My favorite time writing was freshman year of high school. It wasn’t when I paid thousands of dollars to go to college and joined the paper. It wasn’t in my 10+ years of writing fiction that tried too hard to be Faulkner and accomplished only his run-on sentences but without the art.
Freshman year was when I blogged for the first, and longest continuous, time. It was before Blogger itself, when you needed to know code.
What made writing great then was I had little to no expectations. Whatever I thought I wrote and what I wrote I lightly edited before hitting publish. Over time I learned how to improve my writing and learned how much I liked to set aside time for it. There was a small community of like-minded geeks and it was thrilling when they added a link to your site on their sidebar. That was it. That was the milestone and the rest was just writing, as it should be.
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The second-longest blog I wrote is still around on Tumblr, and it’s relatively recent. It was when I moved to Philadelphia at age 25 to work in education and it lasted when I moved back to Denver. Between high school and my move to Philly there were many false starts in writing, many blogs that are now gone with the services that hosted them.
With my Tumblr it was easy to come back and start posting again. Throw up a photo, a quote, a link and even if no one else clicked the heart you could always go back through the archives and there was an adequate notebook for you to review. It was a rare break from the posturing and branding we find ourselves constantly doing online these days.
Tumblr was started, like almost all Internet services, as an independent company that was swallowed up by a larger company (Yahoo) before that larger company stalled and was absorbed by another large company (Verizon). Sadly, it’s not hard to imagine Tumblr getting data mined for profits before disappearing.
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I bring up these stories to explain why this blog exists and why it’s self-hosted. I want a place to think and write about organizational culture, leadership, and why we commit ourselves to missions. I want this to be at a place where my writing isn’t considered content that is monetized and then validated through likes, hearts, and stars. I want a corner of the Internet where this exists for however long I choose to pay. My favorite part of the Internet isn’t social media apps and services; it’s independent blogs. 1
Like my Tumblr before this, I’m excited for the index of writing, links, quotes and photos that will accumulate over time for me to review. Extra points if it ends up being a resource for you and others from time to time too.