Three years now

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:34 am

In late 1998 and early 1999, I began finding a new type of webpage here and there. These pages were not what I was used to seeing with online personal spaces, which was dry contact info, shrines to hobbies, recipes, and so forth. These new pages were updated regularly (sometimes several times a day!) and contained links to interesting or amusing sites and/or journally bits about the author’s day. One of my regular reads, Jorn Barger’s Robot Wisdom, called itself a weblog and that term made sense to me.

I decided I wanted to keep a page like that. My ISP, though, had other ideas. A lack of basic FTP functionality stymied my efforts. Meanwhile, a fellow named Andrew (who maintained a whimsical weblog called “BeNiceToBears”) released a tool called Pitas that allowed you to updated a website from the browser for free. He even hosted the data on his own servers. I played around with it for a little bit, but having my words stored on someone else’s computers made me nervous, so I didn’t keep with it.

Finally, three years ago this week, I decided to force the issue with my ISP. I created an ugly brown webpage, named it Kestrel’s Nest, and uploaded my first entry. My ISP still didn’t want to cooperate, but just a few days later a company named Pyra released a tool called Blogger that did the same thing Pitas did, but uploaded the data to my own webspace. I jumped at it and was one of their first ten general public users. Kestrel’s Nest was up and moving!

The release of Blogger unleashed a flood of weblogs from people who had been waiting for an easy tool. Now, there are tens of thousands. Most aren’t worth reading by anyone but the author’s closest friends and family, but you know, despite what the scorners say (”99% of all online content is crrrrap!”) there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve always thought that even if nobody reads your writings, even if you delete or throw away your words right after you’ve written them, that act of writing makes you a better person. It organizes your brain connections in such a way that helps you think critically and clearly. It turns the random impulses and emotions running around your head into something that is more organized and tangible, and that is always good.

Quite a lot has changed for me since I’ve started this weblog. I’m right where I wanted to be three years ago, but then I never thought I’d get there so fast. Looking back at my entries here, when I look at my beautiful wife and my beautiful house, I don’t have to ask myself “How did you get here?” I know exactly how I got here, and I know exactly where I’m going.

If you’re interested, you can know too. Here are thirty six entries from the last thirty six months that are representative of my journey from there to here:


  1. i am also very glad to see that you have achieved so much in so little time. however, i think you have a mistake in this entry- you say three weeks ago this week (i think you meant three years ago this week). i’ve been reading your weblog since the beginning (pretty much), and i look forward to continuing to do so. you also inspired me to start writing myself.

    Comment by kim — 8/17/2002 @ 2:13 am

  2. I don’t really remember when I started reading the nest…I feel like it was in August 1999 because that’s when I got full time access to a computer, but it might have been before then. It’s been great to watch the progression of your path in life…I am grateful that I finally started my own addition to the crap on the internet when I did, because I feel like the changes that you have been through in the last three years are remarkably similiar to the ones that I have just begun to go through…and written record will be a treat in three years. I hope that things work out as well for me as they seem to be working out for you.

    Comment by M — 8/17/2002 @ 12:12 pm

  3. Happy third blogday…getting on up there!

    Comment by Kevin — 8/23/2002 @ 1:24 am

  4. Three Years and Counting
    I spent the first three years of my life living in Ohio. My law degree took three years to earn.

    Trackback by WOIFM :: An Institute of Higher Learning — 11/19/2002 @ 11:52 am

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