Reboots, Remakes, and Revivals: The Things You Could Do with Your Old Blog Posts
One of the most talked-about sequence in Ralph Breaks the Internet, the 2018 sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It-Ralph, is that one particular scene when Vannelope met the other Disney princesses where as you might expect, hilarity ensues. There’s quite a lot to unpack from that scene but my favorite one actually came from a separate moment, when the film pokes fun at Merida from 2012’s Brave, sharing her backstory through a not-at-all exaggerated Scottish accent.
Disney, as you might’ve already known is a company with a lot of history, dating back all the way to when the Steamboat Willie short came out way back in 1928. What I like about Disney is that they continually found new ways to bring a fresh spin to their history, the princesses’ cameo from the example above or the Maleficent film from 2014, showing the classic Sleeping Beauty tale from the perspective of the titular character instead of Aurora. There’s a lot marketers and SEO services can learn from Disney when it comes to making use of seemingly old contents.
2018, the year of peak reboot
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun”. That passage was taken verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which was purportedly written somewhere between 450 to 200 BC, way before pop culture is inundated with films, televisions, books and video games. If coming up with something original in those times were hard, try to think of how hard it’d be to do something like that in 2018, where everyone with an internet connection and a social media account gets the chance to say what’s in their mind.
It should not be a surprise then that a lot of the things we see and/or read in recent years are pretty much an echo of what we’ve seen before. 2018 already saw the return of Magnum P.I. to television, a reboot of the series with the same name from the 1980s featuring Tom Selleck and his delectable mustache. There’s also the delightful reboot of Charmed, a series about a trio of sisters who are also witches from the late 90s that I was very much into.
Other than reboots, we are also dealing with revivals. Roseanne, also a relic from the 80s, was resurrected for a tenth season before being retooled as The Conners without lead Roseanne Barr due to the scandal stemming from her racist remarks. The comedy Will & Grace from the late 90s also returned for a ninth season late last year after being off-air for more than a decade. Nostalgia is a powerful aphrodisiac and really, why bother coming up with something new if you already have a hit on your repertoire?
The same line of thinking also applies to your old blog posts. Really, have you ever taken the time to actually look at some of the things you’ve written before? I recently took a trip down the memory lane and read some of the things I’ve written in the past, particularly those I’ve written during a less-than-ideal mental state, and I nearly fainted from embarrassment. It’s not all bad though as I’ve read some things that if not exactly inspiring, at least gave me a chance to gain a new perspective on my current situation.
Hanging onto the past is rarely, if ever, a good idea but when approached in the right way, the past can also be inspiring. It might be a problem however if your past is actually something you’d like to distance yourself away from. Your old blog posts don’t always have to stay that way and there always things you could do with them, some good some not necessarily so, even years after they were published.
Look for a fresh take and reboot them
Perhaps time has ushered in a new development that renders the original piece slightly irrelevant or you’ve learned something new in the intervening time that you feel can give it a new measure of relevance, in which case you might want to consider rebooting the piece to better fit the current time or your current state of mind. The Charmed reboot I’ve mentioned above for example is trying to reckon with its place in 2018, where the rise of #MeToo movement around the world is ushering a new wave of feminism.
The last couple of years have brought about pretty seismic changes in society and I don’t think it’s that hard to try to connect those changes to what you wrote in the past. For me personally, I’m still in my 20s and while I already have a, let’s say moral foundation that I base my life around, I’m also learning new things almost all the time and even looking at things that I’ve written 2 years ago, I could easily notice things that could be improved upon.
Use them to find inspiration for a spin-off
When the popular American sitcom Cheers ended after 11 years, one of the characters from the series, Frasier Crane, picked up the torch and became the main character of his own show, Frasier. Frasier turned out to be just as popular, also lasting 11 years before ending its run. For a more contemporary example, the widely acclaimed Breaking Bad eventually gave rise to the similarly acclaimed Better Call Saul, chronicling the journey of Saul Goodman before he became Saul Goodman.
When looking at these popular examples, it’s not completely far-fetched to say that your old blog posts could be used as a source of inspiration. My old writing is a bit like that as well, featuring half-baked thoughts and small observations that could actually be expanded upon. I’ve done it several times, picking on small passages from my old writing that eventually grow into something that could stand on its own.
Delete them so you’ll never be associated with them ever again
Everyone have regrets, things or actions in the past you wished you could’ve changed or undo entirely now that you know better, and I’ve also taken down some posts that I feel doesn’t reflect me in the best light. Deleted tweets and freshly scrubbed Instagram accounts are pretty much the bread and butter of life in the 21st century and your old, problematic blog posts should get the same treatment.
As I’ve said before, times change, people change and it’s entirely possible that your company changes as well. There might come a time then when things you’ve written in the past which was perfectly fine then turns into something problematic. It might be because of the changes in society or because you yourself don’t want to be associated with them anymore but the solution remains clear, delete them. I did said that this wasn’t going to be all good.