It was 20 years ago today

It was 20 years ago today

Reading time: 2 min read

Just over twenty years ago, I published my first ever blog post. It was short, self-absorbed, and served little purpose beyond a "Hello world!" introduction, but it kickstarted a semi-regular writing habit that I have maintained, on and off, ever since.

The site itself, running on Google's then newly-acquired Blogger platform, is long gone, as is the one that succeeded it (I retired sometime around 2020), yet I can't quite escape the allure of maintaining a personal site where I can, if I choose, share my thoughts and opinions.

Back then, of course, everyone was doing it. "Web standards" was the new hotness, and there were enough new discoveries around that just about every site had something worth sharing. There are vanishingly few of the old guard still around, though; Zeldman is still going, for closing in on 30 years now, and Jeremy Keith's Adactio hasn't even had a redesign in all that time, but so many of the other sites I used to visit and read regularly are either dead or dying: Airbag Industries is just an agency landing page now; D Keith Robinson, Cameron Moll, Andrei Herasimchuk, Dave Shea and Andy Budd only post extremely sporadically (and Doug Bowman has only posted three times in the last ten years); other sites like, Scrivs' Whitespace, Superfluous Banter, and many others are sadly gone altogether. There are a few survivors, though: Colly, Jon Hicks and Andy Clarke still make regular updates, and Ethan Marcotte continues to wave the flag for responsive design (and, latterly, tech unionisation).

I don't know how those active bloggers still remaining feel about this industry nowadays, but I suspect that the fact that almost nobody is talking about "the work" any more (Andy Clarke and Eric Meyer the notable exceptions) is a reflection of the shifting priorities that come with age. I know I just don't have the energy to keep abreast of the myriad topics that make up modern web design these days, especially the ever-increasing complexity of front-end development, and my priorities have shifted. But that's one of the benefits of running a personal blog, as opposed to a topic-based Substack newsletter or similar, I guess – if all I want to do is share occasional obscure music recommendations or reminisce about old video games, I can.

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