It was 2002 when I first started blogging. This blog’s first post was in July 2002 and we’ll, no doubt, talk about that more when the time comes.
But earlier in 2002 there had been another experiment. I didn’t know that I was blogging at the time and it all worked using a few bits of Perl that I’d thrown together myself. There was no commenting system and no web feed. But I was writing topical posts on a regular basis, so I guess it would be called a blog today.
I thought I’d lost all the content a couple of server moves back, but a few weeks ago I discovered a backup of the table which contained all of the content. I’ve loaded it into WordPress and I’m planning to publish the posts in “real time” over the next few months. The first one appears today.
The blog was called Wasted Inches and I’m happy to see that some of my earliest writing on the web was on a subject that I’m still covering today. Wasted Inches was supposed to uncover the idiocy of the tabloid press. I wasn’t particularly interested in deep political analysis, I was just pointing and laughing at what the red-tops chose to put on their front pages.
Back then, of course, few of the newspapers had anything like the web presence that they have today. This had two effects. Firstly it meant that I couldn’t find my material online like I would now. I did my research by glancing at the tabloid front pages as I was buying my Guardian every morning. And secondly, I couldn’t link to any of the stories I was discussing. Or perhaps I would have been able to, but just couldn’t be bothered. Anyway, there are no links and I have no intention of trying to find references now.
I will, however, try to add some historical context. Many of the pieces were very much of their time. They assumed that people knew what the papers were talking about and didn’t waste time filling in background. Ten years on that makes some of them a little obscure, so I’ll try to explain what I was talking about – assuming that I can remember myself.
The writing style is itself quite tabloid. Or, at least, what I considered to be a passable impersonation of a tabloid style. There are a few turns of phrase that I’m still very happy with, but a lot of it is quite pedestrian.
There’s not a lot of it. Just over forty posts over about six months. And there are some quite large gaps between posts. None of the posts are very long either. It’s not quite a Twitter stream, but I guess it’s the kind of thing that Tumblr was made for.
Anyway, it’s just a bit of historical silliness that might amuse a few of you as the posts appear irregularly over the next six months.