Yesterday I said I was starting something new: a “web log” or “blog” for short. And yes, that was a joke, because blogs have been around for a long time now. In fact, blogs seem to be kind of passé at this point, since most of us now do our public memory-sharing on social media these days. Blogs are a thing of the past, from a moment in time when the internet was becoming broadly accessible but hadn’t yet become quite ubiquitous.
It took a bit of work to create a blog you could be proud of, from setting up an account on a blogging platform, to selecting and customizing a theme, to managing the content and conversations. Sure, for a tech-savvy teenager it was easy enough, but it was a task for generations who had grown up on typewriters instead of computers. And every post carried weight, because it could/would be seen by the whole world, and anyone could comment or link back to your post.
Social media (I’m mainly looking at you, Facebook) made it easier to set up those accounts, create that content, and distribute it to a curated group of friends. I think I could argue that most of our modern social media platforms actually borrowed most of their features from the blogs of old – they just made them easier to use, and thus more appealing to the masses.
So when I say I’m starting something new with this blog, what I actually mean is that I’m going back to something old. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been particularly active on social media lately, not even on Twitter, which used to be my favorite before Elon Musk
bought destroyed it.
But I’ve had a website for a long time, and this website has always functioned as a blog for me. It’s been a place for me to share my thoughts in the form of poems, stories, even blog posts. But the blog posts I’ve shared here have, for the most part, been articles that I’ve put a lot of time and thought into. They’ve been soapboxes, at times; they’ve been confessions; they’ve been efforts to change the world. They haven’t been a journal, a place for me to toss my light, personal reflections, without a thesis statement or an agenda, where my only goal is to open myself up for others to know me better.
That’s what this new “blog” section of my website is for, and that’s how it’s different than what I’ve been posting for the past few years. And right now, with the implosions that seem to be occurring inside all the major social media platforms, it seems like a good opportunity for me to take broader ownership of the thoughts and content I’m putting out into the world, doesn’t it?