Tuesday, December 07, 2004

From BBS to Blog

People have now discussed my work in a total of eight languages, that I know of, so far; today I spotted blog posts in German, Russian, and some other language that's presumably spoken in whatever country .cx stands for. Heck, for all I know it might not have been Russian, but it was in the Cyrillic alphabet so I'm guessing it was Russian.

I guess Bob Ippolito was right; this apparently is a way to get my work out to a larger audience. (If you want to know who you can blame for the contents of my blog, credit goes to Bob for needling me repeatedly (well, twice) to get a blog already.)

I'm still not used to it, though, despite almost two months of blogging so far. I still get excited every time I hit the refresh on Blogger to update my site and see what comments people have sent, or when I check referrers to find out who's linked to me. It reminds me of when I first picked up a 300 baud modem and started visiting bulletin boards in Dallas/Fort Worth back in the mid 80's and early 90's. I couldn't get enough of the darn things; it was like, "wow, I type in stuff that I think and other people type back!" (Pretty soon, I had to set up my own, as you might be able to tell if you follow that link and do a little searching.) It sounds trite now in this connected era, but I'm strangely re-infected with that enthusiasm. (Maybe this is also how ham radio operators feel when they succeed in talking to somebody on the other side of the world with their home-built antennas!)

So, I guess that blogs must be the 21st century version of the bulletin board. Why have a specific BBS, when you can just sit out on your virtual front porch and shoot the breeze with anybody who happens by, courtesy of the local aggregator or search engine? The only thing that old-timey BBSes still have over the modern web is that there's no real sense of locality. It's much harder to connect with people in your localized area than it was with BBSes, where you had at least an area code in common with the other BBSers. Things like Meetup are perhaps a good idea to work around this, although getting the local Python Meetup off the ground has so far been pretty tough.

Ah well. I guess it's time for me to hit that "Publish" button again, and see what new comments are here for me today!