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Thursday, December 08, 2016

The 15-Year Blogoversary

15 years and 1,213 posts! My first experience with the World Wide Web came in 1995, and by 1997 I had my own web page. The first web authoring tool I remember using was Composer, an HTML editor built into the Netscape Communicator suite. That helped me learn some HTML, and later I used Microsoft Word 97 and then FrontPage 98 and later Macromedia Dreamweaver to design more elaborate pages. Some of my FrontPage-built sites are still on the web. As I learned more about HTML standards and validation I wrote more HTML by hand, but I still wanted a way to make publishing to the web easier.

By 2001 I understood that (a) sites should be updated regularly and (b) FTP'ing sites and pages from my desktop to a server was a bit of a pain. I had heard about some early blogging platforms and chose one, Blogger, to try out. As you can see, I'm still here.

My receipt from Pyra Labs for Blogger Pro
My first post using Blogger came on December 8, 2001. A few months later I paid for Blogger Pro, which offered additional authoring tools, like spell checking. Yes, in 2002 spellcheck was something worth paying for because it wasn't built into browsers yet. In 2003, Google bought Blogger from Pyra Labs, which later freed up Pyra Labs's co-founder, Evan Williams, to go do other things (like make Twitter). All in all, Google has been a good steward of Blogger — although the platform doesn't get updated frequently, Blogger has been stable, relatively malware-free, and the BlogSpot hosting service is still free.

My second blog using Blogger was a classroom blog, "FHS Math," that I started in January of 2005 to list daily assignments for my students and to have a place to document my approach to standards-based grading. Looking back, I was ahead of the curve on both classroom blogging and SBG. I can't take too much credit, though, as I changed schools and stopped both classroom blogging and SBG. It didn't seem to fit the school culture or the resources available to students there, something I've written about in the past.

Along the way I used Blogger for a couple other short-lived blogs, and one link blog that gets new content in fits and spurts. I don't blog so much here anymore, on what is my "personal" blog. When I returned to graduate school in the Fall of 2009, I started a "professional" blog at blog.mathed.net. I've found plenty to write there in the past 7+ years, but I try not to ignore this blog completely. When grad school is finished I'd like to write more about photography and outdoor pursuits, which was the focus of downclimb.com from the beginning, and I know this blog will be there when that day comes.

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