Ten years of blogging: 2003

I never made any great plans for this blog when I started it. Its origin stems from me spending three months travelling around the US in 2002, and then – in those days before I knew of sites like Flickr and its descendants – deciding to get myself a website to show off some of the photographs I took on that trip. While I was sorting out all the photos, I decided that my website should also have one of those blog things, and discovered that I could achieve all that through Blogger. So, I did.

I’m not setting out with any grand plans to change the world, or become the internet’s most respected authority on any subject. It’s just going to be pure unadulterated me, which means it’ll jump around from subject to subject without any warning, will contain the very occasional deep insight into life hidden among thousands of words of meaningless rambling and the occasional rant about something that happens to be annoying me at the time. Plus, of course, there’ll be links to various things I discover on the web, to justify calling it a blog, but they’ll probably all be things that everyone else found days, months or years ago. Whatever I can get away with posting here, really.

As mission statements go, I think I’ve lived up to that over the past ten years, haven’t I?

(The odd thing is that in my memory I started doing the blog and everything else on a Saturday afternoon, but according to the site and the first post, it began on a Thursday)

While the content of my blog remains the same, that’s not how it always looked. Thanks to the Wayback Machine, I can see the original layout of the site, which is a lot better than the one I ended up with. I’m not quite sure what possessed me to think the grey-and-green colour scheme was a good idea, but the only reason it’s lasted is because that’s what my Blogger settings were when I finally switched to WordPress in 2005.

It’s been interesting looking back at the posts I wrote back in 2003, and choosing a sample of them. Blogging in the days before Twitter, Facebook, G+ and everything else was very different, still clinging to its roots as link collection and web logging, so many of my posts were just ‘here’s an interesting link’.

But there was more to my blog than just the odd link or two and within a couple of posts I was impugning the intelligence and integrity of a member of the Cabinet which was the start of a number of posts about the build up to the Iraq War. To prove that things do change, that included me quoting an email from a Lib Dem leader approvingly.

In the ‘it’s a small world’ category, I appear to have written a post that mentions Steven ‘Enemies of Reason‘ Baxter in passing long before he opened a blog and became Anton Vowl, then himself again.

Not long after that I noted the lack of British political blogs and other places to talk British politics on the web. I look around today, and ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.

Meanwhile, the Tory party was tearing itself apart with battles between right and left. This was the 2003 round of that perennial argument. We never did find out who the ‘two Tory MPs who are about to defect to the Lib Dems’ were, though.

Here’s my first time asking ‘why don’t we have a British version of The Daily Show?’ Ten years on, and still no answer.

Sadly, the website I linked to that explained how James Cameron’s films were all being made to appease his Freemason masters is no longer on the internet. I’d love to have seen how they’d have explained Avatar as a metaphor for the fall of Atlantis and the split between the good and evil masons.

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