In honor of me being the Time “Person of The Year” (and in part by reading this today), here’s how it all started for me…this was Sep 7, 1999, and only about 25 days since I had landed in U.S…Bloomington, Indiana, to be exact. Chicago Tribune was the only decent paper within 500 miles (Indianapolis Star and Bloomington Herald notwithstanding), and so that’s what I subscribed to. And on that day, Julia Keller’s wonderful story about this thing called Weblogs came out. I think it was the front page story in one of the sections, though I am not sure. As I started reading the story lying down on the TV couch, I distinctly remember actually getting up in excitement after reading the story. And then I searched online in the computer lab at school, and found the weblog community was small, but growing (the shortform “blog” still hadn’t come into existence).
I got hooked, so much so that I wrote a long proposal for a research paper on weblogs, meant to be developed into a thesis. It probably was the first ever research proposal into the form (Oct-Nov 1999). It never went beyond the proposal, because it was too esoteric for the Professor. Just as well, because all the theories I proposed to study in the paper proved to be wrong in the end. This was the naive me: “Perhaps the fact the Webloggers have an anathema to definitions, and are decidedly anti-hype that renders them to being elitist. Precisely why most of them prefer a quirky and zigzaggy existence, trying to evolve from a service model (of just being a link list) to an imagination-based one.”
I started my own cringingly-personal blog a few months later, on this new tool called “Blogger”…and the name was Naivete.org.