Why Do You Do It?

These are my ramblings and I can’t blame anybody else for the lack of interesting, entertaining or useful content. Still, it’s much more fulfilling than the static site with a few pictures of friends on it. It’s a place to vent, a place to keep things that I want to be reminded of in the future (or remember to do tomorrow). In my head it is some kind of journey that I have embarked on and don’t know where it will finish (but that’s what life is). In the grand scheme of things, however, it is an utterly pointless exercise.

I wrote these words about why I have a web presence sometime back in around 2000. At the time as I running an incarnation of my web site that has long since vanished. I started building a personal site for myself at the back-end of 1993 when HTML mark-up first hit the scene and I had very little to do while working the night shift.

Over time, of course, many things have changed. A couple of years ago the craze we know as blogging planted small roots but grew quickly. Drowning, as I was at the time, at an internet advertising company I toyed with, but never fully developed, the concept of my blog. I played with blogger and thought of all the great site management uses it had (at one time I worked for a company that built a large, complex site with almost no concept of a content management system). Still, I kept a small site at curnow.org and thought nothing more of it.

When the internet business went into free-fall and I, fortunately, remained in gainful employment I once again investigated a blog. I thought that the hard times that faced the industry were worth documenting and I tried but soon tired of the project. So I turned the blog into a personal journal (rather, weblog) and updated it daily. It did not, however, live under the curnow.org URL. Daily updates, of course, are beyond many of us and, again, I gave up.

Of course, the logical progressions is to what it has become today – an oft-updated collection of thoughts and ramblings (akin to drunken conversations in a pub, but without the sickening “what did I say” feeling the next morning). Without the self-imposed pressures of trying to do something daily, it’s a much better experience (from the author’s side).

So, what is it?

It is, of course, a personal site. These are my ramblings and I can’t blame anybody else for the lack of interesting, entertaining or useful content. Still, it’s much more fulfilling than the static site with a few pictures of friends on it. It’s a place to vent, a place to keep things that I want to be reminded of in the future (or remember to do tomorrow). In my head it is some kind of journey that I have embarked on and don’t know where it will finish (but that’s what life is). In the grand scheme of things, however, it is an utterly pointless exercise.

It is a weblog (rather than a journal) for I comment on things that interest me. Some of those things, obviously, are directly to do with my life but, most content, is not a diarised version of my life. I have seen journals and web logs referred to a mini-soap operas before. You can see into somebody else’s life. Well, I don’t think curnow.org will do that for you. It may give you an idea of what is in my mind right now, but then there are many things that I don’t comment on, so I suspect anybody reading this will get a wholly unrealistic picture of Jon Curnow. My favorite journals and weblogs are listed in the Give Us Our Daily Blog entry.

It’s pointless then?

Despite what I said above – not really. If you didn’t read the link at the top of the page, do so now (I’m to lazy to copy the text and my impression count goes up). I think there is a great power in personal publishing. This is my little contribution.

Reasons

The are many reasons why I am happy to have a web presence. Some of them are simple and to do with how I first cam across the internet. You can read about that, and my opinions on browser standards, in colophon.

However, I do believe in some of the underlying principals on which the Internet, as we know it, was founded. The ideals of a less censored form of communication, open and available to all, appeals to some deep belief I have in the basics of human community. A medium that is not owned or controlled by any one individual seems to make sense to me.

I believe in the power of connected networks to allow better communication and empower people who would not otherwise have a voice. The world is better for open and free expression of opinions and thoughts even if, sometimes, we disagree with those opinions or find them, somehow, unpleasant. I would rather thoughts and feelings were on the web than contained within and ready to erupt into violence (when thoughts turn to violence we all loose).

While I am in the spirit of the net, don’t forget to check out The Open Directory Project and play your part in creating the greatest web directory of them all!

Of course, this all sounds very grand but many years ago I just wanted to play with HTML and see what I could do. I’ve moved on a lot from those early experiments with the Mosaic Browser (yes, Netscape and Internet Explorer were some way off) but wish I’d held onto some of those early efforts. Where is the archive of the way the web looked in 1993? I wish I had the screen shots!

Digital networks may have changed our lives but I do not think that they should take over our lives, and that’s probably why there isn’t much here yet! Still, if you have anything to say, or more especially if you are a Curnow, why not drop me a note?