Day 1

February 6th, 2010 by David Leave a reply »

I’ve gone and done it. I’ve registered a domain and I’ve set up a WordPress page. The strange thing is that one of these tasks I’ve wanted to do for years, the other I thought I’d never want to do. Let me explain.

I was an early adopter of the world wide web. It must have been back in 1995 that a group of my uni friends decided to ask for a chunk of webspace on the university server in order to dish it out to enthusiastic, young geeks. The club was called WebSoc and we all cobbled together our homepages. This was back in the day of the Mosaic web browser and 101 web sites featuring fuzzy GIFs of X-Files and Star Trek scenes. For the most part the sites were pretty ropey but that wasn’t the point. It was more of a learning experience. Of the tools required to make the sites (unix, ftp, html, etc) and of what makes a popular site. Certainly the former is much easier now as hand coded HTML has been replaced for the most part by wonderful tools such as WordPress. The second point is the more interesting point though.

We had access to the web logs, back in the WebSoc days, so we could see who was dragging in the most hits. Now I imagine we all hoped that our “Guide to PC Cards on the Acorn RiscPC” or “X-Files Season 2 Episode Guide” would be the most popular. After all, there was a lot of hard work and original content in there. But it wasn’t to be. The logs showed that someone had a site full of photos of girls. Nothing pornographic but interesting enough to get the guys clicking en mass. Yup, I was gutted!

Initially, as a spot of social experimentation, I set up the ‘Complete Catherine Zeta Jones‘. This was back in 1998 or so when The Mask of Zorro was just out and Ms Jones was the hottest newcomer in Hollywood. The site was a lot of fun. With very little effort I got millions of hits, got invited to work with the BBC, won international awards, made a little cash and received a marriage proposal from some poor Italian bloke who thought Catherine ran her own fan site! The nutty emails I received daily were reward enough. I’m surprised to find the site is still online. I can no longer access it and the last update is marked July 2001. Ah, nostalgia…

The next stage was to be acquiring my own domain and seeing if I could push The Complete Catherine Zeta Jones to the next level. However, I lost interest. Casual software development kept me entertained enough and there was a webpage to distribute that. But really, hand coding HTML was just dull. I gave up.

Blogging, on the other hand, is something that I’ve never been interested in. Well, that is to say that I’ve never had an interest in doing my own blog. My good friend (and fellow WebSoc’er) Michael has been blogging for about 8 years. A mutual friend of ours once asked me, “Who reads Michael’s blog?” Well, I do. For me it acts as a nice introduction to some real conversation. Along the lines of,

I saw on your blog that you did <insert something interesting>. Tell me more about that.

As for writing my own blogs, I may or may not post updates on what I’m doing or thinking. So what am I going to use this blog for?

My intention is to share snippets of information that I’ve found useful in the hope that others will too. So many times I’ve Googled for some help on a particular task and found someone has blogged about the same problem, hints as to how to solve it or, if I’m lucky, a full solution. It’s time to give something back. Having my own domain gives me the independence from the likes of Blogger or my ISP. I have the flexibility to include posts, photo galleries and other info in the one place. And now, with the right tools, I am free from the hand coding and associated nonsense. It’s all about the content, man.


1 comment

  1. social media says:

    Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any tips for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.