On May 10, 2000, I was out visiting Linuxcare's office (my employer at the time) in San Francisco and was just hanging out in the evening at the office. After hearing about and reading a site called Advogato.org for a while, I went that night and created my account. Advogato was and is a site whose mission is to be a community for free software developers. It was created by Raph Levien not only to help connect developers but also as a testbed for his research into trust metrics. From my point-of-view at the time, the key thing was that a significant number of the main Linux and other open source developers were starting to write at the site. By reading the "recentlog" (list of new blog posts) you could easily stay up on what was happening with many of the projects out there. Since I was the President of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and active with Linux International at the time, it seemed a good place to start writing.
It's somewhat amusing to read that very first entry I wrote. I had just picked up a print version of the Cluetrain Manifesto, was just learning about DocBook and CVS and was working on some other projects. I was amused to read this:
In any event, since it's after 9pm and I'm still here in the Linuxcare office in SF, I decided to join this experiment... let's see if I actually keep up with it.
I did keep up with it... writing there at Advogato for four years until the spring of 2004 when a server outage took the site offline for 5+ weeks. By that time, blogging was in my blood and part of my daily routine and so I had to find some outlet for the writing. I had previously started up a 'dyork' account on LiveJournal and so I moved my main writing there even after Advogato came back online. The major reasons I stayed at LiveJournal were:
- I could use an "offline blog editor" to write my posts on my local computer and then publish them to LJ. (I continue to this day to use an offline editor for almost all my posting.)
- LiveJournal had the ability for people to leave comments on a post, something Advogato lacked (and still lacks).
I continued with LiveJournal as my main blog site for a while, but around 2005 found myself struggling with a couple of issues:
- I found my writing was really about two main areas: telecommunications/VoIP and PR/marketing/communications/social media - and that the people interested in one topic weren't really interested in the other.
- The comment facility was nice, but at the time it was limited to only other LJ users or "Anonymous". There was no way for people to leave their URL as people could on other blogs.
- LJ didn't support TrackBacks and some of the other newer features that were emerging in the new world of "blogging" and "social media".
Given all that I went looking at various other options and wound up on TypePad where I set up two new blogs in 2006:
- Disruptive Conversations - how the
"social media" of blogs, podcasts, wikis, virtual worlds, etc. are changing the
way we communicate
- Disruptive Telephony - how Voice-over-IP (VoIP) is fundamentally changing the technology we use to communicate
I went on to become a paid TypePad member, set up the Blue Box Podcast there and a range of other blogs.
Today, 10 years after that first Advogato post, I'm writing these days on something like 10 different blogs ... some of which I list on my 'blogs' page and others are listed on Voxeo's list of blogs - posts across all of them I am now aggregating into my Friendfeed account (along with tweets, bookmarks and more). I still use TypePad and while I have a number of issues with the site, the work to move at this point would be more than I feel like undertaking right now. Most of the new work I'm creating these days is with WordPress (or WordPress MU) which I'm using both on the VOIPSA weblog and the Voxeo blog site as well as some other projects in development.
As I sit here and write all this, it's really incredible to think about all the changes we've seen over the past 10 years both with regard to "blogging" and also to all the other tools and services that make up this larger space we've called "social media", but is even now morphing into more of just plain old... "media"!
Some things don't change, though... if I go back to the end of that first Advogato post:
Okay... my first diary entry... and a long one... typical... no one has ever praised me for my brevity!
Ten years later, I'm still working on that "brevity" thing... and using my Twitter account as a daily exercise in just that topic ;-)