@20, by Paul Ford.
In two weeks, the Ideapad turns 19. The website itself is somewhat older—I don’t know the date, but I believe it was sometime in 1997, after I got tired of having a tilde-level user directory and long before I realized “netwert” was cumbersome and not something I’d necessarily want in perpetuity. My first ~werty dates to late 1995 or early 1996, I think; my critical writing dates to college, offline, and Nov. 1, 1998 in this space, where it has pressed forward in various fits, starts, ebbs and flows ever since.
Lots of folks chimed in to agree with Paul on his post via social media. But because much of what he wrote about his website is applicable here (indeed, for many of us borne of this era), I thought I’d address it in the most appropriate manner possible: with a blog post of its own.
Paul: Some days I want to erase this whole thing—much of the writing is sloppy and immature, and I was, too. But why bother to hit the red button?
I actually have the converse opinion of my own site. Much of my writing from back then is immature, probably much more than Paul’s sophisticated, philosophical approach. Every blue moon or so I meander back into my archives, read a little bit, and find it alternately joyous an excruciating. But it never occurs to me to erase it. My old notes occasionally have relevance and create delight, and for as long as that is the case, I’m happy to have them persist.
Like Paul, and so many other writer-blogger-creators of the early Internet era, I don’t get nearly as much mileage out of my personal website as I once did. But for me, at least, it’s nice to come back to the old homestead once in awhile. See you soon.