Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seven Years of Blogging: A Quick Reflection

This blog is seven years old today. While the core essence of blogging as an activity remains little changed since 2004, it is chastening to look back at how limited the Blogger service’s bare bones feature set was back then. It is also interesting to think about some of the innovative related technologies that have come on-stream since then.

One of the main reasons for setting up this blog in 2004 was simply just to have someplace to keep my content online. So my early blog posts included many disparate kinds of content, such as links to books that I wanted to buy, status-update style posts, and a lot less of the opinion pieces I concentrate on now. Today we have access to an incredibly broad range of useful dedicated services for all of our different sorts of content – which helps keep this blog more focused. I quickly dropped the archival link posts; moving those to Del.ici.ous early in my blogging days. I also spun out a link-blog in February 2007 as a place for design ephemera, illustrations, cartoons, visual reference, cultural detritus and any other trivia that I thought would be too lightweight for the way I was developing this blog. Since then a good proportion of that class of activity has moved even further downstream out into social media services like Facebook and Twitter. 

When I began using Blogger it did not even support images within blog posts. I needed to host them somewhere else; which led me to Flickr; which then got me more interested in recording events through photos as well as words. Something that has kept me busy ever since.

In 2004 Blogger had no built-in tagging functionality. I was hacking out hand-coded Technorati and Delicious tags onto the footers of my posts for the first couple of years. (Which activity in turn lead me to writing about meta-topics like folksonomy quite a lot. Ahem. Hopefully no-one will do a chronological buzzword analysis of this blog any time soon.)

I could not embed video in this blog at that time either, as I was waiting for someone to invent YouTube.

In 2004 I had decided not to open a Friendster account. I was not aware of Facebook, and even if I was, I could not have signed-up as it was limited to Ivy League scholars at that time. Micro-blogging did not yet exist, and Twitter was not even a glimmer in Jack Dorsey’s eye.

In 2004 I did not actually possess any digital music. Ripping N-hundred CDs to create a digital archive was just a process that one had to work through in those days. Also, there was some interesting talk peculating about embedding MP3s into RSS feeds to lash together some kind of a “sound-casting” service...

While I had my Palm PDA back then, and used that to draft most of my blog posts, I had no way to connect it to the Internet. (I had to sync posts as text files to the Palm desktop client and then paste into Blogger.) I had a basic Sony Erricsson mobile and did post by email on day one. Meanwhile Warren Ellis was uploading text and photos from his PDA in a pub in Southend-on-Sea and posting missives about this novel activity called “moblogging”...

Observation: for years I was the only digital nerd on the daily train commute pecking out blog posts on my PDA with a Palm stylus. Now I am writing this post on an iPhone in a train carriage packed full of touchscreen-swiping commuters. How times change.

I wonder what changes will have taken place in the blogosphere ot shared-cyber-techno-mindscape when this blog’s next seven year anniversary rolls around in June of 2018?

#blogging  #blogger #twitter  #facebook