A History of Blogging

I created my first blog when I was 12-years-old. It was on GeoCities, and it was entirely dedicated to David Bowie. There I curated my favorite Bowie photos and song lyrics, and even added my own Bowie-inspired stories and poems. I'm not sure I can even call it a blog now, but it was the first space where I regularly created and shared content online. In GeoCities, I dressed up my little corner of the World Wide Web by learning basic HTML, adding twinkling backgrounds and making hot pink lyrics scroll across the screen. </marquee> anyone? 

I had no idea then, in 2002, that the internet would soon become essential and all-pervasive, not just a way to have some fun on the family Gateway 2000, like turning on-and-off the TV. I also didn't know that the internet would become a space of unbound information, a space oriented more towards the consumption of ideas rather than their creation. 

My second foray into blogging was on Blogger, after it was bought by Google. This was the first time I encountered the word "blog." I remember, because the site explained the term with graphics of a bee and a tree log. Bee + log = blog. Get it? Me neither. 

Cue high school. I'm 15 and making new friends and they're all asking me for my LJ. My what? Turns out LiveJournal is where everyone's at. Soon, I join my peers there in posting journal entries about my life and reading up on all the juicy gossip of my high school. LiveJournal pages were highly customizable. No coding necessary, we could add images, themes, mood emojis, whatever we felt uniquely reflected us. Our usernames were not our actual names (we couldn't be searched) and our profile images weren't of our faces (mine was of David Bowie, of course). These were our personal digital journals, just connected. And so LiveJournal lived somewhere between social media and blogging. 

LiveJournal died with MySpace and the dawn of social media. To be able to search for friends by name and photos made connecting so much easier, though we knew we had to be more careful about what we posted. MySpace gave way into Facebook, and by the time I was in college, the concept of "blogging" seemed next-to-obsolete to me. 

Upon graduating college in 2012, I felt that I had longform ideas that were worth sharing with the world beyond social media (academia can do that to a person). Newly equipped with a Communication and IT degree, I felt bold enough to set up a blog on Wordpress.org. Not Wordpress.com, mind you. .org. Because people should build and host their own sites, and not give in to the corporate digital media giants that own the web, offering limited functionality for higher costs! Power to the people! Everyone should code! (No surprise, my senior thesis was about digital elitism and the power dynamics of internet companies). 

Well, that blog didn't last long, because while college had inspired me to once again design my own digital spaces, as in my GeoCities days, it also bestowed upon me a debilitating perfectionism. Writing blog posts took me long, painful hours. I never finished editing many of them. I was also writing blog posts and other content for my first post-college job. My energy was in limited supply. 

I killed the Wordpress site and quit blogging. I had no intention of returning to it until I quit some other things, most notably that aforementioned job. In my newfound spare time, I was trying out new skills, exploring new places, and consuming books and other media that excited me. I wrote about these things in my personal journal, but I felt this wasn't enough. I wanted pictures. I wanted a log. I wanted a... bee + log? And so, having no money to spend on hosting costs, I whipped up a free Wordpress.com site in April 2015 and started blogging again. Though it was public, I kept it mostly for me, and that helped me let go of some of that perfectionism. 

Once I started working again, the blog mostly became a monthly media log of books, movies, and podcasts. By the end of 2017, it didn't have much value to me or anyone else, so I stopped updating it.

Which brings me to now. Hello, Squarespace. I have avoided you for so long out of principle, but you know, I just built a website on here in under a week. It's a website I really like, and I'm about to publish it out into the world. I don't know what this blog will become, if anything, but I'll try to make it my own in the ways that I still can. 

Although there's still a pretty good chance that this will just end up being another David Bowie blog.