A long, long time ago, when the internet was new and shiny enough that people wrinkled their noses up when you said you had a computer in your living room, I discovered online journals. The first one I followed to any degree was called Joel’s Mundane Life. It was… kind of mundane. And at the same time it also carried an air of fascination as it did that whole goldfish bowl thing before Big Brother did. Here was a person putting himself in a voluntary zoo, inviting people to look at him, and regularly sharing daily life happenings for me to compare my own to. I decided to follow suit and created an online journal myself, and then waited for something to happen that was worth writing about.
When that didn’t want to happen, time passed and I looked further afield and found people forming communities around online journalling. They were mostly American and so when I tried to join in I named my work “UK Correspondent” and earned… very little viewership. I experimented with php and found a way to set parts of the posts to be private and visible to friends who I gave a login to. And one day I made a throwaway comment about how everyone I knew ought to have a journal so I knew what they were up to.
“Well, actually…” said my friend Ang, linking to her reasonably new livejournal. I found others I knew over there, and jumped ship from my own carefully crafted site to join in with the community. Time passed. There was a surge and a settling. I created a thriving, busy community of science fiction fans, and they all drifted away and I stopped being easily identifiable as an SF fan and Livejournal was acquired, changed, sold to Russians, and out of favour. I stopped writing there. So did many others.
I tried to write again, but it felt like shouting into a void. And it was easier to set everything to be friends-only than to work out levels of privacy I wanted to apply. And I saw a million other people blogging. And I felt like joining in. And I felt that on some level I could do better than others. And I realised I want to keep my content, rather than send it to unknown entities. And I discovered the Indieweb which cemented that feeling further.
And I felt weird about putting myself on display.
And then I read a blog post about visiting friends who have kids. It’s written in a very sardonic manner and is blunt and hilarious in equal measure. And I read a little further and found this article:
and I figured, why not?
I’m lucky enough to have an employer that doesn’t really care what I get up to in my spare time, nothing I post on social media is likely to lose me my job and my colleagues come in all manner of weird and wonderful (and mundane). They know I go to science fiction events and that I play larp events in my spare time, and they don’t particularly care.
I’m not sure why I have a desire to make a little mark on the web, but maybe it will become clear one day. Meanwhile, though. I get to log my life in a way that lets me look back one day, in a way that is new and fresh and will no doubt keep me interested for, ooh, maybe a whole week or two.
We shall see.