I see a lot of claims out there by people who claim to be the first blogger because they began doing it in 1997 or something like that. Well, I do not know if I am the first one ever, but I am certainly one of the first ones. In November 1994, I sat in Central Park and saw something funny. I went upstairs to my sister’s office in the Hotel des Artistes building (home of Café Des Artistes) and updated my website (manually because it was 1994) to include a new page about observations and wrote about it. And it’s still on the web today! In fact, almost everything I wrote about from 1994 to 2002 is available in an archive of my website as it was before I finally changed it all up and built a brand new one.
This site is a continuation of that second-gen site that I made in 2002. At that time, I believe I switched to Dave Winer’s Radio Userland tool and used that for some years. Then I experimented with Movable Type and a number of other tools. Then in Steptember, 2008, just over 10 years ago, I switched to WordPress and that’s been the engine behind my site ever since. (And considering I now work for the WordPress people, I highly doubt I will be changing my site out for something else any time soon!)
And blogging as a term did not come into usage until 1997 or so. So I don’t know what you call what I did for those first three years. Public journaling? Who knows? And, like I said, I do not claim to be the first, but I was certainly among the first ones. How many others have blog-style posts that are still online from November 1994 or before? Maybe one day I will try to find out.
I am having social network fatigue. First, there are the long-form posting sites — my main blog, Posterous and Tumblr (though the latter may be argued as a short-form site too). Then there’s the quick snippet land of Facebook and Twitter. Then there’s the GPS-aware side of things like Foursquare, Loopt, MyTown, and Yelp! (I have since given up on Gowalla and Brightkite as not being particularly interesting to me).
The GPS group are getting a long form post from me soon enough as I have been evaluating them with an eye towards a blog post for some time now. At least that’s how I justify to my wife my continued use of them…
What I’m trying to figure out now is how I should talk to the world without having to worry about where I am writing. I am not a power blogger. I don’t really feel the need to blast 20 posts a day out there and I am not trying to set myself up as an expert in any particular field to make my site a destination for those in that field and resume fodder. I could just do things in my WordPress site and have my Posterous and Tumblr sites auto-carry the posts or at least links back to them and have links auto-posted to Twitter and Facebook. But I also like the ultra-simplicity offered by Tumblr and Posterous. It is just easier to pull a post together.
And then there’s the fact that I like posting pictures from my iPhone (not so much text — while I don’t hate the iPhone keyboard, I am just not interested in trying to type a lot on it) and I feel that it is much easier to go directly to Facebook or Tumblr than it is my WP site (yes, I have the app, I still find it a longer process than these other methods).
Maybe my problem is that I can’t commit to just one program and stick to that. I like so much of each of them that I want the freedom to use all of them whenever I feel like it.
I wonder what the rest of the world does. Where do you post and where do you ignore? How important is it to you to get your stuff out to as many sites as possible versus using just one and trusting that your audience (friends, family, whoever) can and will find it?