Ten Years of the Mexile

Only four days to go till take off, and just 2 days left at Texaco. Can’t wait, really can’t. And as usual I’m leaving half the planning to the last minute….all adds to the fun. So long as I remember passport, swimming trunks and cashcard it’ll all be fine! I have even managed to get this little website a domain name and a little place on the ‘net. For what purpose I’m not entirely sure, but I can use this bit as a record of my travels anyway, to remind myself of it all when I end up sitting in a hospice going slowly senile. It may yet turn out to be an easy way to get out of emailing each and every person seperately……..Of course, this is all reliant on me being able to update the site from Mexico, so this may well end up being both the first and last post!

And so, on the 22nd June 2003, I began blogging. Ten years ago today. It was the first post, but as things transpired was far from being the last one. My blogging skills have improved since then, I’m pleased to say. But anyway, Happy Birthday to the Mexile! Back then I didn’t call my blog the Mexile. And the domain was garydenness.com, not the garydenness.co.uk that I use today. The .co.uk domains are cheaper, and I’m from the UK. It made sense to make the switch. Although I recently bought the domain name back during a bout of nostalgia, and have a photoblog there.

Back then I also didn’t use WordPress. I could have, I guess. WordPress was created 26 days earlier. Blogger had already been going a few years, having been created in 1999. The first platforms, I believe, hit the virtual shelves in 1998.

The term weblog, and the short form blog, have their origins dating a year prior to that, in 1997. The difference between a blog and a website is reasonably easy to differentiate now – are you using blog software? In the early days it was a bit blurry. I guess there might be some people hand coding a website that functions as a blog today. But there can’t be many.

A very old blog banner I once used.

When I launched in 2003, my blog was self hosted and created using Adobe Dreamweaver. That made it an intensely laborious process, producing new posts. But I persevered for two years. In those two years, I did indeed go to Mexico, as promised in that first post. And I came back, after several months of touring the country from north to south, east to west. I blogged during another two month trek through Central America. Again in Budapest, Madrid and other destinations. And there were a lot of silent periods. Until I returned to Mexico again in 2005.

I cancelled the hosting plan and switched to the MyOpera blogging platform. I lost some of my posts during the move in a hard drive failure, sadly. The bigger loss was about 9 months worth of photos. I quickly moved all my photos to Flickr for safe keeping and have kept them there ever since. My blog has changed platforms a few times though. I switched from calling my blog ‘garydenness.com’ to Mexile in 2006ish. I even considered buying the domain, but Mexile.com was already taken. Some sort of music band, featuring a Brit in Mexico.

A few months later I discovered that I had actually been working with that Brit for several months. It’s a small world, is it not? I felt there was only room for one Mexile, and he got there first, so I changed to Ay Caramba. Yes, I was a big fan of the Simpsons. Then my Brit friend moved back to the UK with his Mexican wife, so in 2007ish I renamed my blog the Mexile. Want to know just how small this world can get? About a year and a half ago, Mrs P and I were walking in the park down the road, and there they were. My Brit friend, his wife and their kid. It turned out they left Mexico for Bournemouth, just a short drive away. Mrs P had her first Mexicana friend in Inglaterra. As I write this, they’re on a day trip in London with some other Mexicanas.

wordpress

The original WordPress theme I used, many years ago.

I abandoned MyOpera in 2007, switching to Blogger. Blogger had so much functionality. Too much. A geek like me can’t help himself, and I made a mess of it with flashing lights, magic scripts and other bits of blog bling. I switched to WordPress in 2009 because it’s a solid platform, has clean looking themes and comes without all the unnecessary wizardry that I find so tempting to play with.  My blog has been award winning and famous, I’ll also have you know! With Opera, I won Member of the Week, with Blogger I was once Blogger of the Day and my post Mexican Chess was a WordPress Featured Post. It’s also been featured on BBC radio and Channel 4 television in the UK.

My most popular post ever? Do you remember the New Seven Wonders of the World thing a few years back? Probably 2007, or thereabouts. I ran a poll on my blog, and published the results the day before the real thing revealed the real results. There was no Taj Mahal in my New Seven Wonders. The next morning I woke up to find I’d had a surprising amount of traffic to my blog, and hundreds of comments from irate Indians desperate to give me a piece of their mind. The comments were lost during one of my blogging platform switched.

Hits

I wonder how many blogs that are still active in 2013 have been going for ten years. Not that many, I’d guess. Less than 1% of them? I reckon that might be a conservative estimate. What do you think? I’m darn well going to claim that as a fact until someone proves me wrong. I’ve always wanted to be a onepercenter. If someone proves me wrong? Screw it, I’ll just become a conservative and continue declaring it as fact. Ain’t no one going to rain on my party today!

So has all this blogging all been worth it? Sure it has. I’ve gotten to write down my life for posterity. I wish there was the option to buy the space and domain in perpetuity. So many memories are stored in these pages. I’ve made money from it. I’m really impressed that I’ve kept at something for a whole decade. But most importantly, I’ve made a lot of friends on here over the years. So here’s to another ten years of blogging. Cheers!

15 thoughts on “Ten Years of the Mexile

  1. What a coincidence seeing a friend you knew in Mexico in a park in Inglaterra!

    As a faithful reader I congratulate you.
    Perserverance is key (of course talent helps). 🙂
    And to many more awards! Cheers

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  2. Happy Founding Day to you. And thanks for the history. It is nice to see how fellow bloggers have walked their paths. My blog is a youngster compared to yours. My first post was in December 2007 — reporting on a scouting trip to La Manzanilla to find digs for retirement in Mexico.

    I have toyed with chucking it all in. Even though I benefit from the way I look at the world as a writer, it is a lot of work. Then I remember the reason I keep t up. It is right there in your first post. “I can use this bit as a record of my travels anyway, to remind myself of it all when I end up sitting in a hospice going slowly senile.”

    Write on, brother.

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    1. I frequently wonder why I bother, It does consume time I could do something more productive with. There is a slightly narcissistic element to blogging. More than that, it’s become a habit. If I bin it now, what was it all for? It’d be like I wasted all those years of blogging, that I did it all for nothing.

      Even more than that, I write on because of chaps and chapettes like you….the virtual (and sometimes real world) friendships that have come my way.

      Perhaps I’ll also have kids one day, who’ll read through these pages. Who knows. Otherwise, it may just be me reading back as I sit in that hospice.

      Until I find a good reason for quitting (other than saving time!), I guess I’ll carry on writing posts. I have to say, blogging made more sense when I was in Mexico City…

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  3. Wow! Ten years! C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! !

    I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading your blog, but probably a good five or six years now. I enjoy reading it, and have also enjoyed meeting you (and Mrs P too).

    One of these days I should probably do my own blog. That said, my biggest fear is running out of material.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are definitely beginning to run out of witty taglines.

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    1. Were you reading before or after Mrs P and I got married? That was Aug 2008.

      Running out of content is not a problem. Pause until you run into more content again. The problem is running out of content but not knowing when to just stop. 🙂

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      1. I think I began reading you right before or right after you got married. I remember reading the posts about the wedding.

        Kim G

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  4. I was browsing through your blog, and ran across this post. I’m very tardy (a year and a half), but congratulations on your ten (now eleven) years of blogging. That is a remarkable accomplishment, and you have definitely grown as a blogger and as a writer in that time. I wonder if I will still be blogging ten years from now.
    Keep up the good work!
    Saludos,
    Bill

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    1. My reply is just as tardy. Hopefully we can forgive each other!

      But thanks for the comment. It was quite a milestone. I don’t think I ever imagined I’d have such a blast doing this blog when I wrote the first post.

      Like

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