Gareth’s Blog

Just another weblog

New beginning

Posted by garethwatkins on March 4, 2009

I’ve finally managed to actually start my own blog.  I’ve considered doing it a hundred times before, but there has never really been a reason to do so before now.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, events have recently conspired to motivate me enough to finally begin.

The recent nudge in the right direction was the sudden rise of Twitter and, more importantly, my jumping onto that bandwagon and subsequent obsession with it.  But that was in itself a result of another, greater, factor: the slow, lingering death of my beloved Bulletin Board.

I never really got into Facebook the same way so many others did, mainly because I already had a network of friends and aquiatences that I posted messages to on a daily basis.  In fact, I’ve been posting messages to them for about a decade.  Not always the same people, mind you.  Many have joined and left the Bulletin Board over that time.  But there have been a hardcore who have remained through upgrades, relocations and the odd extended hiatus.  But the last year or so has seen the numbers dwindling and the post frequency declining.  And it was the rapidity of reply posting that often kept me going back, debating topics that I often had no real opinion on or knowledge of.

I suppose there has also been my own personal developement that has contributed to this inevitable shift.  I’ve become more sophisticated in my internet use.  I’ve learnt how to make the stories I want to read come to me and I’ve altered the way I absorb this information.  Late though I was, I discovered podcasts, blogs, vlogs, internet television and aggregator sites that made it easier to home in on the sites that I found interesting, having to rely less and less on others to point the way to things I might enjoy.

Of course, this shift does remove part of the reason I used to enjoy the Bulletin Board so much: the interaction.  The Bulletin Board was web 2.0 before an ad exec coined the irritating phrase.  It was content for the people by the people.  The oft-praised user-generated content.  And this move to blogging threatens to remove the other users.

So I guess the solution is to continue what I was doing before, but try to get users to cross from one point of contact to the other.  While I follow them on Twitter, reply to them on the Bulletin Board and watch them on YouTube, I can also encourage them to pop along here for a quick scan of my latest musings or a hunt through the braindumps I intend to drop on here every couple of days.

If I can dedicate myself to actually getting things up on here I intend to post articles I’ve written, photographs I’ve snapped, stories I’ve penned and anything else I fancy showing off.  Of course, only time will tell how long this all lasts.  It took hundreds of users to keep me interested in the Bulletin Board for ten years, but seventy-something friends can barely keep me interested in Facebook for five minutes.  I guess I’ll just have to hope that I’m actually as interested in myself as I think I am.

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