The very first blog post I ever wrote was in 1998. I don't think the word 'blog' was being bandied about quite yet, though I could be wrong. And mine was hardly more than a static site I updated regularly with new entries.
I've been thinking lately about how much I miss the internet as it was. Not in 1998, but throughout the 2000s, when every day I visited the blogs of people I'd never met but felt I knew somewhat well through their writing. Sometimes they wrote long, introspective posts, examining their lives on a public stage; sometimes they wrote about the fish someone microwaved at the office that day. Even the most banal posts were interesting; they were a window into someone else's mind. Late-night entries when someone couldn't sleep. Even if you didn't know someone was reading, expressing yourself into the void of the internet was reassuring. Someone could be reading. Maybe you weren't alone.
Social media did away with all of this, I think. Most of the blogs faded away, replaced with tweets and pokes and likes and shares. Expressing yourself online became about internet points and social currency. But that era itself feels like it's ending, or at least changing, thank goodness. Twitter's collapsing in front of us. Facebook has been floundering for years. Newsletters—blogs sent to your email!—have seen a resurgence; I have one myself. Maybe the blog's day will return...? My old domain is owned by some bulk registrar now, with an asking price of $3,795. I won't be repurchasing it. But maybe I'll write here a little more frequently. Do my part for nostalgia, the historical record, all that. You could, too. Start a blog, or tell me about yours. I'd like to read it.