Break out the party decorations people, a very important birthday is coming up!
Next week, the 26th of July, IBOT will turn five!
It’s crazy really, that a link up will grow as quickly as a small child. If we were in New Zealand like Haidee, IBOT would be off to school next week. What that would mean for the rest of us, I have no idea. 🙂
For those of you who don’t know, IBOT originally started after a Twitter conversation lamenting the lack of comment love on a Tuesday. Back then, Tuesday was one of the worst days anyone could blog if you wanted interaction. It was like talking to no one. So on a whim, not really thinking too much about what it would mean, I decided to start a Tuesday link up with the very literal name, I Blog on Tuesday. The rules were simple. Write a fresh post, publish it, link it and read someone else’s.
The first day there were twelve links and it took me all night to read them! Boatman made a comment about hoping it wouldn’t get too many links, and I laughed and said I couldn’t imagine it would. Little did I know that one day, we would top 100 linked blog posts.
#FunFact1 Of the 12 blogs that linked that day, as far as I know, only 3 still exist.
The link up grew quickly, and by April of 2012, the reading was too much for me alone to manage, and the first #teamIBOT was formed. The six-team IBOTers joined in with reading to make sure that every post on a Tuesday received a visit and a comment. For the most part, that comment love still exists today.
#FunFact2 Denyse was one of the original #teamIBOTers and after a short break, is still on the team to this day.
With the extra help, my IBOT reading duties were finally manageable, and I utilised a spreadsheet system with the intention of reading regular linkers every fortnight.
#FunFact3. If every blog listed on the spreadsheet linked on the one day, we would have 618 blog posts to read. Bloggers have to have linked at least twice before being entered, so it’s a pretty impressive number.
IBOT has run consistently for the last five years, only breaking for a week or two over Christmas. That equates to 15 pages on my WordPress Dashboard of IBOT posts, and around about 250 Tuesday blog posts. Apart from raising kids, staying married and going to church, it’s the most consistent thing I’ve ever done. (Watching Greys Anatomy doesn’t count.)
It’s survived through dodgy blog buttons, a blog rebrand, more grammar errors than I care to admit (or have actually discovered), and life moments where I had no idea how I was going to blog anything.
There’s been virtually no area the link up hasn’t touched — either here or in the links. For my own posts I’ve talked, Faith, Family, Vlogs, writing, random rubbish, world news, politics and Greys Anatomy. In that time it’s only ever hosted two sponsored posts and one guest post.
It’s been a pretty great five years. I’ve made so many actual friends, met hundreds of other wonderful people, had my thinking challenged, laughed out loud, cried bucket loads, and wanted to pull my hair out more than a few times. It’s been my fifth baby, something I’ve worked hard at and have loved so much.
And now, it’s time for a break.
Five years at any job earns a holiday, and truth be told, this blogger is tired. I’m struggling to keep up with reading each week, and it’s getting harder and harder to come up with fun, new content every week. I’m not giving it my best, and I hate not giving things my best. That is not who I am. And that’s not what I want IBOT to be.
So I’m taking some long service leave. Going on sabbatical. Packing up the family in a bus and touring Australia. (That last bit was made up. I felt like I needed three things.)
For the next six months, I’ll still be blogging but less regularly, and because I want to, not because it’s necessary. I’ll hopefully have a few more hours to write books, and spend time with my family, and finish my diploma. I’m a little sad, but mostly looking forward to it. It’s the right time.
What does this mean for IBOT? It will still be running, but you’ll find it over at Kylie’s place. She along with the rest of the #teamIBOT* team will still look after you week after week, and I know what great commenters IBOT linkers are. The community will continue, and, I hope, thrive with the change of scenery.
And I’ll still be around of course. Blogging when I want, but always publishing on a Tuesday. What other day to blog is there? 🙂
Thanks for the fun everyone. It’s been a great five years. xxx
#FunFact5. Team IBOT members currently include: Janet from Middle Aged Mama, Haidee from Maybe Baby Brothers, Emily from Em Hawker Blog, Kylie from A Study in Contradictions, Denyse from Denyse Whelan Blogs, Renee from Mummy Wife Me, Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side, Toni from Finding Myself Young and Natalie from Our Parallel Connection.
*Team IBOT is looking for a few new members. If you can commit to reading between 5-10 posts per week, flick an email through to me at Jess@essentiallyjess.com, and we’ll chat. Applicants will be considered by the entire team and preference will be given to long-term IBOT subscribers.