According to the date archive over there on the right sidebar, Time Goes By has been stirring up this corner of the blogosphere for about three years. But that’s not quite true. The Control Panel on Typepad, the host of this site, tells me I’ve been a member going on four years, since August 2003.
That is when I started to design TGB and work out its parameters, what questions it would address and attempt to answer and how best to do that. In short, its reason to be.
Back then, I believed the blog would force me to organize and think more clearly about all the research I’d been doing on aging since 1996 or ‘97. I had been in the news and television business for most of my career, long enough to know that aging was not one of the top ten – or even top 100 – sexiest subjects in the media. And so high traffic numbers, a goal I was paid to pursue for decades in other media, could not be the point.
While Time Goes By is hardly an a-list blog, it is astounding to me that now, three-plus years later, readership is as large as it is and continues to grow almost daily. And I didn’t even do anything much to promote it except show up here every day.
Part of the reason readership is growing is that the media times are changing in relation to aging now that the oldest boomers have hit 60, and people even older than that are lately some of the biggest stars on YouTube and MySpace. Some good progress is being made in such places in the recognition and inclusion of elders.
Just in the past week or two, a lot of new names have turned up in the Comments section. Whether you are new to TGB or maybe de-lurking after silently hanging around for awhile, here’s a big, sloppy welcome to Leopold, Mrs.R, Heidi, belladonna, Vivian, Meg, Florida Fanny, Vera, Brian, Cindy, Matt, Wendy, Lu, Marilyn, Ray, Anna, Mary Duffy, james, Pat Temiz, lakedawn, Betty and all the rest I apologize for overlooking in this short list; it is not intentional.
I am grateful to you and to every “regular” as well who stop by to leave your thoughts, ideas, arguments, opinions, perspectives and experiences because what I did not know three-and-a-half years ago is that a blog is first, and most importantly, a community. Without you, I’m just spitting into the wind every day.
Sometimes I can hardly believe how lucky Time Goes By is to have such a large community of smart, wise, perceptive and often, funny people who take seriously what is written here and contribute so much to the conversation. Others have begun to notice how compelling you are. Listen to what they are saying, in the Comments section here and on their own websites, about you:
Meg: “Love all the comments...each one adds to my understanding of this question and this time in life.”
Paula Bruggeman, Retirement Living TV: “I love all the conversation on your site…because it helps me remain alert to ageist assumptions that might creep into my work as I develop story topics for future shows.”
Matt Thornhill, The Boomer Project: "…the comments are great, too.”
Kate at Kate Thoughts: “[Time Goes By] has a readership that leaves insightful comments…”
Chuck Nyren, Advertising To Baby Boomers: “…the comments by Ronni's readers are as fun and vital as her posts. Time Goes By is a true virtual community.
So, happy three-ish anniversary to all of us, and give yourselves a hand. In fact, get up from your chair to applaud because you deserve a standing ovation. Who woulda thunk it – not me – in 2003 and 2004, that such a strong, versatile, exciting community could grow up around talkin’ about getting old.