It was not my originally intent that this site be all Friday Ark and related postings all the time and I am very disappointed in myself for so completely wandering away from A gathering of thoughts on life, politics, economics, culture and…
In fact, there was no thought of the Friday Ark back in December 2002 when Modulator went live with, well as embarrassing as it was, a test post.
Do not get me wrong. I love the Friday Ark and all the friends and boarders that have sailed with us over the years. The experience has been wonderful.
There is a bunch more after the break.
TL;DR: Friday Ark history, things have changed, we had fun, thanks, maybe a return to the beginning…
Friday Ark was born of the following ideas:
- Building on the idea of a blog carnival I thought that it would be cool to bring together a range of nature postings to one place to make it easier for others to find new friends and sites to visit. And, yes, so I would have a better reason to spend time checking out familiar and unfamiliar creatures.
- I believe we were successful with this.
- That it might help generate traffic for this site and for all the folks who boarded the Friday Ark.
- This worked for a while! In 2007 The Modulator was interesting to enough folks that we were written up in a scientific paper, Cost-effective Outbreak Detection in Networks. This interest was, I am sure, 99% driven by linkages to the Friday Ark. Thanks to Sissy Willis for pointing this out to me via email on 10/25/07. She posted about it here.
- That, given the politics of the time, there was the possibility that both democrats and republicans might find themselves here and that nature could provide a common ground to build on.
- I think some of this happened but it did not lead as far as I had envisioned.
- That more folks might be inclined to read other posts on the site.
- This happened but, again, it is not clear it ever became a thing.
Hubris led us to believe the idea was unique. But, I was very wrong about this as noted below.
There were 8 passengers for the first boarding of the Friday Ark on September 24, 2004. Time and link death has taken its toll: today only 2 of those boarders still have a presence on the web. One other post still exists but the picture is dead.
The Carnival of the Cats predated the Friday Ark, starting in the Spring of 2004, but I had no idea it existed until I got a friendly email from its creator, Laurence Simon. We had a friendly competition for a few years, both seeking to make others more aware of our relationships with our fellow animals and insects. It ran without interruptions for 600 weeks. You can find some additional history and the closing Carnival at The Opinionated Pussycat. You can find part Laurence’s current self over at The 100 Word Stories Podcast.
From the beginning we solicited boarding requests but, also, our staff brought boarders on by searching out interesting posts on the web. Even after the Friday Ark had built a following we would still hunt out new boarders and continue to board folks even if they had not formally requested boarding. This led to many following up with ongoing boarding requests and our search and curation activities allowed us to present a diversity of wonderful life forms that was not found on any of the then existing carnival sites.
The world of the Friday Ark has evolved dramatically since those early years! This has been great to watch and I look forward to more new developments over the next few years.
Unfortunately, the Friday Ark has not continued to ride this wave of change well.
Friday Ark boardings became 95%+ staff selected as most of our old friends moved on to other memes, moved on from blogging, or, well, moved on. It has been a long, long, time since the Friday Ark has had more then one or two boarding requests for a sailing. As the Carnival of the Cats noted:
My, how times have changed….
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn, Mr. Linky, InLinkz, online communities and more, have allowed for more platforms to share ones pet blogging, some more popular than others.
Not just pets, though. Many sites that share all aspects of nature have developed. Many of these appear to be more heavily linked than either the Carnival of the Cats or the Friday Ark were during their heydays. This is great and we enjoy visiting many of them regularly and are happy to see that some of our old friends have found new places to appear.
Folks seemed to prefer these other self boarding linky set ups. However, even when I set the Friday Ark up for self boarding few responded.
The simple fact is that folks have moved on. And, that is fine. We will move on as well.
This has been a great experience we are so happy to have been part of the early days.
The Friday Ark may still sail from time to time, we love it, but it is unlikely that it will ever be a regular weekly activity again.
We continue to maintain an RSS feed of all the still active sites that boarded the Friday Ark over the years. It is a joy to see what is happening in the lives of our past boarders and their human compatriots. And, yes, from time to time tears flow when we see someone has crossed over. Our thoughts are with you.
In closing, thank you to all who have supported the Friday Ark over the past 12 years. Special thanks to Laurence Simon for his support in the early days, Susan Strong at Mind of Mog, The Opinionated Pussycats and their friend, Kiril Kundurazieff, the Mad Macedonian for their ongoing support and to all the Friday Ark regulars who shared their lives with us and with the world.
Now, I hope to start back at the beginning and spend a little more time changing the world with a renewed focus on A gathering of thoughts on life, politics, economics, culture and…