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16 March 2004

First, a bit of housekeeping:

  • For Saturday’s Chicken Noodle Fest, I made Texas sheetcake, a favorite family dessert. It was a disaster. I posted my story in the Ask Metafilter thread about favorite recipes. Kris, unaware that I’d already written this story, typed up her version, too, intending to goad me into posting it as a guest foldedspace entry. Instead, I created a weblog for her. You can find her story here. Kris protests that she doesn’t want a weblog of her own, but she wanted me to make sure you all read her story today. If you like her writing as much as I do, tell her so. Maybe she’ll write more!
  • The Foldedspace Fantasy Baseball League needs managers. We have seven owners, but I’d like at least three more. Our league is hosted by Yahoo!, uses a head-to-head format, and will implement an automatic draft (which will be held in a week or two). If you’re interested, please sign up. The league ID number is 165247, and the password is ichiro51. This is a low-pressure league.
  • I’ve made some changes around here in an effort to fight the growing nuisance of comment spam. The only noticeable change should be that on archived entries, you must hit preview before being allowed to post a comment. There’s a small chance that you may have a comment rejected by my comment filter. If this happens, let me know and I’ll fix it.

And now, on with the show�

On 16 March 2001 I stumbled upon a site called Blogger. I read a bit of the site’s propaganda, followed a few links, liked what I saw. Blogger was a tool to automate the process of maintaining a website. (Blogger is a content management system, though I didn’t know the phrase the time.)

I’d maintained a website since the fall of 1994, but had never been diligent about it. I posted occasional updates about my diet (1997, 1998), chess tournament reports, pictures of cats, and stories about our vacations, but that was it.

In 1998, after becoming addicted to the journals of Michael Rawdon and Karawynn Long, I tried to keep my own on-line journal. I enjoyed writing, but I hated having to manually code every page. My journal lasted only a few weeks.

Blogger, it seemed, would free me from this chore.

Three years ago today, this weblog was born. I had an audience of two: Kris and Dana. Mostly I wrote about random, geeky things. I didn’t have a focus. I told myself I was keeping a weblog to improve my writing skills, but I never really tried to improve my writing. I took days off at a time. After 9/11, I took off an entire month.

Eventually, it dawned on me that a weblog could be more than just a place for random thoughts. It really could be a place to practice writing. Hadn’t I always told myself I wanted to be a writer? Here was an opportunity to hone my skills. Through conversations with Mac and Pam, I realized that keeping a public journal was fraught with moral dilemmas. Still, I decided to become more serious about my weblog, to use it for extended entries, and especially for character sketches and writing fragments. I started by focusing on personal history.

On 22 January 2002, I moved from Blogger to Movable Type, and the current incarnation of Foldedspace was born.

For twenty-six months, I’ve been writing about my personal history, about my belief system, about my friends and family, about books (especially Proust) and movies and music I love, about my surgery, about clamdigging and clam chowder, and about all of my geeky pursuits. Through it all, I’ve attempted to relate the stories I encounter in daily life.

There have been times I’ve walked a fine line between what is and is not acceptable to write in a public forum; there have been times I’ve offended friends (most notably an instance in which I criticized Mac re: book group — sorry, Mackenzie!); there have been times I’ve struggled to find a voice. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing for days at a time. Sometimes I’m full to bursting, feel I could write a dozen consecutive entries, all new and exciting.

I’m glad to have this forum, and to have you here to share it. I know that sometimes — like today — I lapse into the tedious or the maudlin. I know that my entries are often filled with typos. I know I sometimes cross the line to ubergeekdom. I think it’s all worth it, though, for the days I’m able to actually write, to turn out something I’m proud of and that my audience enjoys reading, for the days we argue over whether everything here is true.

I guess all of this is to say: Thank You. It’s been a great three years keeping this weblog. I hope to keep it for three years more (or longer!).


This is the 674th entry in this weblog. There are 3651 comments.

The most popular entry here, both in terms of total comments and in terms of ongoing monthly visits, is my request for sexy songs. Two thousand people a month visit that entry, and it now has ~155 comments making 857 recommendations. The most recommended sexy song (ten suggestions) is Nine Inch Nails’ Closer (not sexy! not sexy! sheesh�). In second (with eight recommendations) is Paula Cole’s Feelin’ Love (very sexy).

There’s been an ongoing meta-discussion that helps define the composition of the Foldedspace community (such as it is). That discussion started (I think) with Dana’s coming out as transgendered (5/13/03). The discussion continued with Everything Here is True (9/8/03), Denied (2/8/04), and Amend This (2/25/04). These are the major threads in the discussion, though it continues from time-to-time in one-off comments here and there. (And in Tammy’s weblog.)

My own favorite entry is Independence Day, but that’s because it’s so intensely personal. (I’m also partial to my pseudo-philosophical musings.)

The numbers in the following table represent the average daily visits to the front page of the site. Visits are not the same as hits. One visit can create multiple hits if a person reloads a page.

2001   2002   2003   2004
Month V/D   Month V/D   Month V/D   Month V/D
            Jan 153   Jan 332
            Feb 160   Feb 457
Mar 1         Mar 190   Mar 507
Apr 1         Apr 219      
May 3         May 254      
            Jun 230      
            Jul 249      
      Aug 33   Aug 353      
      Sep 39   Sep 341      
      Oct 47   Oct 330      
      Nov 73   Nov 355      
      Dec 93   Dec 334      

I don’t know who all of you readers are. Many of my friends and family read this weblog, but so do many strangers. Don’t be a stranger! Introduce yourself — contribute to the discussion.

Comments


On 16 March 2004 (11:42 AM),
Amanda said:

Happy Bloggiversary!

Glad to see that our paths must have crossed somehow through Karawynn. I was just wondering the other day how I happened to stumble across your site.



On 16 March 2004 (02:28 PM),
Joel said:

Foldedspace: first on my Favorites tab, first in my heart.
I’ve started using the term “foldedspaceland” (as elegant and facile as it is) to signify my friends around here and their activities. Certain movies and books are definitely from foldedspaceland, as well as ideas, moods, and brands of wine.
The Chickennoodle Fest was a great opportunity to add a little meat to an otherwise ethereal community, I was able to put a face to a lot of my fellow posters. I sort of wish I’d made more of an effort in that regard, but, then again, that wasn’t ostensibly what the party was about.



On 16 March 2004 (10:31 PM),
dowingba said:

There’s meatspace; there’s cyberspace; and then there’s foldedspace. What more can I say?



On 19 March 2004 (08:37 AM),
Peter said:

Hi J.D.,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while, I think I got here from WWDN but I can’t remember. I love your writing style, keep it up. I’ll be contributing more often in the future…

BTW, I really like the design of your site and the way comments and the “On this day at foldedspace.org” links work. Cool.



On 19 March 2004 (09:11 AM),
LAS said:

Short time reader, first time commenter, I found your site just after the new year, when I was researching the infamous Cinnamon Bear. I had found a site that contained MP3s of the episodes (public domain, luckily), which I am going to burn for my family. I was looking for the name of the store in Portland that hosted a Cinnamon Bear for kids to visit. Three months later, I now look forward to my Saturday mornings, which include net-surfing and catching up with your goings-on. Thanks.

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