Hello, friends out there in internet land! Welcome to my latest attempt at a blog.
My first attempt was in 1995. I was a freshman computer engineering student at Lehigh, and it was a blustery Saturday morning in November. I had nothing else good to do, so I decided to make a website that day. It took a lot of running around campus, setting up accounts, then finding a scanner and scanning in lots of pictures, but eventually I made something nice, which I updated twice and then forgot about forever.
After that I tried to keep a live journal. I won’t link to it. I did update on occasion, but looking back at it the whole thing I can see it was a pretty tedious affair. Most of the posts I made were restricted to my friends, and way too personal or introspective to really belong out there on the internet. It was unfocused and lame, and it was cumbersome going by an alias and being semi-anonymous. Everything there belonged in a private diary that I kept under my bed.
Then MySpace came to the forefront. “Oh boy!” I thought, “This social network is great, and I’m sure it’s here to stay! I’ll just move my blog here, and all will be right in the world.” Well, we all know this isn’t the case. While MySpace did have one neat feature – everyone I knew was on it – it didn’t make for a better blog. It was just more of the same, but to a wider audience of friends and acquaintances. I vacillated between exposing too much of my life to the public, to locking down access only to a select handpicked few. The veil of anonymity I enjoyed prior was gone, and without it I did more self-censoring than I should have liked. I should go back and read it, but it’s so embarrassing to me now that it actually hurts my eyeballs to look at it.
Somewhere during this time I created a very complex and elegant drupal installation, and attempted to turn it into a comprehensive home page / blog. I won’t lie to you, it was very cool tooling around with drupal; it’s a great CMS and I am a big fan of it. But it wasn’t the right tool for the job, and after I reached the right balance of boredom and frustration, I forgot all about it and quietly let the domain expire.
Then the migration to Facebook happened, and I think I posted a few notes there, but these were just simple life-change announcements and business related press releases.
Which brings us to the here and now. It’s 2013, gosh darn it, so I’ve decided to give it one more try. Inspired by my fellow Lehigh alum and serial blogger Scott McNulty, and his bestselling Amazon book “Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read”, I decided to give it another go. After putting serious thought into trying drupal again, I said fuck it, let’s just use WordPress. Sure, drupal is cool in the whole “sky’s the limit” view on configuration and customization, but let’s face it, I’m not going to use half the customizations I want to create, and the whole effort would have drawn my attention away from … away from what? What was I just talking about again!?
My blog, right! Yeah, so, here it is. The Very Public Blog of Ken Richlin. Right there in the name, you can see that this is no place for pseudo-introspective navel-gazing. Nope, not this blog. Here, you’re going to get something else entirely. And that something else is….
I’ll figure that out in the next post. In the meanwhile, let me say, Welcome!