In 2001, blogs were very new things. In fact, as much more time was spent arguing talking about what blogs even were, and where they fit into the media landscape than was spent actually, you know, writing in them. In fact, I don't even think the word "blogging" existed back then, and whenever it arrived on the scene, it was used pejoratively to describe the equally-distasteful "bloggers" who were on the verge of not just threatening the status quo, but disrupting and then changing it forever.
I read a lot of blogs (many of them were just called online journals or something similar), so when I made my first stupid website at Geocities (RIP) called Where's My Burrito, I put a blog in there, right next to my hit counter and guest book.
My first entry in that blog looks something like this:
So the votes are officially in.
Out of the total of 4 votes I got, all of them said it would be cool to have an online journal, so here it is.
I’m off now to make dinner for the family. You know what we’re having tonight?
Burritos. No shit.
That was posted on July 24, 2001. Goddamn, that seems like an eternity ago.
The next day, I wrote this:
My birthday is this Sunday, and we’re having the carpets cleaned this morning.
And my cat, Sketch, ran out of the house, and we can’t find him.
And then, later, this:
Okay, you can all stop worrying. We found Sketch. He was behind the couch.
Carpets are drying, and the yard is getting clean! Whee!
Those two posts are as hilarious to me as anything I've ever posted on Twitter, and now that I look at them again, they're similar to most of the stupid things I post on Twitter, so there's that.
Shortly after I started that blog, I got even more help from loren, and after an intense month of study, trial, and error (mostly error), I made my very own website at wilwheaton.net.
I announced it in the usual fashion:
The New Site Is Open!
Holy crap!! In 6 weeks, I’ve gone from knowing nothing about HTML and using the lame Yahoo! PageBuilder, to building my own site, using php and modifying entire scripts.
This weblog will no longer be updated. Go to the new weblog, and see what’s up!
Grey Matter couldn't handle the load, so when I discovered Movable Type, I switched to that software, and it took veyr good care of me for years, through a lot of ups and downs, through my entire journey from The Guy Who Used To Be Wesley Crusher to the person I am today.
Then, in 2006, I blew it all up:
Way back in September of last year, I attempted to upgrade Movable Type, the blogging software that powers WWdN. I also attempted to move a few thousand entries and hundreds of thousands of comments into a newly-created (and faster) MySQL database.
And, uh, I broke it.
Actually, I didn’t break it. Someone who left a comment broke it when they used a seemingly random string of characters to indicate a break in their comment. Unbeknownst to me and them, it was the same string of characters MT used to indicate the end of an entry and its associated comments. When MT was moving all the data into its new (did I mention faster?) database, it came to that string of characters, and said to itself, “Oh boy! I get to start a new entry now! Let’s see, what’s the TITLE of that entry?”
Look . . . look . . . look . . .
“Uh-oh, there’s no TITLE. I’d better look some more.”
Look . . . look . . . look . . .
“Yeah, it’s still not there. Well, I don’t know what the next entry is TITLEd, so I’m going to just barf all over the server now, and fail. I’m sure one of the Users I heard about in TRON will figure this out and fix it quickly. There’s no way my User, Wil, would stay in some backup blog for six months!”
Ha! Stupid smug software. I’ve been in Exile for nine months! Who’s laughing now, jerk?
Who's laughing, indeed.
Well, I landed here in Exile, where I've stayed for over six years, because I'd reached a point in my life where just writing was more important to me than the software and publishing platform I used to do it.
I've been very happy here, mostly because TypePad has worked very well for me, and because these have been some of the best years of my life (hooray for hard work paying off!)… but there were these moments when I'd suddenly and unexpectedly feel sad about WWdN. I'd miss the URL, and I'd miss the satisfaction that came with knowing that it was mine, that it was something I made (mostly) myself.
So I started working on stuff and things, and after a few days of not-very-intense and stupidly easy work, I taught myself WordPress. I installed it on my server. I imported all my blog entries. I messed around with some themes and basic design things. I installed plugins and widgets and made it look like something that didn't totally suck. There's still a little bit of fiddly under-the-hood server stuff that needs to happen, but it's pretty much the way I want it.
So, this weekend, after way, way too many years (or, maybe, now that I think of it, exactly the right number of years) in exile, I’m finally returning home.
Wow. Typing that made me feel all the feels. I wasn't expecting that.
I'm going home.
Yep. It happened again.
If you read my blog through an RSS subscription, you won't notice any changes (It's feeds.feedburner.com/wwdn), but you'll now go to WIL WHEATON dot NET to comment instead of WIL WHEATON dot NET: in Exile.
Woah. More feels.
Um. So. Yeah. I'm sure there will be a few bumps along the way while I figure out handling comments and stuff, but I'm sure we'll find a way to get through it together.
My TODO list for WWdN looks something like this:
- Get some of those nifty little icons for Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc., and put them up in the corner with links to their relevant accounts.
- Maybe rotate header images, because why not?
- Have a homebrew
- Potentially set a fixed page as the “front page” of WWdN, which has an excerpt from the most recent blog post, as well as dynamically updating feeds from Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, G+, etc.
WordPress veterans: Any advice you have for a WordPress noob is most welcome.
Everyone who first found me at WWdN, followed me to Exile, and plans to follow me back home*: I just can’t thank you enough for the years of support and encouragement you’ve given me. I sincerely hope it’s been worth it for you, because it’s meant a lot to me.
To everyone else out there: The secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.
*damn, all these feels are feely.