This week, the Irish Aesthete turns ten. This site made its debut in September 2012, when blogs were still a forceful presence on social media, Instagram was just an infant, Twitter had not yet turned into an outlet for public rage, Facebook remained popular among teenagers, YouTube had not yet become the place to turn for recipes and exercise tips, and Tiktok was still five years away. (And by the way, the Irish Aesthete can be found on all those sites. Except Tiktok: nobody deserves having to watch a middle-aged man attempting to dance to rap music…)
What was intended when the Irish Aesthete made its debut a decade ago? It’s hard to remember, but probably much the same as is intended today. A means to share a passionate interest in Ireland’s architectural heritage. An aspiration that this interest might, in turn, encourage greater understanding and appreciation of that heritage. A desire to reach an audience beyond these shores. An awareness of the opportunity that social media offers to make contact with that audience (an opportunity often insufficiently, and inexplicably, under-utilised by others working in the same field).
And what, after ten years, has been the outcome? It’s impossible to judge what difference, if any, the presence of the Irish Aesthete has made to anyone else. But, in a rare instance of the first-person singular being employed here, to me it has proven a wonderful calling card, providing the means to connect with like-minded people all over the world. Thanks to this site, I have been privileged to come into contact, sometimes in person, sometimes via other diverse forms of communication, with many of you, a piece of good fortune which might not otherwise have been possible. In fact, although I didn’t realise it at the time, starting the Irish Aesthete was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done (although if I were really smart, I would have started it much sooner). From the very beginning, the Irish Aesthete has been a labour of love, although this site would likely not still be active were that love not reciprocated by its readers. Nevertheless, producing copy three times a week takes up considerable quantities of time, so I hope everyone will understand if that output is henceforth reduced to twice weekly. From now on, there will be new entries every Monday and Friday (with @theirishaesthete on Instagram continuing to appear thrice weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). There’s lots more to come and many more places to explore and share with you. So please stay with the Irish Aesthete and spread the word among anyone else you think might be interested. And let me finish by thanking all friends and followers for their support, their loyalty, their abiding interest over the past decade. Be assured that this has been, and continues to be, very much appreciated.