For some reason the other night I was scrolling through the list of people I follow on Twitter, and clicked on the name of someone I’m sure hadn’t tweeted for a good five years. You see, before I was prancing around in Nottinghill, taking myself a bit too seriously and creating a part time job out of everything you see here – before blogging was *blogging* – I used to just jump online and write short, sloppy posts about anything and everything. I’m only 22 and whilst Skylish as a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog is still in its infancy – me and the “online world” have been acquainted now for many, many years. When I clicked on this girl’s twitter (who I used to follow and chat to all the time), I saw that although she hasn’t tweeted in years she actually retweeted something just a day ago. Suddenly… nostalgia hit! And it quickly brought me back to blogging in 2007.
Before bloggers became influencers and in some cases – major money makers – the ‘blogging’ world I was a part of consisted of a small close-knit group of pre-teens. Back then, ‘blogging’ wasn’t the focus – the focus was more on coding, Photoshop, and webdesign. Blogs that were published (in most cases) weren’t as well thought out and fine tuned as they seem to be now – I know in my case I would just scribble down a few hundred words after school about whatever was on my mind – whether that be the annoying new girl, gossip from a party I went to, or a video I found funny, they definitely were not in depth articles about my life and my experiences.
We used to have ‘sister sites’
Back in the day we used to have sister sites. Essentially somewhere on your website you’d link all the blogs of all of your online friends. Occasionally, people would also allow others to ‘apply’ to join their list of sister sites – it all depended on how exclusive you wanted to be. There wasn’t necessarily any particularly stringent criteria – aside from having a pretty looking blog. As there was quite a small group of us, it wasn’t uncommon to find the same names on everybody’s lists. When I was even younger, we had ‘bffos’ – this is a ‘best friend forever online’ – yup, that’s how you know I was young! I remember I had a ‘bffo’ who went ahead and found herself a new ‘bffo’, and I was absolutely heartbroken.
Blog reviews were a thing…
A few people (myself included) would offer up blog reviewing services. In fact, I think I had a whole different URL where I would allow people to apply to have their blog reviewed by me. Little, barely-even-a-teenage year old me thought I was skilled enough to tell other people what they were doing wrong with their blogs. I remember there reached a point where I had so many applicants for this service that it started to feel like I was just doing homework – it wasn’t fun, and I essentially decided to scrap the ‘service’ altogether. I remember there were a few people known for doing particularly mean reviews, there was even someone who would randomly choose sites they didn’t like and present them with what they called a ‘pants award’, along with an entire review as to why their website sucked. Once this website popped up on my list of referrals and I pretty much had a heart attack – but to my surprise they had linked to my website saying that they liked it, rather than offering me prestigious pants award.
People had jails
There were a few blogs way back when that would throw people in ‘jail’ if they copied their website. I actually remember there was a whole Piczo website called ‘The Piczo Jail’, that would just call out blogs and write about who they copied and when, with all the receipts. I’d say these days, unless someone downright copies a blog word for word, blogging is less of a finger-pointing “you copied me!” place as it used to be. At the end of the day – we all draw inspiration from each other from time to time.
Blog designs were a big deal
The overall design of blogs definitely still matters, but things are a lot more simple, neat and streamlined than they were back in the day. Back when I was webdesigning, layouts were always extravagantly designed, complicatedly coded absolute masterpieces. I would literally spend weeks and weeks, designing, drafting and coding my layouts. Then I would set a release date and time for when the new layout would be live, and dedicate a whole blog post to explaining my thought process behind the new layout. I’d do this every couple of months. These days, I have times when I’ve decided to just completely redesign my blog, however most of the time I’m just make minor changes here and there when ideas pop into my head. For example, today I designed a new ‘read more’ link, because I got bored of the old one. And a few weeks back, I changed the images in my header design, because I thought I had cooler ones I could use. I’m not as big of a fan as I used to be of coding, whilst I do still design and code my blog myself, it gives me a bit more of a headache these days trying to figure out what div I forgot to close, versus the excitement it used to give me back in the day. Nevertheless, I’m glad I learned those skills, and can have an idea about what is going on when reading all the codes in the back end.
There was a lot of drama
Has anything changed here? Let’s be honest – there’s still a lot of drama in the blogging world! But now, it can be such that you’re quite far removed from it because there are just so many of us now. A lot of the time I just find myself reading different threads and conversations on Twitter pertaining to different dramas, whereas when I was young, I’d sometimes find myself right in the middle. Of course when you’re younger, everything also always seems like a big deal. Whilst I can’t think right now about the causes of all these little dramas – what does spring to mind is people pointing fingers at others for copying… that would often cause a fuss.
