My First Time

The ever inquisitive Rory has asked us about our first time. Our first time doing what, you ask? Well, to give us focus, he said that his question is about our early days as a writer online, or a gamer online.

He wants to know:

When did you first get an internet connection? Was it dial-up or broadband? When was your first ever blog or forum?

I got my first personal computer in 1982. It was the original IBM PC, with a blazingly fast 4.77 MHz chip and two 5 1/4” floppy disks (i.e., no hard drive), and with a Princeton Graphics monochrome monitor. Shortly after I got it, I added a 10 MB hard card, figuring that would suffice for the rest of my life. My next addition was a Hayes 300 baud dial-up “Smartmodem.”

My initial connectivity experience was with so-called bulletin boards that, if I recall correctly, I accessed through CompuServe. It was all text-based and rudimentary. Eventually I upgraded to a faster computer with a larger hard drive and a 1200 baud dial-up modem. Woo hoo.

At some point I discovered Prodigy, the first of the early-generation dial-up services to offer full access to the World Wide Web and to offer a graphical user interface. Then America Online (AOL) began giving away floppy disks and soon, with its email, instant messaging, and chat rooms, it displaced Prodigy as the internet access point of choice. It, too, was primarily dial-up.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s when broadband internet connections supplanted dial-up and most cable companies became internet service providers (ISPs).

But I don’t think Rory’s question was about the history of my personal computing. I started my first blog in 2005. It was on Blogger. I had no idea what to blog about and a friend of mine suggested writing about what interested me and what I cared about. So on October 10, 2005, I published my first post, which was about the Boston Red Sox. So was my second post. And here was my third post, which was published on October 12, 2005:

If a tree falls…

…in the forest and there is nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I’m new to this blogging thing. My initial impression of blogging is that it’s an egocentric exercise and that all who blog have this self-centered belief that they have something worthwhile, interesting, and noteworthy to say and can do so in an articulate, intelligent, and entertaining manner. Even more amazing is that they seem to think that others, besides themselves, will have some desire to read what, based upon a small sampling of blogs I have read, appear to me to be idle…and often boring…personal ramblings.

Nonetheless, being a sort of techno-junky, I thought I’d give it a shot. Even BusinessWeek devoted considerable space in a recent issue to the blogging phenomenon and how blogs are changing the whole nature of the internet. I don’t want to be left behind if everyone else is busy blogging. So here I am, feeding my very own ego.

Of course, I have no expectation that anyone, other than me and my ego, will ever read anything I post to my blog. And I really don’t care.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I must care a little. You see, I gave my blog URL to that friend of mine. Other than my wife, he’s the only person, besides me, who knows about my blog.

My first two posts on my brand new, experimental blog were related to something that was recently, as a loyal member of Red Sox Nation, at the forefront of my consciousness. They were frustrated musings about the Red Sox feeble post-season effort in the American League Divisional Series against the Chicago White Sox.

Anyway, after I gave my friend my blog URL, he said he’d go check it out when he had a chance. The fact is that this friend is not a sports fan. In fact, I think he has almost no interest in baseball. Perhaps, in hindsight, he was not the best choice to be the first person with whom I shared my blog address, given the subject matter of the postings.

With this in mind, coupled with my stated expectation that no one (besides me) will be interested in reading what I have to say in my blog, I was surprised that I was actually disappointed that the one person who does know about my blog had no reaction to it. In fact, several days have passed since he said he would read it, yet I’ve heard not a word from him about the blog.

I am now more convinced than before that, with a few notable exceptions, most blogs matter only to the blogger and serve no purpose other than to feed the blogger’s ego. And yet, here I am, about to publish my third post on my new, experimental blog.

So I have to ask this: If a post is published on a blog site and nobody reads it, does it matter?

43 thoughts on “My First Time

  1. Marilyn Armstrong July 21, 2021 / 6:46 pm

    Does it even matter if a LOT of people read it? I often wonder if any of this matters. I would like it to matter. I would like to think I’ve made a difference in someone’s life, but have I? Have you? I thought our generation had changed the world and then I realized nothing had changed and in fact, everything was worse. I still haven’t recovered from that.

    Garry tells me what counts is that we try. That HE tried AND he had an audience, no question about it. Did he make a difference? Maybe sometimes he did, but not nearly as much as he had hoped. Maybe we made a difference — but maybe not as much as we wanted to make.

    At least we didn’t sit on our backsides and blame our parents or grandparents for messing up the world. If nothing else, we tried.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 10:00 pm

      We did try. We had lofty goals. Unfortunately, we fell short.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light July 21, 2021 / 6:50 pm

    It seems that the only people who care about what we write on our blogs are other blog writers (as opposed to blogs devoted to spam, reposting, and advertising). Almost none of my real life friends and family ever glance at my blog, yet every day I get great feedback from other bloggers!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Shweta Suresh July 21, 2021 / 7:26 pm

      That was exactly what I was thinking. I get more support from bloggers too. I’m glad that you didn’t give up, Fandango

      Liked by 4 people

      • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 10:04 pm

        Thanks. It actually wasn’t until I migrated to WordPress that I began to gain followers.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 10:02 pm

      Yeah, same here. My wife thinks blogging is a waste of time and tolerates it because it keeps me occupied and out of her hair in my retirement. And my kids just roll their eyes.

