This week, it’s been ten years since I started blogging. Lots of people I know have been blogging for at least that long – but when it actually happens to you, it’s nice to pause and think about what that means.
As I recall, I was teaching a 3rd year radio class at AUT, and had asked Russell Brown along as a guest speaker. He mentioned that he had started blogging and was, if I remember correctly, just about to stop doing his ‘Hard News’ segment on the wireless to devote his attention to Public Address, which means that’s ten years old too.
My first blog post was about the voluntary music targets for radio stations in New Zealand. The Minister of Broadcasting at the time was Marian Hobbs (not to be confused with a certain UK DJ) and she was in the process of negotiating herself into a corner with respect to kiwi music.
Ten years feels like a proper milestone. In fact – if I fudge the numbers just very slightly, then I have been online for twenty years, I’ve had a website of some kind for fifteen years, I’ve been blogging for ten, and I’ve been on Twitter for five (actually, that one’s exactly five years today).
This is no exaggeration: EVERYTHING I do today is thanks to the internet. Everything from the job in the UK to the international travel (Venezuela next week), to the whisky tasting, to the writing, to the consulting, to my taste in music, to the radio interview I did in the USA this morning… right down to the juicer I just bought on Amazon with money I made from a pay-what-you-want book I’m publishing.
In large part, even the friends I have – with only one or two notable exceptions, I have because of the internet.
Of course, I don’t experience everything about the internet as being wholly positive. I am not what some people call a cyber-utopianist. I withdraw from far more than I engage with. I am no longer on Facebook (though I did last five years there) and there are lots of things I find problematic – but most of those things have to do with people who would be just as unpleasant or politically objectionable without a computer.
What’s interesting is that my son Jake, who will be 20 this year, has grown up in a home that has always had a modem. My job has been to keep up with him, and while I might not look it – I feel like it keeps me young – and at least marginally relevant.
The important thing is that times have changed and I have managed to change with them. I’ve made it my business to attempt to understand how it all works (functionally and culturally, rather than technically) – and that’s led me to some of the most interesting stuff I’ve been involved with over the past decade.
After ten years doing this, I feel like I can legitimately call myself a blogger. In fact, in many ways, that’s what I am first and foremost. I may ‘also’ be an academic, an author, a DJ and all that other stuff I occupy my time with… but what I am is a blogger.
Here’s to the next ten years.