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Sunday, October 12, 2014

20 Years and Blogging

Last week marked 20 years since blogging hit the World Wide Web, thanks to the California software developer Dave Winer. Blogging gives millions of people around the world the platform to express their thoughts, ideas, life stories and advice to the masses. 

Dave Winer - Blog Inventor
Courtesy of TheGuardian.com
Winer posted his first blog on Oct. 7, 1994.
That was right around the time I got engaged at the age of 19, one year after I graduated from high school, and the year that my life took a turn into becoming a United States Marine Corps wife. Unfortunately, I didn’t own a computer in 1994 and I had no idea that the internet was such a big deal until 1998.

The blogging culture came into my life when I didn’t even know it. In 1997, I took part in a blog as a commenter on a site that was geared toward parents of children who had infantile spasms. A friend of mine actually found it in 2006 when he was researching me on Google. I was surprised that he found it but I was more shocked that he Googled me. 

The next venture into blogging came when I decided to head back to college to earn my journalism degree. In 2003, my copy editing professor said blogging is the wave of the future for journalism. In 2004, I blogged my experience of getting my first local news reporting/anchoring job, which I declined for a number of reasons, one of them being race. The news director was hiring me as a token. I couldn’t take the harsh criticism from other commenters for turning down the job so I deleted it. 

What readers didn’t know is that I really turned down the job because my marriage was on the rocks and my husband didn’t want to move with me to where my dream job was. I didn’t think I could take care of our two children on my own on the starting salary that was being offered, and being a recent college grad with student loans scared me into staying in a unhealthy marriage. The race card was just an excuse for the blog. If I knew what I know now, I would have taken that job in a heartbeat. Lesson learned here: You have to step out on faith even when the road looks dark. Update: He is now my ex-husband.

Blogging came to me once more when I started to blog about my life in NYC and a newly divorced woman. In 2008, I posted an entry titled: “Help me Find my Umph.” I shared how one man dumped me and his reason for the breakup: “You just don’t have enough umph.” 

I was devastated and even more devastated to find out that my co-workers found the post and were making fun of me behind my back. I didn’t realize that my financial journalism co-workers were so interested in getting into my personal world. Besides, I thought my blog was anonymous … Another lesson learned: Nothing is private on the internet. I think I may still have that blog entry saved on a CD somewhere, if I find it I promise to share.

This whole blogging thing can be challenging if you don’t have thick skin, creativity and a niche to write about. Over the years, my skin has become thicker, my creativity has become more savvy, and I have evolved into a niche Think Tank Titan. 

So again, I thank Dave Winer for creating this platform. I do not plan on deleting Arts of Cultures anytime soon. I will utilize this platform to share stories that may change and inspire the lives of others for the best.

Happy Blogging!

– T.C.

How did blogging come into your world? Leave your comment below, or send me an email at astutestories@gmail.com you can also tweet your blogging story to @TCsViews.
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