As time went on, a lot of people started to disappear from the blogging/webdesign world. Whilst I’ve always had some sort of website online, I’d say a took a few years of a mental break starting from the end of school to the beginning of university, where I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue online at all. Some people stuck around, some disappeared for good, and some disappeared and then popped back up a few years later. So – whilst I sign off on this nostalgic post – I’d like to shout out to the few of us that have been here and watched the industry completely evolve. Including Georgie, Pauline, Chynna, Kwin and Mimi to name a few!
I am blogging since 2017 and learn new things every day. This post was very interesting to read. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Have a nice Sunday.
OMG what an incredible throwback post! Thank you so much for sharing, lovely!! Haha, I was just gasping and nodding and being like “HOLY CRAP OMG YES!!” the whole way through. The “Piczo Jail” made me laugh, I remember when this was around – haha. You’re totally right, we get inspiration from each other and we shouldn’t be calling people out for “taking inspo” I always found that negative so I avoided it at all costs when I was younger.
“extravagantly designed” YES HAHA. They were always so extra back then. I do recall you had amazing designs gal – I always looked at your site for inspiration. They are more “streamlined” nowadays so I do try to be a little bit extra when I can but I feel like it takes attention away from the content (hence my simple layout now!)
I have really enjoyed watching it evolve over time! Nothing beats old-school blogging though 😉 Haha!!
Thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed reading this.
This was entertaining to read, it all sounds so amusing. You actually had a blog reviewing service? How cute haha. I don’t think I even knew what blogging was in 2007 as I was only 8. It does sound like a lot of fun though. xx
Coco Bella Blog
Yes girl I get what you mean,,,these young bloods don’t know the struggle lol
Haha, I don’t know if you remember me XD But I super remember you (was so excited to land on your site some months ago, because I thought you’d stopped blogging)!
I remember all of these. XD I feel like there was more drama back then, because we were all just kids trying to navigate life. There’s still drama today, which…ugh. Life after high school feels like high school sometimes, in that some people need the drama/teen antics to have fulfillment, but I don’t miss it. My favorite drama is fiction. 😉
I wasn’t a fan of the pants award. I was awarded one, but when I look back, I feel like it was more a form of bullying (I’d received some death threats from the readers of that blog :/).
I never knew/heard about the “jails”, but that sounds like such a hilarious concept. :’)
I do indeed! If I remember correctly your blog name started with “Eternal”? I agree, we were all immature and just growing up, I think there was even more drama than there is now.
Damn death threats?! Due to a pants award?! I was definitely not a fan of those awards, at least they don’t exist anymore (and I don’t think it would be as acceptable now if that was started up again as is was back then!)
What a trip down memory lane! I remember the old blogging days. I actually posted some of my old layouts I designed in one of my previous blog posts. I remember when the CSS was super crazy. You would have different cursors for links, and so many different colors. Things are definitely more simplistic now.
I also remember blog reviews and the pants awards. There was also an elitist blog that was just focused on leaving negative reviews of other blogs. One of my friends ended up on their site. Somehow I managed to avoid their wrath, but I thought the whole thing was really cruel.
Think I will go and check that blog post out – will be interesting to see. I still do look every now and again at some of my back-in-the-day layouts. I definitely prefer things simplistic as they are now though!
Such a great topic to discuss, girl!!!
Ohhh so interesting to read about what it used to be like!
xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT
Thanks for sharing babe! its crazy how times have changed now!
I didn’t have a blog back then so this post was super fun to read! How interesting?! So much has changed since!
Have an awesome day!
Remember Xanga? I was blogging during those years and THERE was tons of drama. Man, I don’t miss it. Regardless it’s better now these days but people will still always be people.
I do remember Xanga hahah, mainly as I followed Michelle Phan who used it – good times!
Ok, so this is going to sound utterly bizarre but I recently came across your site after stumbling across MY old twitter from 2010 after seeing I retweeted you in my pre-teen blogging days (my site was disillusions.net but I don’t think you’d remember hehe)…basically, I was one of those blogger gals so I relate to this post 1000%
I just so happened to check out your posts (I love how your site has developed after all these years) and saw this one so just had to comment!
School and university was the cause for my blog dissolving long ago and since then I’ve migrated to Instagram to share my art as that has become my hobby. Now also a uni grad, I’m a working gal and just starting to re-ignite my blogging days but under a completely new name with a whole new vision 🙂
Although I don’t think we spoke that much back in the day, I would love to chat more with you and reminisce about those times – even found some of my old graphics from then too! So hilarious!