Back when I was writing for geek blog Exfanding Your Horizons with my pal Alex, I discovered another blog called The Dork Dimension. Thoughtfully written by a guy named Nathan, unabashedly geeky, and sporting a clean and eye-catching page design, this blog was like looking into a mirror that reflects what you want to see about yourself. Part admiration, part casual rivalry, in the back of my mind I always wanted Exfanding to be at least as good as its uncanny counterpart. This blog even started the same week ours did—every time we had a birthday celebration for Exfanding and looked back at our exploits of the past year, it wouldn't be long before I saw The Dork Dimension doing the same thing.
Happy fifth birthday, Dork Dimension. You beat us.
Exfanding formally went on hiatus at the beginning of this year. At the time, it was a recognition that my co-blogger had gotten so busy that our joint blog was becoming my solo blog. We'd each had busy times before, and had covered for the other guy until things settled down in a week or two, but we'd never gone for months without hearing from the other guy. It was a mutual agreement to put the blog on hold, but I don't think either of us expected it to end there. I doubted we'd ever have a full comeback and pick up where we left off, but I envisioned a last hurrah of about a dozen posts, wrapping up as many loose ends as possible before closing up shop for good.
Somewhere in perpetual limbo are a guest post about roleplaying games, a list of Mega Man tips and tricks that just needs screenshots, and a beginner's guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes that might never make it past Season 4. The tentative release dates on these posts reveal my optimism for our grand return: the end of February, not even two months away. We're now about as close to next February as we are to last February, and the thought of bringing back Exfanding hasn't yet come up in conversation. Heck, I've hardly heard from Alex in months—a short text message, a shorter e-mail, and a coffee shop meet-up or two are about all I can think of since the hiatus. Life happens, as they say.
So when The Dork Dimension's five-year post came up in my blog feed, it made me wonder what Exfanding Your Horizons was up to. Was it our birthday already? How odd not to be celebrating. How sad that I had forgotten. Just as writing for Exfanding had been part of my routine for four years, not writing for Exfanding is part of my routine now. I take it for granted that it's Alex's turn to post next. I hadn't considered how long an indefinite hiatus really was until I looked in the mirror and saw the anniversary I wasn't celebrating.
We had a good run at Exfanding. We had our ups and downs, but I'm proud of the work we did. I'm proud of the layout I taught myself HTML to make. I'm proud of the collaborations, our discipline in sticking to our posting schedule, the way our writing styles developed over the years. I'm proud of the friendship we developed. I asked an ex-coworker I had known for barely three years—predominantly through the Internet, at that—to be one of the groomsmen at my wedding. I think that says something about us. We may never write for Exfanding again, or we might be back in full force next week. But ultimately, it isn't how long something lasts that matters; it's the impact it makes while it does last.
Happy belated birthday, Exfanding.