I’ll warn you now — this is a long post. I’ve broken it into three pages and if you want to skip through my history and go directly to the reason for this post to find out why the thrill of blogging is gone for me (and how I’m getting it back), click over to —> page 3.
The Beginning of World Shrinkage
I’ve been actively involved in online social networking for over a decade. Sometimes I look at what it has become since the implementation of general social media and I miss what it used to be. People used to engage others more personally, we conscientious regarding what was published, and there were still inhibitions. There was a simplicity about it all because of the newness and everyone was still getting used to the internet. A lot of people were apprehensive and some people were even scared of it. I embraced the possibilities and delved into the new communication medium full force.
I started blogging a little bit after our oldest child was born in 2000. I was 17 at the time and when Barry and I and got our first place, he got a computer for me to have something to do while I was home taking care of Bri during the day and evening when he was at school and working. Using Geocities, I started transcribing just a few of my journal entries from when I started high school just to get started and then continued recording my experiences here and there just simply as a way to chronicle our life together as a family — a journal that others could read. I made 33 entries that year — some of which had been transcribed from a baby journal I received as a gift from one of my high school teachers. In 2001, I made 26 entries.
Back then, life wasn’t really “online” … most of what I shared was only read by me. There weren’t any social media platforms. Not everyone had a computer. High speed internet wasn’t widely available and in the areas it was available, most people hadn’t seen much of a need for anything faster than dial up. While I was pregnant with our son in 2001, I signed up for America Online (I believe it was version 6.0 at the time and was still the type of software that had to be downloaded and was all-inclusive, housing chatrooms, the instant messenger, etc). It was at that time that I developed a page for our family in AOL Hometown — the first “website” I ever published online. I also started using AOL Journal as my “blog” which at that time entailed manually copying and republishing all of the posts I had written in other places (Geocities, Angelfire, and some content I had added to a free webpage we had on Tripod).
I used AOL to meet other parents and we began communicating through email “loops” in which we would add and remove people as they joined and left the “loop” and we would simply use our email client to send emails to all the active members and would “reply all” to everything. The subject always included the loop name at the beginning. I met some great people that I still to this day keep up with… we communicated this way up until people started discovering Yahoo! Groups in 2003 which replaced email loops and I joined LiveJournal soon after that and again copied all of my various content from different sources into my account there. Between 2000 and 2003, the world became a much smaller place.