I said yesterday that I wanted to reminisce some about starting the blog. Well: I think I've written most of this before, but here goes.
In 1999 or thereabouts, I decided I wanted to have a website, and that it should consist of a notes about what books I am currently reading. I cajoled my then-employers to give me some space on their server, I bought a domain name from Network Solutions, I wrote a couple of pages. The site went live the same evening Ellen's writing group held a reading of their work at Cornelia Street Café; we announced the site's launch, fun. Over the next couple of years I wrote sporadically for the site; occasionally came up with some really interesting pages. (My notes on reading Faulkner's The Hamlet are one of the most popular pages in all of READIN -- nearly every day brings a couple of Google searches for "The Hamlet by Faulkner", which I guess must not have a lot written about it on the web. It is probably my favorite Faulkner book, largely because the process of writing notes on it went so well.) The technology supporting READIN at this point was Notepad to compose posts and a Visual Basic™ program to compile them into nicely formatted HTML.
In 2002 I started noticing blogs (I think the first one I read was Tom Tomorrow's This Modern World, which I found while searching for an online publisher of his comic), and getting interested. I didn't realize for a while that blogging was what I wanted to do -- I was hardly maintaining READIN at all anymore, and I didn't make the connection between my web site and this new technology. (I'm slow that way.) But after about a year of reading blogs I decided to give it a try, and in the space of about a week hacked together an ASP script to render pages. And this journal was born.
And, well, this is one of the main things I do for fun nowadays. It gets more and more interesting as I learn new ways I can use the technology. Hope to keep it going for a long time.
It's funny--I'd always put READIN in the "blog" category. This
impulse to write & publish a journal seems to be pretty
widespread. I don't have it; there are things I like to write
about & photograph, but that's different.
This impulse to write & publish a journal seems to be
I know! Funny, right? For me it's sort of: I really desperately
want to be able to think of myself as "an author", for reasons
maybe similar to Galip's in The Black Book; searching for
something to write about I eventually realized I could keep a
diary. For some reason I did not figure this out until '99, when I
was already 29 years old! And by that time the web was happening,
so I figured I would do it online where I would be a little less
distracted by doodling in the margins. (Lately I seem to have
figured out how to doodle in the margins of my online diary...)
You certainly read enough and enough difficult writing to be "an
author". It goes with the job description, I think.