Home One Year On: Part 1

One Year On: Part 1

Here goes another self-referencing post about blogging. A couple of days ago I clocked up 1 year on this weblog, having started Read/Write Web on 20 April 2003, with an introductory essay called (of course) The Read/Write Web. Looking back on the past 12 months, I have to say that weblogging has done me a world of good. It’s been my creative outlet, it woke up my previously-dormant writing genes, I’ve met a lot of interesting people, my critical thinking has improved and my INTJ imagination has prospered.


Actually my weblogging efforts started more than 2 years ago, in a short-lived weblog called Modern Web. I was just getting into reading blogs at that point – Dave Winer’s Scripting News was one of the first weblogs I read on a regular basis, also a New Zealand site called Aardvark. I soon enough discovered that Dave Winer had created a weblogging tool called Radio Userland. So at some stage in March 2002 I downloaded Radio Userland and began to experiment with this new (to me) web publishing form. I should mention that I wasn’t a newbie in terms of web publishing, as I’d developed a football picks website in the late-90’s. It was a dynamic site too, developed using ASP and an Access database. But after a couple of years I gave up the football picks website, because I wanted to do something involving writing. 21 March 2002 was the day I published my first “post” in my new Radio Userland weblog: click to view screenshot.

In those early days I was experimenting and mostly used Modern Web to store quotes and links. I did the occasional paragraph of original thought, but in retrospect not nearly enough. My About Me page in this first incarnation of my weblog described my blogging as “an informal commentary”. That is, I was commenting on other peoples content and not truly creating my own content.

I abandoned this first weblog attempt on 31 May 2002 – a little over two months after I started. Something wasn’t clicking.

Read/Write Web is Born

A year later, when my Radio Userland license came up for renewal – I decided to give blogging another go. But this time I was determined to use it to write original content. After a bit of thinking, I eventually decided on “Read/Write Web” as the name for my new weblog. I was influenced by Dave Winer’s Two-Way Web theory and accompanying website. Also by Anil Dash’s Microcontent Client essay, the Chandler open source PIM (Personal Information Management) project, “next-gen websites” (as I was calling them back then), counterpoint music, XML technologies, and much more. When I was making notes for a domain name to buy, I noted that read/write means:

“capable of being displayed (read) and modified (written to)” – Webopedia

It was perfect. I bought the domain name and then began to write. 

Coming up In Part 2: Highlights of the past year; plus plans for the future.

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