Today is the sixth anniversary of Night Owl Cards. On this very day in 2008, I started a blog at 3 in the morning.
Blogging today is not like it was then. I'm basically the same and my blog's basically the same, but everything else is different.
I've been thinking about this a lot in recent weeks. I have to say I haven't been crazy about the changes. The difference between 2008 and 2014 has seemed vast lately. Some examples:
1. Once, I would buy a pack at the store, publish the contents here, throw out some fairly obvious observations that are familiar to collectors, and get a wave of reaction. That hardly happens anymore. I either have to have a once-in-a-lifetime moment or open a vein to get the same kind of reaction.
2. There is a lot less philosophical discussion of cards on the blogs than there was in 2008. Maybe it's because card blogs were newer then and it's all been said, but I miss that.
3. Quirky doesn't cut it anymore. My blog is built on quirky. I like quirky, researched posts like this and this. They used to get a lot of reaction. They don't anymore.
4. Even though there are just as many blogs -- if not more -- than there were in 2008, a lot of old bloggers have migrated to Twitter. Twitter is great for getting the instant reaction that you used to get on blogs. But blogs are more my style and I always will come back to blogs. However, I don't see a lot of bloggers who left for Twitter doing the same.
5. There are just as many blogs but not as many readers. I'm not talking about comments, I'm talking about clicks. Maybe someone wiped out all of the bots in Southeast Asia, but even in just the last three weeks, readership has taken a dive. This used to happen every November and last until January. Now, apparently it's starting in late August.
6. I don't like current cards as much as I did in 2008. I don't feature them nearly as often. Maybe by not being as current, it puts a damper on everything.
So those are your six "degrees" of differences between blogging then and now. Sounds kind of grumpy doesn't it?
But I'm still willing to try. That's why to celebrate today's anniversary I thought I'd go out and buy some current cards and try to capture that magic from 2008, when I was buying current cards and -- sort of -- liking them.
I reviewed the selection at Walmart and instantly realized that this was a bad idea. I don't want what's on the shelves. Blasters of Bowman Platinum? No way. Rack packs of Chrome? Tried it already and done. Series 1 and 2 racks? Done with that in May.
But I really wanted something for the celebration -- to prove that I still can post current cards here and at least make a feeble attempt at liking them.
So I grabbed a blaster of Allen & Ginter.
Don't groan. People didn't groan in 2008.
This is my third blaster of A&G. I'm trying to complete the set as usual. I'll just show the highlights (and lowlights) because I did my annual A&G post a long time ago, before readership tanked.
OK, here they are:
Yeah, all right ... THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!
You could've picked any player from the '90s to feature. Travis Fryman gets completely ignored. But, you've got to throw another card of Will the Shrill in there. This is not a good start.
I didn't realize that Roger Maris was the first card in this year's set. That's probably the proper way to do it. Enough heartache with featuring Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun at No. 1. Go with the dead players, Topps. Everyone loves the dead.
This happens to be the last card in the set. So I pulled the alpha and the omega of 2014 Allen and Ginter. That's kind of cool. Kind of quirky.
Oh, and this:
Looks a little familiar, huh?
I AM TRYING TO DO A POST ON HOW I CAN STILL ENJOY CURRENT CARDS AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GIVE ME????????? STOP WITH THE BRAUNS, GROSS!
Anyway, trade bait, for the Brewers fans. Nobody else wants it.
I did a story a couple of months ago on cross-fit devotees. I know they get a lot of crap for acting cultish, but I was very impressed with what they do. I was very close to joining a box. You think I'm annoying now.
Those are the minis that made the frankenset binder. The Iron Sheik was the highlight of the package. There are three other minis that will be distributed in future card packages.
And this mini is available to LSU fans.
Again ... I'm really trying to like current cards ...
This guy is a businessman with success in craft beers. Good for him. Unless he races with a mug of beer in each hand and won 50 consecutive races doing that, I don't care ... and it doesn't belong in the set. There is too much free advertising in 2014 A&G.
Way too many dudes in suits, too.
I couldn't do this again in a million years. Four Nationals inserts of the same kind in one blaster?
I can't possibly think of more than three people that this benefits because that's the number of Nationals collectors I've come across in my life.
All right that's about all I got out of that blaster and as you can see all it did was make me cranky.
I wasn't nearly as cranky in 2008.
Yep, things have changed.
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy blogging.
I also realize how fortunate I am to still have the interaction that a lot of blogs don't. (Until this post, at least one person had commented on 302 consecutive posts). I'm still grateful.
But there have been times over the last few months where I've considered taking a short break from the daily posting. So if you see periodic absences in the near future, it doesn't mean I've given up. I'm just trying to deal with this new blogging world.
But also don't be surprised if I stay the course and there is a post a day for the next 80 days. Old habits die hard.
And at six years. This blog is old.
Thanks for still reading. You know who you are.