication feels the most gratifying — even without the feedback — because of the work I put into it. To be honest, that was a repost, but I updated it with more information and better images.
Do I Have Plans for This Blog for the Rest of 2021?
I think my only “plan” is to post more. If anything, I need to get the Famous Sayings posts started again, but I need to make sure I have enough to post regularly.
I am not sure if I will do the News Roundup again, but I need to talk about current events from time to time. If I could get in the groove of reading current events and taking notes, the News Roundup will make a comeback. An occasional post about global and domestic events seems fitting, though.
Besides that, some pop-culture topics interest me, so keep an eye out for those types of posts in the future.
When it comes to social media, I need to be proactive with some of my social media accounts. It’s much easier to work with Tumblr and Twitter, but I need to post more there. Facebook is hard since it requires me to make actual posts to boost my content. Instagram is another story.7
Will I Eventually Switch to a Paid Plan?
I honestly don’t know. While I see the benefits of having a paid plan, a paid site requires more work, and I would lose the following I have. I would have to regain followers, and it took me forever to get the 200+ I have. On the other hand, a lot of people I met during the Blogging University courses shut down their blogs over the years.
In any event, I think I need to make videos to increase my following. If my following is big enough, I will likely need a paid blog so that I can have a place to store all my content just in case.
I guess that’s all I have to say about this blog, but as I looked at my post, one thing bothered me the most — besides my grammatical errors. It was the lost media/defunct links.
Whenever videos get taken down and bloggers delete their websites, it just reminds me that the Internet has an ephemeral nature. Sure, some people may have no use for their blogs anymore, but it’s sad to see them go. Also, when it comes to studying history or various topics that interest me, it’s inconvenient when links no longer work or the media that I used in my post has disappeared.
That said, I plan to keep this blog up for years to come. I love having the outlet, and I just want to keep an archive of my musings and research. Whether you have followed me since 2016 or you’re a new follower, thanks for joining me on this journey.
- One of those posts isn’t really “mine.” Suze wrote that one (for a guest post) and reshared that on her main blog, which is no longer up.
- I am referring to the PC had that I purchased in 2018 and received in late March of that year. In January 2021, the PC’s internal hard drive died, leaving me no way to retrieve the information I had on it. I have owned four computers since 2010, the first being an HP notebook that ran on Windows XP. My second computer in the decade, which I’ve complained about numerous times, ran on Windows 7 (and it still works, albeit slowly). My third PC is the one that just broke down.
- Those Blogging University courses no longer exist as forums, so it appears that my “classmates” and I found them just in time.
- Two of those grammatical errors made their way into my URLs. I was able to catch one and update the post, the permalink, and corresponding social media posts. However, I will just keep one post’s URL the way it is. I just updated the title.
- I will likely need to create an Excel or Google Sheets document to do a complete inventory and keep track of the changes I make to each post.
- Since I’m using the free plan, my options are limited for using a featured post. When I set a featured image, it changes the image that appears in my header. I don’t want that, so I usually post an image before the text in my posts.
- Yeah, I created an Instagram account a year ago. You can find me at https://www.instagram.com/shmaltzandmenudo/. Just like I sucked at Twitter, I suck at Insta. It will take me a while to get the hang of it.