13 Years of RasterWeb!

13 Years

13 years of blogging… You can browse through the archives if you like. It’s all there.

I just keep going. I don’t know why… probably because it’s hard to stop. I don’t give up easily, and I like to keep trying. Things were obviously very different in 1997 when we started. There were a handful of blogs and you could read them all during your lunch hour. As much as I’m saddened to see an old friend abandon their blogs, I’m often quite pleased to see some are still at it.

This is the part where I thank Dave Winer, because without him, I wouldn’t have started blogging. (Even if he does block me on Twitter.)

I’m considering a few new taglines, perhaps: “Wisconsin’s longest running blog” or something… I dunno, any suggestions?

Anyway, I’m just here to congratulate myself on 13 years of blogging, and hope for another 13 to come… Keep up the good work, self!


The Blogging Effect

I’ve been thinking about the effects of blogging, specifically on business. There’s a reason for this…

Last year we went camping at Bark River Campground. It sucked. I wanted to let people know this, because I didn’t want other people to have the experience I did, so I did what any self respecting blogger would do… I blogged about it.

The result was: Bark River Campground: Worst Campground Ever, which described my experience. I sort of knew where things were headed. Their site sucks and within a few days, my post was the second result in a search for “Bark River Campground” I was slightly pleased.

Fast forward 9 months, and I get a phone call. It took me a number of “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?” to get to the part where I heard “internet” and “post” and “worst campground ever” and I then realized who I was talking to. Yup, they called.

I talked to the folks at Bark River Campgrounds. The man I talked to said he understood that I had the right to say what I wanted, but he also said they try very hard to make things nice at the campground. I wasn’t convinced of that, but I did thank him for opening a dialog about the issue. I did get the idea that he didn’t actually read the post because he asked me questions that would have been answered if he had read it. But then again, bloggers tend to think everyone reads their posts…

So, what is the responsibility of a blogger? What is the effect of what we write? On businesses? On people? Like I said, I knew what I was doing, and I had some clue what the effect would be. I honestly did not expect to hear from them, but was pleasantly surprised by them saying that I had every right to say it, and they didn’t expect me to take it down.


A Decade of RasterWeb!

On this day, ten years ago, a weblog named RasterWeb! appeared for the first time on the internet.

Today, it is one of the the longest continuing running weblogs on the Internet.

This site may have played a big role in several important trends.

  • It may have helped bootstrap the blogging world.
  • It was the one of the early sites involved in podcasting.

Ok, with apologies to Dave Winer for the above, this is the 10 year anniversary of this weblog. When I say that, I mean that this is one of the original blogs. If you go to jjg’s the page of only weblogs and look at “ye olde skool” list, those are the folks who were around at the same time, pre-2000, and blogging regularly. Follow those links today, and many are gone, some are still around but on hiatus, and many have lost their archives due to moving to different weblog systems over the years. Scripting News started in April 1997, CamWorld in June of 1997, and RasterWeb! in August of 1997. For each of those you can still get to the archives, and the first posts. I consider this somewhat important. We’re bloggers, who believe in the long-term. I’ve seen people who say they’ve been blogging since 1996, and when pushed they say how they had a journal or a Geocities site that is long gone, or they changed sites 5 times or whatever. Blogging is somewhat about the permanence, the fact that you stand behind what you say, and people can link to it, and that link is gonna be there a month or a year, or 5 years later. I worked meticulously to re-write any links when I moved from to many years back. My first thought, as a blogger, was that I didn’t want to break the links of people who linked to things I was saying. I hated when big media sites did it, so I didn’t want to.

So while Dave Winer and Cameron Barrett are pretty well known, I am definitely not “internet famous” in any way. I don’t live in California, or New York, and haven’t done anything amazing to bring attention to myself, I’ve just been blogging for 10 years. I’m probably most well known as being the guy who told Drew (of Dawn and Drew fame) that he should try podcasting. That’s just fine with me. I’ve gotten a lot out of blogging over the years. No, it didn’t help me get a job when I needed one, or make any amazing business deals, but what it has done is help connect me with many amazing people over the years, people I consider my friends. This to me is much more valuable than anything else, the connections I’ve made, and the people I’ve met. That’s what it’s all about.

Now, on a less serious note, I’ve take Cam out of the list of “continually running weblogs” since he often goes months without a post, and then may only have 1 in a month, so really, after Dave’s Scripting News, I think RasterWeb! is the second longest continually running weblog on the internet with all archives still available and all old links still working” So there. As soon as Dave quits, I will earn the title! And that’s the real reason I keep doing this. (But not really, I’m just kidding about that part.)

So that’s it. 10 years. I look forward to another 10. See ya on the internets…


Big Media: We can’t link to you…

I first mentioned the Blogging Summit put on by local broadcasters WTMJ 620 on June 12th, 2007 in a post title Citizen Blogging Summit.

The Summit was on June 14, 2007, and I recapped in a post title Citizen Blogging Summit Report.

There is a very good chance that in a few years, those links will still work. There are links to this site that still work nearly 10 years after I first created them. There’s an old saying: Cool URIs don’t change. WTMJ 620 doesn’t get that.

When we were at the Summit, someone mentioned they were re-launching their site in the next few days. The second I heard this, I was pretty sure all the bloggers they invited, who actually linked to the Summit page, would have dead links within a week. I was right.

I’m really hoping they fix this, but as of right now, links to get a 404.

And there are links pointing there. I mean, we’re bloggers! You invite us to talk about something, and we will, by linking to it. Will I link to anything on again? I don’t know, since there is a good chance it’ll disappear with the next web site re-design.

I might just be a little sensitive about this issue because I’m in the middle of doing some URL re-writing for a site that just underwent a major rebuild. But really, is a permalink so much to ask for? Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed. Just when you think someone is starting to get it, they let you down.


Citizen Blogging Summit Report

Well, we attended the Citizen Blogging Summit (Mike Rohde and I were on a panel, and Jeramey came along for backup) and it was… interesting.

Citizen Blogging Summit Citizen Blogging Summit

As I mentioned in a previous post, we didn’t know what to expect, but Sean did a good job of moderating, and basically just asked us questions, and took a few questions from the (small) crowd. KeVron of Dork Factor Prime was there, but other than that, it was all people I’ve never met before. Kim and Jason of came in from Madison and were on the panel with us. They seemed like nice folks.

Rohde Pushing Need Gas!

We couldn’t stay for the panel after ours, so I don’t know how it all ended, but on the way back towards downtown to drop off Jeramey, we ran out of gas. Jeramey and I managed to push the car about a 1/2 mile down North Avenue, in the 90 degree heat, to a gas station. After that it was smooth sailing… So all in all, it was a pretty exciting day. I can’t wait for the next Citizen Blogging Summit!