Today marks the 10th anniversary of this blog! Or at least, the point at which I stopped posting long updates about what I’d been upto on my ‘news’ page on my site, and put in a dedicated blog section.
My original blog was hand-coded – no RSS feed, no proper CMS, just HTML and some anchor links for navigation. You can find all of those early entries on archive.org.
I’m not sure what my original intention was with the blog – it was probably borne out of a sense of exploring whatever was possible for musicians to talk to their audience, a desire to expand beyond the confines of being a ‘music journalist’ (I’d already been writing for bass and guitar magazines for about 5 years at this point, but found the editorial constraints rather frustrating.)
Anyway, here’s what I wrote in my first ever blog entry:
12.00 05/08/02 – welcome to my new blog
Q – what’s a blog?
A – aka, a weblog, a blog is just a place where you post info/updates/trivia/thoughts/etc. a demonstration of the extreme narcissism available to web-users!
so this is just a place where you’ll find out what’s going on inside my head. I often refer to my music as being the soundtrack to the inside of my head, so it’ll be interesting if you can spot any corrolation between whatever thoughts and ideas get expressed here and the noises that come out of your speakers when my music is playing (you have bought both my cds, haven’t you?!)
anyway, my time at the moment is filled with organising press and promotion for the two tours I’ve got coming up – first in september with the 21st century schizoid band, and then in november with michael manring and david friesen. i’ve got to burn cdrs of michael and david’s albums for the press person at ocean 2 – one of the venues we’re doing – finish producing a flyer for those dates with the rest of my dates on the other side, and continue chasing up radio and magazine coverage for these gigs.
putting together your own tour/album/gig/whatever is great fun buy very hard work – its’ great cos you are in control, have no-one else frivolously spending your money for you without asking or putting any pressure on you to change your music, but it does mean that the buck stops with you and there’s often no-one to delegate to. thus, self-motivation is the key, and as much as anything else i’m hoping that maintaining this blog will kick me into a higher gear… we’ll see.
So there you go – my launch into the heady world of ‘writing down thoughts and news on the internet so anyone who wants to read them can read them without needing to please an editor or pay for advertising space’. It was YEARS before I had anything like a ‘regular’ readership, beyond a handful of friends who made daft comments on V2.0 of the blog (which was done in Moveable Type, and hosted by a lovely friend – that stuff is all imported into the current blog, starting in Nov 02.)
Blogging had become SUCH an important part of my mental journey. It’s made me a much better writer, it’s subjected my fledgling thoughts to some much needed (and occasionally painful) scrutiny, and it maps the evolution of my music, my understanding of how much fits in our complex lives, how my other interests and my politics intersect with my music life. I’ve made friends through the community of people who regularly visit and comment on my blog, and I’ve gained an audience for my music of people who first arrived via someone lovely sharing a link to something I’d written that they thought was worth sharing. For those instances, I’m eternally grateful.
Who knows what kind of communication platforms will exist in 10 years time – on numerous occasions over the last 10 years I’ve heard ‘clever’ people announce the death of blogging, and on each occasion, my response has been ‘huh?’. And instead of paying heed to their crystal-ball-gazing, I’ve got back on with thinking-in-public, and have been enriched beyond anything I could’ve predicted 10 years ago.
So thanks, whether this is the first thing of mine you’ve read, or you remember reading my Howard Jones tour diary on my site back in 1999. I’m grateful for your attention. Thanks for putting up with the hyperbole, self-absorption and moments of inane bullshit and just-plain-wrong-headedness that have punctuated the readable stuff…by