In tinkering with my blogging platform and playing with different technologies, I’ve just realized that I’ve been writing online for well over a decade now.
It started a long time ago, when I was writing personal stuffs on a public Open Diary back in 1995, under an alias, which for the life of me, I can’t recall. The site is currently unavailable, and I was curious to see if they still indexed old entries, and see if I could dig anything up from back then.
It was a place that I tossed out whatever I had in mind, a place to jot down the ideas running through my head, a place for a creative outlet with the safety of knowing nothing would ever come back to me, since I lived behind the veil of anonymity (since back then, PRISM was just a dream…), and I was able to express whatever I wanted, in a safe-like place.
After writing there for a couple of years, I was witness to the 1997 Ben Yehuda Street Bombing – I was at a cafe off the street with some friends, when it happened, and went to offer whatever help I could, having had some First Aid training. After spending some 2 hours dealing with things that I’ve pushed far to the back of my mind, I was gathered by a friend, carted to his house, and sat in shock for a few hours, before making my way home.
The next day, I wrote about it on OD, and referenced my friend by first name only.
A couple of days later, a comment came on my post, asking if my friend was ‘So-and-so from Jerusalem’, and if so, that they knew him, and agreed that he was a great help. We began discussing our mutual friend, and eventually met in person.
This was the first revelation I had – you’re never truly anonymous.
We became pals, hung out a few times, and continued to stay up to date with each other for a while.
I did notice that after a while, my writing dwindled, now I knew that there is someone out there who knew who I am, not that I was saying anything outrageous, but the feeling of freedom dropped.
During my time in the Air Force, I wrote extremely rarely, since getting online was near impossible from base, so after discharge in 2000, I pretty much had stopped writing altogether.
In 2003, my friend Josh Brown invited me to the closed community (at the time) of LiveJournal, where it quickly grew into the local social networking site, where we could post, comment, and basically keep up with each other’s lives.
Online quizzes were ‘the thing’ and posting your results as an embed to your post was The Thing to do.
After spending 4 years on LJ, they began providing additional customizations, added features for paid-only users, and I didn’t want to spend any money on that, rather I wanted to host my own site.
So I did, for a while. In 2006, I built my own WordPress 2.0 site (history!), hosted it on my home server (terrible bandwidth) and began on the journey of customized web application administration. Dealing with databases, application code updates, frameworks, plugins, you name it.
I think I actually enjoyed tinkering with the framework more than actually writing.
Anyhow, I’ve written sporadically over time, about a wide variety of things, both on this site, and elsewhere.
The invention of Facebook, twitter, and pretty much any social network content outlet has replaced a lot of the heavier topic writing that went on here.
But it does indeed fill we with some sense of happiness that I’ve been doing this for a long time, and have preserved whatever I could from 2003 until now, and continue to try and put out some ideas now and then.
My hope is that anyone can take the to express their creativity in whatever fashion they feel possible, and share what they want to with the rest of us.