I never used to have problems just sitting down to write a post for my blog, but over the last few years I’ve found I second guess myself a lot. I’ve been thinking about the sort of newsletters and blogs I have always enjoyed, and it’s basically ones where I get to look through a small window into another person’s life. For lots of different reasons we haven’t been travelling a lot lately and I really miss going to new places. I miss the fish-out-of-water feeling, the sense of taking in every little detail when you go somewhere new.
Visiting a good blog can give you a little sense of that. A little bit of culture shock, even if you are just seeing something familiar through different eyes. If you’re lucky you’ll be inspired, get new ideas, book recommendations, even things to cook or make or phrasing that’s just a little off-kilter from what you’re used to. I really like these sorts of blogs, and it’s really cool to see that there seems to be a bit of a resurgance in them right now as people peel off from the big social media sites.
There are webrings, weird blog kiosks, hosting services that scarily remind me of the old diary-x days, and even the humble guestbook seems to be making a reappearance. Probably a lot of this is nostalgia-driven but for me it’s a good nostalgia; I can still remember when the web was new and everyone was still trying to figure out what it could do.
I remember one of the first websites I came across was about how to turn a toaster and some pop tarts into a “flamethrower.” I remember being mightly impressed with the whole business. (I wonder if that page still exists out there somwehere… OMG, it does!)
In my first year at uni (1994) we all got an email acount, and basically free internet to do anything. I think the students ran through the university’s yearly “internet budget” in a couple of months. Most people wound up getting modems so you could access the WWW as well as bulletin boards which were weird and random, but you had to pay by the minute to get online and probably only had a 14.4 kbs modem, or if you were lucky you might upgrade to a 28.8 or 56 kbs one, but those guys were expensive.
When we wanted to play games together (Age of Empires, that sorta thing) you would have to load up your entire computer, including your CRT monitor and tower, keyboard, mouse, into your car so you could drive to your friend’s house. They would have to set up a huge table so everyone could set up their desktops and then you’d spend forever getting everyone online.
Anyway, I’m digressing. The “I’m going to do this properly,” of the title is referring to me wanting to come back to the blog a bit more. I want to get back into a daily habit, which will probably mean shorter posts, but I’m not going to worry so much about whether these posts need to form a coherent whole or if it’s just ok for this blog to be a place where I post stuff. I do like the idea of writing more directed essays or whatever but for now I think I’m just going to hang out here for a while.