Ten years… that is a while

My online shave journey can be traced for ten years… maybe a little more. That is more than just a little while, so let us take a quick trip down memory lane.

Ten years ago today, on Thursday the fifth of April 2012 at 0925 local time, I posted the very first post on this blog. And roughly two thousand, six hundred and fifty five posts later, I am posting this retrospective.

I had been playing with the idea for a wetshaving blog for some time though. The idea, as far as I recall, was born in part when I laid my previous blog on ice. The reason for blogging was, after all, gone… but I missed the daily ritual of writing something.

The earliest Shave of the Day photo that was tagged as such on my blog - dated 28th July 2014. That was a while ago...
The earliest Shave of the Day photo that was tagged as such on my blog – dated 28th July 2014, and featuring the 2012 LS TSN brush, my Gillette ’58 TV Special, and a sample from the new at the time Wet Shaving Products.

The idea got an impetus when I started lurking at The Shave Nook. I officially joined the ‘Nook the same day as I started the blog. I enjoyed being a regular member for some time before I was asked to join the Moderator team. I’ve been a Mod for a while by now, so that put’s things in perspective as well.

Sidebar: Ten years ago today was not the first time I wrote a blog post about shaving. The very first one I wrote was on the 30th October 2010, while I was in South Sudan as an United Nations Military Observer. I still have (and use) both the razor and the brush I used on that one year Tour of Duty. Recently I got another tube of that shaving cream too, since I have fond memories of it.

I nailed down the format of the blog before I made it public, and the format have stood the test of time. Three Shave of the Day posts each week, and a shaving related post on Tuesdays and Thursday. Additional posts on the weekend if there is something worth breaking the rhythm for.

I tried to be a little philosophical or instructional in my early T-day posts. My interest in history pretty soon had me posting about old advertisements and patents. The occasional review showed up early – the first one being on my very first traditional safety razor. Idle musings on how old razors used to shave popped up early. As did pondering about what shaped the hardware we used – the blades and razors.

But over the years I find it harder to be original and philosophical about shaving. Not because I don’t enjoy my Moment of Zen any longer, but because I’ve said most of it before and so has many, many others. It is, after all, only so many ways to say that I really, really enjoys a quiet moment of reflection and self-pampering in between dragging myself out of a warm bed and getting myself to work.

So I guess it was a stroke of luck – at least for this blog – that I got interested in the weird and wonderful world of shaving patents. And the more I’ve written about them, and the more I look at them, the more I find. From the important ones like the Kampfe-Star and Gillette, to the odd forgotten ones like the razor-on-a-spring and the Swedish wedge razor. It is an almost inexhaustible supply of things to find, marvel at… and snark about.

Thanks to the encouragement of my readers, some of those posts patents ended up being the basis of a book a little while ago. And a second book is right around the corner, if I can find the time to finish it. For the most part it is just a bit of polish and shine left to do.

I don’t always feel like making snarky comments about patents. But there is always old and odd advertisements to poke a bit of fun at. Be it weird videos or creepy clockwork, I share them when and if they catch my eye. I should perhaps make a book on old razor advertisement and commercials too at some point. The main challenge would be to untangle copyrights.

I do the occasional review still, be it a razor I got or a soap that most reviewers wont touch – or can’t touch, since it has since been discontinued. But they are getting more seldom, since I am not getting new gear quite as often as I did. In part because I got plenty of soaps, razors, and brushes already. And in part because I’ve ran out of room for new soaps, razors and brushes. I find it hard to part with shave gear that works, just so I can buy more.

On a more technical side of things, the blog only gone through one major change in the last ten years. When I started, it was over on Google’s free blog-platform Blogger. And while that was fine and dandy, and free, it was also inflexible and with a simplified user interface. So a little over two years ago I switched to a self hosted WordPress installation, and honestly it went a lot smoother than I though it would. Seems to have helped the blog gain traction too; in the first eight years I had about 152 thousand views – while in the last two I’ve logged an amazing 323 thousand views. I am not sure that Blogger and WordPress count hits in the exact same manner, but it is a significant difference.

It has been quite a ride so far, this blog of mine… I wonder where it will go in the future, because I’m sure isn’t getting of yet! Ten years can be a long time – but it can also be no time at all.

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