Zannah just added me to her list of Neighbours over at VOX and it got me thinking about my history with blogs (meaning the blogs that I first found to the present). Back in October of 1997 I was working (as a co-op student) at a company around Toronto. I worked for the engineering department and since there weren't enough computers for the full-time workers and the co-op students we were delegated to the afternoon shift (4:30 pm till 1:00 am). Since we worked the afternoon shift there were many times where we would either hit a roadblock and need to talk with someone, which we could do till the next morning, or just run out of stuff to work on. This left a lot of "surfing" time.
During one of these slow times I stumbled upon the wonder of online journals (I don't think the word blog had been invented yet – or at least it wasn't used universally). The first group of blogs I found was on a site called Flabgab. The first blog I read belong to a girl by the name of Laura (I think he last name is Goldfarb). Soon after I found another one by Aggie Donkar. Both blogs were high in the teenage angst department, which even though I was in my early twenties I still had a fair amount of angsty feelings. I connected with them, but never actually emailed them (this was before the days of comment forms). Because of these two girls I started an offline journal of my own.
On December 5, 1997 I found Zannah's site (when it was located at www.mischief.com/found/zannah). My first impressions of Zannah (and a quote) is "she is…kind of geeky in a cute way". I've been reading her site ever since.
After this I stopped keeping track of the sites I discovered. I know I soon began to read Bryan Busch's site (probably from his comments on Zannah's site), which lead to Dan Engler, David Gagne and Harlan Landes (to name a few). At some point comment forms were added to these blogs and a community started forming. I would recognize the same commenters (i.e, Rebecca at Galactic Muffin) on several of the blogs I read, and blogging started becoming a comfortable community to me. Through all of these blogs I eventually stumbled onto Firda's weblog Weblog Wannabe (I believe it was because Bryan and her were online friends and he bought one of her t-shirts). This was a changing point in how weblogs were used for interaction, mostly through one of Firda's developments, specifically Quack-O-Matic.
Quack-O-Matic(QoM) was a very simple pHp (I believe) created chat room. Very similar to AIM, but specifically created for her weblog. It was an easy means for Firda to get to know the "regulars" on her website and for the regulars to get to know her and each other. I met a lot of great people in those chats, and two of those people were Nit and Wari. Nit and Firda both convinced me into starting my own weblog: Blue Goo Ate My Mom. Nit and Wari provided the hosting space, and eventually Firda created my first good design (after watching me struggle with attempting to design the blog myself – it's missing the header picture in the linked page). My first post was on January 6, 2002 – more than 4 years ago.
Since then I've posted 871 entries, recieved 2283 comments (with a large percentage of them on my Johnny Cash covering NiN's Hurt and my Selena posts). I also feel that I've met a lot of amazing people through my weblog and subsequently their weblogs. I've also lost track of several people (like Amelia who closed her Nudethoughts.net blog down a while ago and seemed to have disappeared from the blogosphere).
Most importantly I met my wife, Firda, through her weblog. She can recall the month and year (maybe even the date) I first posted on her blog. She was going through some rough times and through QoM and ICQ I'd like to think I helped her through some of them (while creating some of my own). She made the long trek to visit me in Canada over two years ago and we were married on May 28, 2005.
As you can see my history with weblogs is long and convoluted. The people and ideas I've been exposed to in this time have helped develop my personality and have even helped me become the person I am today. I want to thank everyone of you for what you've done. Weblogs may seem like a childish voyeuristic frivolity, but it can affect people.