In all the excitement, I forgot my blog reached a milestone on Friday. On 5 May it turned 15, sharing a birthday with the old man. Weirdly, it’s a few months older than child B, who’s deep into the first year of her GCSEs. I was a naïve 36 year old back then, about to start my first web job. In 15 years time I’ll be 66. My god.
The inaugural post stands up pretty well, I think, a to-the-point criticism of a popular site’s choice of typeface. Some things never change: there’s enough bad design out there to keep This day’s portion and a million other blogs going for the next 15 years.
(Having said that, blog design in general has improved – most now consist of big, easy to read type arranged in a single column of text.)
I have written about things other than crap website choices, but I think I can discern a thread through the years, however tenuous. In 2008 Twitter was starting to become popular, and this more or less marks the point at which we started to commodify our online presences through becoming brands in the marketplace of likes, retweets and responses. I should concede that this served me well: when I interviewed for jobs at The Institute of Customer Service and Suffolk Libraries, the interviewers whipped out my website on both occasions. Indeed, I knew my second boss fairly well through Twitter.
As I discussed recently, there was something oddly performative about my Twitter presence – and, at times, this website. Yesterday I made the decision to sever the link between posts I publish here and social media, in the hope I can finally overcome the Twitterfication of my online presence and concentrate on the writing. Man. Who knows. But I’m looking forward to publishing another 200 posts and countless links and notes in the next 15 years.