Yes, it was seven years ago tonight, back in that medieval year of 2002, that I first started a blog, back when 80% of the country had no idea what a blog was.
Oh, those were heady times for us brave pioneers! Networking with other foolhardy cyberdiarists, catching a glimpse of our blog names in a screen shot of a blogroll on local TV news, trying to explain to clueless coworkers and family just exactly what a blog is, posting every stupid little thought that popped into our heads (but without the competition of half the country like on Twitter these days).
Yes, it was almost exactly a year after I started my blog that ABC News named Bloggers their Person of the Year; coincidence? Oh, sure, keep telling yourself that.
My blog was originally on Blogspot, which apparently got hungry and ate the thing, but you can still download my archives in their entirety from a link in my sidebar on the right.
But of course, blogging is passe now, replaced by “tweeting” and “status updates” and “life”. Even I have my Twitter & Facebook & Blip.fm posts funneled into my sidebar here, but I still keep this blog as a central hub for my domain name and blogroll, and of course my “content network”: Original music, photography, video, t-shirts, etc etc etc, plus my own Twitter posts (“tweets” will someday be looked upon as one of the most idiotic words of the early 21st century) and Facebook updates.
Still, it was extremely worthwhile for me to have a blog. It finally gave me daily practice in writing and web page creation skills (HTML and graphics, for instance), opened up several new friendships and networking opporunities, and provides me with a written history of my life for most of that time.
Bonus points: It also gave me a nagging sense of superiority for the first time in my life, as well as bragging rights and a notch on my resume.
One of the most interesting things about blogging was that most of the people reading my personal little blips and rants were all over the country, and even the world. My own family and coworkers were never that interested in my blog, and most of them only read it after they deliberately did something stupid that they knew would tick me off.
THEN they would read it, to see if I was griping about them, but only temporarily.
But seven years is a long time, and the MantraSphere (i.e., my life) is a vastly different place that it was back then.
Probably the biggest event in those intervening years was the discovery, in early 2006, that the bronchitis and pneumonia that I’ve suffered from all my life was caused by a neuroendocrine tumor in my right lung — a tumor which began before I was even born and had grown to 5 centimeters in diameter.
So, long story short, after teetering on the brink of death from pneumonia and losing half a lung to surgery to remove the tumor, and after a long recovery process (mostly because of the havoc that the surgery wreaked on my back and ribcage), I’m now in better health than ever, and haven’t even had bronchitis or a serious sinus infection (much less pneumonia) ever since.
The second biggest change from back then is that I have finally made good on my long-time threat to compose and record music, even being one of the winners of a local music contest this past October! (Did I fail to mention that? Hey, I announced it on Facebook and it showed up in my sidebar. Keep up.)
But you can listen to my music on AloneTone (for free! And get free downloads and ringtones! For free!)
So do that, won’t you?
And there are more changes, but for now, I have to cut this short so I can go DJ in Second Life (another change! Huzzah!).