Of Blogs Past Part Six: Balderdash and the Moon

I love New Year’s resolutions.

For most of my life I was indifferent to them. I knew that if I were going to lose that weight or get more exercise or whatever I could start any time, and simply starting at the beginning of the year wouldn’t be sufficient to make it happen.

Then I had a breakthrough. One year I resolved to eat more pie.

None of this self-improvement crap. I was going to explore a side of myself I’d never experienced. I’m not much of a sweets person, and haven’t really had many slices of pie in my life. This was a revelatory moment in my life.

Since then I try to resolve to do things that might actually be interesting and engaging to me.

At the beginning of 2017 I resolved to be more in tune with the moon. I would pay attention to when the moon was full, and when it waxed and waned. I read a few popular books about the moon and looked for it every day.

That year I also resolved to post a story a month, on the day of the full moon.

It turned out to be a lot of fun. I took down the stories at the end of the year, but I enjoyed writing and posting the stories so much I took it up again in 2019.

NEXT: Bustling Folly

Of Blogs Past Part One: Alien Intelligencer

I started my first blog in the spring of 2001. I’d read about blogs and decided to start my own, but didn’t quite grasp the nature of blogging software. Instead of using a special software or online platform I posted an html page with posts slugged with dates in reverse chronological order. This only lasted a week or two before I jumped onboard Blogger during the days when Evan Williams was running it single-handedly and searching for a revenue model.

I toyed with a variety of names. I remember the first name was Go Go Actionblog, but I quickly settled on Alien Intelligencer (with the tagline ‘There is no other!’ which I still think is a pretty good tagline).

Through the summer and early autumn it was part personal diary, part look-at-this-cool-stuff-on-the-web. But then, after September 11, 2001, it gained a political dimension as I tried to sort out my response to the terrorist attacks and the ensuing drumbeat for war.

Through the 1990s I was involved with a variety of zines and micropublishing ventures. The rise of the internet in the 90s destroyed much of that ecosystem, but in some ways blogging was a satisfying substitution. It was more immediate, cheaper, could be done more independently, and reached a broader audience.

Apparently it helped scratch some creative itch since at this writing I’ve been blogging pretty much steadily for seventeen years.

I ended Alien Intelligencer in September of 2007. At that point grad school was taking up all my time and I turned my blogging attention to themes and ideas I was pursuing as a historian-in-training.

NEXT: Patahistory