Indie Microblogging by Manton Reece

Part 2: Foundation

It was 2002 at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin. I had registered my domain name a few years earlier, and used it for some project pages and even a niche link blog on animation as early as 1999, but I had never dedicated the whole site to a personal blog. What I saw at SXSW was the inspiration I needed to start blogging.

My first post, in its entirety:

SXSW Interactive started today. Seems an appropriate time to start a weblog, as if there weren’t enough in the world already. Welcome, and enjoy.

In hindsight, this first post illustrated two things: first, it was actually a microblog post, at only 145 characters and no title; and second, I thought I was late to blogging. I thought there might already be too many blogs. Now, 20 years later, my blog is older than only a handful of the hundreds that I read regularly.

There weren’t enough blogs back in 2002, and there aren’t enough now. I have no doubt that some of the blogs created today will be important in the years ahead, maybe contributing to a debate on politics, or showcasing new writing or art, or serving as an archive that reflects today’s culture.

Personal blogs are independent by default. They are separate from any one platform. In 2002 if I had instead chosen to put all my writing into early social networks like Friendster or MySpace, which launched a year later in 2003, I wouldn’t have much to show for it now.

My blog is one of the most important things I do. It’s not my full-time job. It doesn’t make any money directly. But consistently writing, collecting a memory of those everyday events, adding my own commentary on technology, or chronicling the projects I work on — it becomes a substantial archive over time.

Next: Domain names →