      Liked by 4 people

      • inkdropk July 22, 2021 / 10:35 pm

        “First Internet Post” – an explanation of the X/OPEN System for My HND….All HTML Based with custom made graphics made in Photoshop elements 2….all before Frontpage and WordPress….

        Liked by 2 people

  3. newepicauthor July 21, 2021 / 7:33 pm

    There is reading to get to the end of a post, and reading to understand a post, and reading to analyze and critique a post, so what really matters is that you put effort into your writing and if you are proud of your accomplishment, that is all that needs to matter.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Lou Carreras July 21, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    Another journey in the way back machine, wow no hard drives dual floppies and Hayes modems. It was the stone age, but we were so cool.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 10:06 pm

      Yeah, technology has come a long way in 40 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sadje July 21, 2021 / 9:30 pm

    I think that on blogger, no one really cares if we write or not. But here on WP we have a wonderful, supportive community who do care what we write. They read it and react to it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Lokesh Sastya July 21, 2021 / 10:18 pm

    You are history in blogging, I think. And future too. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Marleen July 21, 2021 / 10:39 pm

    While I had my first computer coursework in 1980, I didn’t have even a computer in my home. There was a lot of talk about the internet already in the circles with which I was hanging. Starting from when I married, in 1981, I’ve always had a computer in my home. I don’t remember the years of everything, but the sound of dial-up connection has nostalgic meaning for me.

    Our local schools had just gotten computers when my oldest boys, who had been homeschooled thus far, started to public school (winter ‘97). My boys taught the teachers how to use them and helped the other kids. I got my very own broadband connection in 2003, when I was separated. It was 2005 when I first visited a forum. I enjoyed a few for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Carol anne July 21, 2021 / 10:53 pm

    I suppose it doesnt matter, but now that your blogging on wp, your getting read! I think blogger is not so readily read by many people! The good old days of AOL! I remember fondly! XX

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nope, Not Pam July 22, 2021 / 3:03 am

    Now that is a glimpse of history and that blog post was well worth my time in reading. Loved it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Taswegian1957 July 22, 2021 / 4:42 am

    Does it matter? Well it must matter to you. You are still blogging. As we’ve often said, we’re lucky that the WordPress community is a supportive place to write and share opinions, thoughts and photos. A few people I know personally read my blog posts and that pleases me. Recently I shared a link with a friend because it was a quick way to share a recipe I thought he’d like. He emailed me later to say that he’d read a few posts and enjoyed them. That really pleased me.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Melanie B Cee July 22, 2021 / 8:30 am

    If a post is published on a blog site and nobody reads it, does it matter? It depends on the blog writer’s motivation doesn’t it? Some people HAVE to be ‘heard’, others HAVE to write and it’s moot whether or not anyone else ever sees that output. It matters greatly to the writer in the last instance, in the first I suppose not. If nobody is reading their stuff, they won’t continue to write.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jay July 22, 2021 / 4:31 pm

    Wow, you got your first computer the year I was born! Thanks for making me feel young! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. wrookieschu July 23, 2021 / 4:17 am

    Great post! Makes me think of my first computer, a Commodore 64 🙌🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  14. wrookieschu July 23, 2021 / 4:22 am

    “So I have to ask this: If a post is published on a blog site and nobody reads it, does it matter?” This is a good question and one that I have asked many times. I think it does matter to someone else other than ourselves, even if we don’t always realise. I used to think no one even looked at my blogs, never mind read them. However, a few months on, people were saying to others they loved reading my blogs and found some useful info. That was reassuring and a real feel good moment 🙂🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. rugby843 July 24, 2021 / 12:27 pm

    So where’s the Red Socks post??😄

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 24, 2021 / 12:56 pm

      It’s there, but unless you’re a big Red Sox fan, you’d be bored to tears.

      Liked by 3 people

      • rugby843 July 24, 2021 / 2:15 pm

        You might remember my grandson entered a Jackie Robinson essay contest and won a trip to see the Red Sox play in the World Series. Quite a memory for all of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. leigha66 August 2, 2021 / 9:00 pm

    I just got a notification that I registered on WP 8 years ago… time flies! My first year or two were pretty rough though.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. writerravenclaw August 15, 2021 / 2:41 am

    It does matter, you are doing a great job, and interacting with other blogging with your word prompts. Good old dial up connection. The day when you could take the wire out of your children’s computer so they didn’t have internet.

    Liked by 1 person

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