Blogversary

A belated happy 20th anniversary to my oldest continuing blog, started November 24, 2001, when I was exploring a lot of writing-on-the-Web tools as part of the “Digital Culture” and “Online Journalism” courses I was teaching at Emerson College. It’s called “Boblog” and is composed with Blogger, which gives it the (free!) Web address of Boblog.blogspot.com. These days I use it mostly to write about music. The blog you are reading, stepno.wordpress.com, inherited the general-purpose and journalism-related functions of that earlier blog and another, and it just passed its 13th anniversary on November 11.

Here’s this blog’s “Hello World” post from 2008, when I started to make the transition from yet another blog I had kept on the “Radio Userland” blog posting-and-hosting system. I’d been using “Radio” since the spring of 2002, a nifty system that let you build your blog entries on your local computer, then “publish” to the server — always keeping that backup copy. But Userland phased out its hosting and software business, so I archived everything I had written so far, and moved on.

Radio Userland was especially nice on slow dial-up Internet connections, and it was a pioneer in publishing shareable RSS feeds of page contents. The program functioned as both a blog-publisher and RSS-subscription-reader. I’m pretty sure it was the first program to let you incorporate audio or video files in a blog’s RSS feed and subscribe to other blogs that had such “enclosures.” If I remember correctly, you could set a timer to download them overnight so they’d be ready to play in the morning.

If I’d had the resources to record audio or video and a better network connection for the uploading, I could have been a pioneer “podcaster,” as the practice became known a few years later. (Userland founder Dave Winer’s Scripting.com blog archives may have that whole story with the details right.)

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.

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Posted in 2008, blogging, memories, Radio Userland, WordPress

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