My brother-in-law shook his head when I asked him if he had an email address. “Why would I need that?” he replied.
This was back in 1993.
Those were fun times. I enjoyed telling my friends and family about the internet and what they could do online. Like downloading drivers and searching for stuff on Yahoo. The high point of this period for me was the discovery I could stream Beavis and Butthead videos from MTV.com.
At work, of course.
By the time blogging came around most of my friends were using the internet although few had any idea what a blog was, and they certainly didn’t read the one I started. I didn’t give much thought to what I wrote back then because I was the only person reading it.
A few months later I checked my log files and noticed a few dozen people were visiting my blog each week. Yet few of them were friends or coworkers so I didn’t change anything. I figured I could write about whatever I wanted because I still felt anonymous.
It wasn’t until I applied for a job in 2005 that I knew my employer was aware of my blog. During the interview process my future manager asked me for a writing sample and I gave him my blog address. I figured he’d gauge how I write and maybe learn something about me.
One afternoon at church my Sunday School teacher mentioned he’d come across my blog. Several coworkers began reading it as well along with a number of friends and family. Each week I read emails from people across the globe who found my blog. Most of them enjoy what I write and some disagree with my views. I encourage them to start a blog and publish their thoughts.
I still enjoy writing, but I’m aware that what I write can impact my relationships and even my job. Nobody wants to offend a friend. And although it’s worked out well for Heather Armstrong, nobody wants to get dooced.
I’m going to continue encouraging my friends to blog. This past year I finally got my mother-in-law to blog. Although many of my friends have started blogging few have continued more than a couple of months. If they can’t dedicate the time to maintain a blog I’ll tell them about Twitter.