Twenty years ago today, I bought the domain name realityblurred.com and made reality blurred live to the world.
On that Saturday, if you’d stopped me on the streets of Chicago and told me that I’d be doing this for two decades—writing more than 16,000 stories, ranging from a paragraph of summary to thousands of words of reviews or behind-the-scenes stories—I’d probably never have written a word. That’s far too daunting! But day by day, story by story, rant by rant, it came to life, and continued to evolve.
Google Analytics tells me that about 6.1 million people read a story here in the past year. That’s a mind-boggling number, and I hope that, after searching for something or following a link here, they all found information and/or perspective that was useful.
Somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 or so of those visitors are regulars, returning month to month, according to the software. That’s a small fraction of the total, but still ridiculously huge and humbling to imagine.
I am so grateful for your readership! And to those of you who’ve been watching reality TV with me for most or all of these past 20 years, what a ride it’s been! I’ve appreciated our discussions and debates and disagreements, and our mutual appreciation for this genre that’s certainly evolved and changed.
I’m particularly grateful to those of you who have supported my writing and the ongoing production of this site, by becoming patrons or in other ways. And to those who can’t, that’s okay, too! That you choose to spend some of your time reading my words, or commenting, or sharing a story is totally enough.
On past anniversaries, I’ve told the story the shared of how and why I created this site, and who I am and what I believe, introduced the teachers who introduced me to journalism and self-publishing, and even what I looked like when I was 18.
To celebrate this milestone anniversary, I made this video, looking back at what’s changed. (By “made this video,” I mean I used a free service that did the hard work for me.)
Looking at some of these old screenshots, which I found using archive.org, I really missed the old design (though not some of those old logos!). And I think that’s nostalgia for the early Internet—pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter, pre-iPhone.
I miss that time when people wrote personal blogs or Livejournals, and we linked to each other in the sidebars and connected directly with each other via AIM or e-mail instead of on platforms owned by uncaring billionaires. But who knows: maybe in 20 years I’ll be nostalgic for Facebook because of whatever monstrosity replaces it.
There have been lots of shifts in our world over the past 20 years—and, of course, in pop culture and reality TV. I’m sure the next 20 will have more. I’m going to take those years one day, one story, and one show at a time, and I look forward to watching and discussing with you.
Now, here’s the video—enjoy!