Home > Metablogging > Ten years after

Ten years after

June 7th, 2012

Ten years ago, plus or minus a few days[1], I wrote my first ever blog post. There weren’t many blogs around then, and very few of those that were around have lasted long enough to celebrate a tenth birthday. In fact, I’m not sure if anyone on my original blogroll is still around (feel free to write and tell me that you’ve been blogging since 1992, and I’ve overlooked you).

Here’s my early reaction:

My blog is just about a week old, and I haven’t found the Internet this exciting since I discovered Usenet in the early 90s. Even setting up my website five years ago was not as good. Despite wildly varying ideological views, I’ve had a friendly welcome from bloggers across the board, and I’m already getting links and referrals (My return links will be up soon, I promise). It really seems as if blogs might deliver on the original promise of the Web – certainly the technology seems ideally suited for individuals and small groups, with no obvious way of scaling it up to corporate level. No doubt I’ll get jaded and disillusioned one day, but I hope it will be a long way in the future.

Camaraderie across ideological boundaries didn’t survive long. It was killed off mainly by the debate over the Iraq war. And, eventually, the corporates found a way to get in on the act, through Facebook, Twitter and media websites. although the content is still overwhelmingly supplied by individual users, rather than paid professionals. I’ve adapted to the new reality by putting posts on high-traffic media sites, but crossposting here.

Inevitably, I’m not as excited as I was in the bright dawn of blogging, and the most optimistic hopes for the medium have not been fulfilled but after ten years I’m still not jaded or badly disillusioned. For that, I have to thank my readers, especially my commenters, as well as the many fellow bloggers who’ve given me help and encouragement along the way.

Update Another ten-year veteran, Ken Parish, who dates his startup to April or May of 2002. Ken’s post reminds me that I forgot to thank various people who have helped me with hosting the site, including our current host, Jacques Chester and, way back when, Rob Corr. Thanks so much to Jacques, Rob and the various commercial and open source services I’ve sued at different times.

fn1. A series of blog moves and crash recoveries have scrambled the archives, so that I can no longer determin an exact starting date.

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  1. Freelander
    June 7th, 2012 at 17:04 | #1

    Sadly, for most of the ten years the world has been going in a bad direction. Immediately post 911, the US experienced incredible sympathy and support. The opportunity for taking the high road and acting with restraint despite provocation was not taken and today, the world and the US are worse off for it in so many ways.

    Doing the right thing, however difficult, was rational and self-interested given the rise of the BRICs especially China because we cannot expect decency and international rule of law in a post-US world when the US has ignored both.

  2. frankis
    June 7th, 2012 at 17:52 | #2

    Just laughing at your testimonials from the Oz and its friends and thinking it’s definitely been a good ten years.

  3. smally
    June 7th, 2012 at 19:54 | #3

    A search of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine turned up this link, so it looks like the date on your archived post is correct.

  4. John Quiggin
    June 7th, 2012 at 19:58 | #4

    Thanks! It looks like I’m celebrating the birthday a couple of weeks early!

  5. Sam
    June 7th, 2012 at 22:07 | #5

    @John Quiggin
    That’s bad luck John!

  6. June 7th, 2012 at 22:42 | #6

    Wasn’t Brad deLong’s blogging then? I recall reading him online from 2000 onwards.

  7. BilB
    June 7th, 2012 at 23:30 | #7

    What is a couple of weeks amoungst friends.

    I’m pretty sure that I can vouch for at least 5 years of that 10, because I remember sending o you some historic images of a flooded Brisbane around when I first discovered your okonomia tableau.

  8. Paul Norton
    June 8th, 2012 at 09:12 | #8

    I think I first encountered such worthies as Mark Bahnisch, Jask Strocchi, Fyodor, Derrida Derider, Jason Soon and many others at this blog – not to mention Graeme Bird! Many happy returns of the day to JQ.

  9. June 8th, 2012 at 09:39 | #9

    “….. have scrambled the archives, so that I can no longer determin(e) an exact starting date.”

    Don’t keep a detailed diary eh! (This is the type of nugget that is squirrelled away by QC’s, for the day when they may act for a party opposing you.)

  10. John Quiggin
    June 8th, 2012 at 09:50 | #10

    Brad DeLong was almost certainly the first econoblogger. I remember reading him around 2000 and not grokking the format at all.

    But initially, IIRC, I only linked to other Australians, most of whom have now moved on.

  11. BilB
    June 8th, 2012 at 14:09 | #11

    Please delete, JQ, if totally out or place.

    So, what for the next ten years?

    This morning I attended a Creative Industries forum organised by Penrith council. The two speakers were Peta Downes, a theartre director, producer, and arts educator who has created a new course for UWS which is an Assocaiate Degree in Creative Industries.
    This course is basically on the business end of creative industries. The back drop is that Creative Industries 30 billion dollars, about 1.5% of GDP and employ some 4% of the work force.

    For anyone who is keeping an eye on global population and resource depletion they will know that industries that create income, employment and IP equity without significant consumption of materials, are a major positive direction for our future.

    The other speaker, equally interesting was Marcus Westbury of Renew Australia. Marcus’s efforts with the aid of a small group of cohorts have been responsible for the rejuvenation of the of the centre of Newcastle, a dormant city centre where up to 150 commercial buildings have been completely vacant for up to ten years. The method of this work in progress rejuventaion is wonderfully exciting, and well worth a few moments study


    The breakfast was free, as was the flow of ideas.

  12. June 9th, 2012 at 01:00 | #12

    We’ll never catch up with you long-timers (being only 9 years old, and all)!

    Happy Anniversary!

    And, Please keep it up! – Small point: in the olden days those ‘side-bar’ things were great for feeding the curious and genuinely critical of mind to other sites that came with the imprimatur of the host. A kind of rating system which led onto so much of the original inter-connectedness that the web promised.

    I know they are much less important these days, but perhaps a bit of tidying up of the long stale ones (eg: ‘Of Interest’ etc..) would be in order?

  13. June 10th, 2012 at 01:37 | #13

    OT, deleted – I’ll set up an open thread soon

  14. June 10th, 2012 at 04:49 | #14

    Congratulations John, that’s an admirable effort! Us fellow bloggers can only hope to see a day of being around for half that long! 🙂

    Here’s to the next 10, good luck!

  15. Fran Barlow
    June 10th, 2012 at 09:41 | #15

    Yes, well done John. A decade of bringing reason to public policy …

  16. Marginal Notes
    June 13th, 2012 at 16:17 | #16

    “Thanks so much to Jacques, Rob and the various commercial and open source services I’ve sued at different times.”

    I didn’t realise you were so litigious!

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