This obviously wasn’t written in 1994 (the date showing on this posting, and the date This is True was born, albeit under a maiden name) — blogs didn’t exist in 1994. When “web logs” — blogs — started showing up years later, readers kept asking when I was going to get one.
I replied I already did have one, in a sense: I had been publishing since 1994, and my commentary on general things was published in my email newsletter right from the start. So in one sense, I’ve been blogging since 1994. Just not on the web….
But finally one of my original readers — one who has subscribed since 1994 — convinced me that I should have a “real” blog, for one important reason: “Yes, you’ve been writing ‘blog-like’ posts in your newsletters for over a decade,” Jerry in California wrote when I sent him the above excuse. “But the record doesn’t exist online. There’s no archive, no place to search, no place to go back to.”
Jerry said he had a few newsletters that he saved because he was particularly taken with something, but the oldest ones were saved on old low-capacity “Zip” disks, and he hasn’t had a Zip drive on his computer for several years now. (I can relate: I gave up on Zip disks for backup when the “Click Of Death” took out my data One Too Many Times.) He pointed out that I now had an ever-growing online archive of This is True stories, so why not create an archive of essays and commentary, too? And, more important, he said, I should keep up with the postings, so that when he reads something compelling in a newsletter, he can send people to whatever point more easily, since it would be on a web page.
That’s a big job he’s asking for, but I couldn’t argue with his logic. Thanks, Jerry: I may be a “pioneer” of online publishing, but it’s feedback from readers that lets me know what their needs are.
So here it is. With more than 12 years of newsletters under my belt, it’ll take me awhile to catch up with the posts. But rest assured, I won’t be posting everything! Only things that are interesting, or that speak to the historical record, or that I think people will be looking for will be included. I’ll date the items with the original date they were published, with the exception of this post, which I’m dating early to force it to the front to introduce the collection. Note that I’ll definitely fix any typos or such that I find; if I add contemporary remarks I’ll typically put them in italics, like this.
While I’m catching up with historical items from the newsletters, I’ll also add contemporary items so that I’m not forever behind.
So enjoy my blog — more than 12 years (and growing) of searchable and categorized ramblings, insights and rants from This is True, with plenty more to come after I catch up. You can also subscribe to new posting alerts by RSS reader or email — see the “Update” section of the navigation bar, above left.