Yes, the blog. About that...
I started it before Facebook was a thing. The now-dominant social media giant existed on June 26, 2004, of course, but it was still The Facebook, an embryonic Web 2.0 experiment that classmates used as a digital hot-or-not service. Mere mortals still didn't have access. It was two years before Twitter launched, before social media was really on our radar. Before the iPhone. Sure, some suits carried BlackBerrys, but they were only about email and messaging back then.
It was a radically different digital world, and blogging took the then-unidimensional web (surf, read, repeat) and gave everyday folks their own platform, their own voice.
The rapid encroachment of all the things I mentioned above - and then some - has in a few short years transformed the blog from what was once a sign of digital savviness to a quaint relic of a bygone time when we put an i before everything and a number - 1.0, 2.0 - after everything.
Quaint as it has become, however, I continue to write here because for all its network-based power, Facebook is ephemeral, and not something that is distinctly ours. What we post there is quickly absorbed into the past in a fast-moving timeline stuffed with ads, memes, Candy Crush top scores and conspiracy theories from folks you once loathed in high school and now, thanks to social media, loathe even more. Facebook is a busy place, where the vast majority of people who know tend to hang out. But it isn't ours. Or mine. It's like a busy airport terminal: Hardly a place you can call your own.
Likewise, Twitter is too limited, too filled with bullies and trolls. Snapchat is where the kids hang out, and whatever we write will disappear in 10 seconds, anyway. As you go further down the list - to WhatsApp, Pinterest, LinkedIn and beyond - you get deeper into unique online sub-groups that further accentuate the modern mobile/social Internet's splintering effect.
Which leaves the doddering old blog, where the number of comments in a month might equal what once flowed in before lunch. But compared to today's far busier social platforms now represents something of a quiet spot from which we can watch the chaos unfold.
Thirteen years on, the wonderful relationships I've formed through this blog continue in many forms - often on alternative platforms - and I sometimes wish we could rewind the clock to the days when this form of communication dominated the online landscape. But as I've said so many times before, technology moves in only one direction, and it's up to us to either adapt or fall off the back of the treadmill. This blog, like all blogs, may no longer be current, leading-edge or as uniquely relevant as it was back in 2004. But it's still my quiet little corner in a tumultuous online (and real) world, and I can't imagine not having this place to return to when I need a little word-based balancing between my ears.
Thank you for joining me on the journey, and thank you for keeping the flickering embers alive. To 120 for us all...
And so it begins (June 26, 2004)
Thrice around the sun (June 26, 2007)
10 times around the sun (June 26, 2014)