I used to blog when blogging was something that people who believed in the open web did. It was when I believed that having a place to write was good and that personal publishing was a democratising force.
I used to blog when conversations happened, and ideas were shared, across blogs and not as trolling-comments or 140 character part-thoughts.
I used to blog when trolls lived under bridges before the mainstream thought of trolling as an activity you needed a keyboard to engage in.
Some of my early blogging is cringeworthy and has little substance: but the point was to share an idea, thought or experience with the world. Or with yourself. It was the status update before there was such a thing.
Even less often I look at other places in case there are some artefacts left that should have migrated here many years ago. I rarely find anything.
Sometimes, I come to visit my own website just to look at the Blast From The Past section. It’s a list of blog pieces I wrote on this day of the month in previous years. It’s a nostalgia trip: something like opening a teenage diary or journal and feeling vaguely embarrassed at the person you used to be. I didn’t keep an adolescent diary, so I’ll spare you that. This is the closest you’ll get.
Today, I arrived here and discovered 6 Blast From The Past entries: 5 of which all date from 2005. My Blast From The Past is really a rather narrow view. The blogging years were really 2003-2005. But 5 entries on a single day was unusual, but when I look closely, I find that these entries would live on Twitter today. Aside from a separate post about the G8 summit; they are all a countdown to the announcement that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics.
Perhaps, tiny updates like this work better on Twitter. There, they are posted in real-time and shared alongside others who may be witnessing the same thing. But Twitter makes it really hard to get a sense of my past. I wish they’d do a better job surfacing my history. I love being reminded about things like I was today.
Interestingly, I don’t really need the Blast From The Past section to remember that day, but it is useful to remind me that it is today. The memory is very vivid. I wish I had blogged during the actual 2012 Olympics in as much detail. I wrote a couple of things. Not much.
Of course, I remember the next day too. For very different reasons.