My weblog turns seven years old this year, and it all started with a scam email I received back in December 2000. More on that below, but first this:
A 107 year-old woman in Australia now has a blog. She has someone type it for her, but it is amazing nonetheless. Despite being 107, she goes swimming and drinks shandy (a beer/lemonade mix, or what in Austria [sic] is called Radler). Check it out: The Life of Riley.
I maintained something similar to a blog on my website from 1998 until 2000. When my account at Tripod disappeared in 2000, I lost all of those entries.
Xanga, now one of the most successful blogging sites, publicly launched in November 2000, and allegedly (and I believe it) launched a persona called Bianca Broussard. Bianca was supposedly a school teacher, and her blog featured daily stories about the “kids in her class.” What Bianca really was (again, unproven, but it speaks for itself), was a spam machine that sent out thousands of emails to members of Angelfire, Tripod, and GeoCites, free website hosts, the last of which I was a member of. The only variable of the emails was the name in the subject and salutation, which was simply the username on the host of the addressee. On December 29, 2000, I received the following email:
Subject: Hey “new_kai,” comment on your site: GeoCities/new_kai
Hi “new_kai” I was surfing GeoCities and checked out your site at GeoCities/new_kai. I have a good friend with a really similar site, and I passed your url along to her. Have you ever seen a weblog? I was noticing your writing style, and I think the weblog format might really work well for you. I just started one recently on my site, and I am actually thinking of dumping my homepage in favor of just having the weblog, since I’m enjoying it so much more than maintaining my homesite. Anyway, I really just wanted to say thanks for an interesting site! Bianca Visit me!
I started my weblog that evening, with the following post:
First Post Ever
Hey, this is pretty neat! First off, Bianca Broussard encouraged me to start one of these web log things after visiting my site. I like this. It is like easy to update. It is like a diary/journal type of thing. So, today I started this. I’ll see where it will go from here…
I kept it up, and the rest is history. It’s kind of funny that something good can come from spam emails. In 2003 I abandoned Xanga and manually began importing those entries into a new weblog based on my site. I never finished that, and to this day there are posts still missing… They’re safe though, and I’ll get to them one day.
It’s kind of strange that I went through the history of my weblog again… It must be already mentioned several times on my site. But this 107 year-old woman blogging got me to thinking what the future holds for my generation.
Before Facebook exploded over the last two years, I wasn’t in touch with most of the people I considered friends. Now I can more or less monitor their lives 24/7. Where is this going to lead? Is the situation going to be the same or perhaps even more insane in the future? Will I be 65 and on Facebook or a successor sites still monitoring my high school friends? If so, this represents an insane change from my parents’ generation, or even from those people only a couple years older than me, who have lost track of all but a handful or less of their friends from “back in the day.”
If I’m still around, I’ll be turning 107 in 2090… And I don’t even want to imagine what the world will be like then. Whatever it’ll be like though, I’ll hopefully still be documenting it from my point of view on some kind of electric communication network. And I’ll probably still find out if you are “no longer listed as in a relationship.”