No-one believes me but I blogged since early on. Since Blogger had just begun. Before Blogger became Google.
I can’t remember the year but maybe when they were ‘in a small way, and eventually a bigger way.’ 2002, 2003? It fades now. I remember being dissappointed when they were bought out, so it was before then.
It was because I was running a customer briefing facility for the dot in dot com. I needed to promote success. I’d seen and read about Blogger in a magazine. Was it Businessweek? It barely matters.
I sneaked on the Internet and read the first blogs. It was amazing. Self publishing! I could see where it was all going. It was Rad. Gnarly.
I even helped Mick Jagger learn how to blog when he contacted our CNO looking for ‘places to hang out on the net’ .. and I was finally cool. Bald, fat and short. But cool.
So I contacted Blogger and they dutifully loaded the software on a PC and shipped it down to Palo Alto. Yes. A PC. Palo Alto.
I used this homespun blogging platform inside the company for a weekly published column called ‘what we learned’ each week. It was a smash. It wasn’t perfect. It took longer to publish than to write. But it was my words. Published. Read by dozens. Done.
Then I was too Rad. Eventually I got a note from the CTO telling me to stop. ‘It’s not secure ..’ I’ll bet he would regret that now if I could find that email. I kept the PC. Wiped the software. Put a demo on it about RFID tags with rubber chickens in fridges. Another day.
A few years later, I remember two arrogant engineers arguing this with me in the open. No shame. ‘You can’t possibly have done that because we only started in 200X and we’re ‘euuuunuch’ engineers. We write code. We can open shells and bash. I was humiliated.
Now my words didn’t matter. I slipped into a long long depression. I deleted thousands and thousands of posts. My voice had died. My photos had been fried. You bastards.
But I still dabbled. I couldn’t stop after all? In Drupal. In SimpleCMS. In Live Journal. In WordPress.In Type.. (the memory goes). In .. many many others in-between. I stopped writing and started .. watching. And poking. In the code. On the server. At work. At home. In people’s heads.
OK. I can admit it. I became a WordPress addict. I can admit it now. My name is Jeremy and I am a WordPress addict. Once an addict, always an addict. Just a different drug. Now I was the kingmaker.
I would install and de-install WordPress just for fun. It affected my day. Sometimes multiple times in the same day. I started hanging out with other amateur hackers. It beat editing the registry on my PC or playing with OpenOffice and trying to work out the longest command line I could make in Solaris. Or trying to see what variations of killall -99 might do on all the screens in the building.
I would hack away for hours on the code. Working out where the loop started, and on style sheets and in .css, and in Photoshop or Fireworks, trying to do masks and filters and cut out pictures around the hair my head. Even though I was supposed to be doing anything else but.
I even persuaded non-geek friends to geek-out with me for hours in hosting sites. Years later they are still asking me for advice to get them out of the holes I lied my way into. ‘Sure you can do that ..’ You know who you are. Remember me when I’m gone, I got you into it. It was me. I was the seed in your mind. The worm in your belly. I stopped you playing with your screen saver and starting you playing with your uploads.
I even got mentioned in the forward of a book. For my tireless efforts to the cause. I was a devotee. A groupy. Still ‘technically relevant.’
I even did it for clients. On my own and with anyone I could find to help me. They did it for free. I started paying them. A client tried to sue me. Then I learned. I started to get it right. Clients started loving it. Some still do it and are using to this day.
But then I discovered Squarespace and Medium and I cast my love away.
In an instant.
Without looking back.
Without a moments thought.
As only a true child of the Internet could.