Ten years ago today I published my first web log in order to share with folks back home primarily scanned photographs but also my experiences while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. In those days at the turn of the century neither CMSs nor blogging software such as blogger, WordPress, and LiveJournal had yet come into existence. So I did what many other people keeping online diaries did at the time: I manually edited each of my
News Posts to create static webpages that included links to still available photographs from my year abroad in Europe all of which I first hosted on my University of Copenhagen server after scanning in my APS film one photo at a time.
Even though the word
blog came into existence at about the same time I began posting (OED sub weblog) it was quite some time before
blog gained in popular usage and many more years before I renamed our News as a blog, even though that is what I had been doing all along. When I returned to the US in 2000 I relocated to a new server and eventually redesigned our website to incorporate our wedding section for the first time. At Notre Dame (2001) I again relocated to a different server, leaving a trail of redirects in my wake. It was there—although not until August 2002—that I first used the now defunct bblog to make my first automatic web-based blog post which most importantly allowed my readers to comment on the posts, as requested by a friend of mine (who has, as of yet, never commented on a post). Back at UCSD (2003) I once more relocated to a different server until I acquired my own machine that I set up as an experiment and again redesigned the entire site which I subsequently moved to North Carolina (2006). Eventually overwhelmed by blog spam on a system no longer under development and running out of room on my first generation iMac, I finally transitioned to a newer iMac and moved the now 325 posts to WordPress about a year ago.
My presence in the blogosphere for the last decade began, as I said, as a means of communicating with family and friends who were far away and with whom this additional means of communication enhanced our face-to-face relationships. Over time, however, I have come to meet many people through my blog (and website) as others in the world who are interested in the same quirky things as I am have stumbled across my ramblings. And now with the rise of Facebook, with its microblogging (status updates) and Notes (which I’ve set up to automatically import our blog using RSS), the reach of my reflections has further expanded and allowed others to engage with us.
With Miriam most recently having been added to our life I find myself once again in the same position I was in about ten years ago: family and an ever wider circle of friends throughout the world want to see Miriam’s progress, learn about what is going on in our life, and be able to keep up phatic conversation in an effortless way and so assure us all that we are not alone. Realizing that it has been ten years since I started this kind of sharing and have averaged one post every 11.2 days is a good opportunity to pause and be thankful for all the joyful things that have happened to us and all the family and friends with whom we’ve been so blessed to share it all.