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Blogs of Yesteryear

During a recent session of spelunking through old web stuff, I managed to find some older versions of the blog that I hadn't found before (and hence aren't available in the ancient archives). Screenshots of those old versions have been inserted back in the timeline.

I guess it's one of those things I never bothered to archive because in theory all of that content had already been exported from Blogspot to Wordpress and eventually to the current site. But there was some content from this archive I hadn't recovered before: the list of blogs I link to in the sidebar! This content was exported from Bloglines, an RSS reader service available at the time (Google Reader had yet to be invented!)

A lot of these old blogs no longer appear in my current follows. I thought it'd be fun to look at each of them and see where they are in the current web, both as a look at the kinds of stuff I (used to) follow and as a commentary on how very few blogs last.

around here

This section is blogs of people who I knew to also be in the Philippines, though not all of them I knew personally.

  • the beautiful rookery - this was a blog written by a batchmate of mine from HS, hosted on blogspot. The blogspot account apparently still exists, but you need to be invited to be able to access it, so IDK what's going on there. I still follow the writer on social media like Insta.
  • The Entertainment Capital of UP Village - another HS batchmate, this blog was hosted on LiveJournal which means it's still accessible online! He hasn't written anything there since 2015 though. We are still good friends and are in constant contact.
  • The Sassy Lawyer's Journal - this was the blog of a female lawyer in Metro Manila; IDK who it was, and the site is no longer accessible.
  • sachachua's blog - I didn't know Sacha personally, although I knew some of her batchmates. Her url is still active and redirects to her current blog, where she writes mostly about Emacs stuff, something she's been doing since 2004 apparently, so that's a bit of dedication there. I think she also used to write about some productivity stuff, but I stopped following her when she started focusing mostly on Emacs, since that's not an interest.
  • the babel machine - hosted on blogspot and written by a guy called Joey Alarilla. I don't think I knew him personally. He wrote mostly about games and tech and such. The blogspot site is no longer accessible. Looks like he moved to a wordpress site in 2006 and to a personal domain in 2009, but neither are accessible now. He founded a digital media startup called Digital Life Asia and I found him on Twitter.
  • Clair's Tech Blog - I knew Clair from HS, though we weren't batchmates. She used to write about Linux, Emacs, tech, blogging, etc. Her site is no longer available, but I still follow her on Insta. She does art stuff on a public instagram and takes commissions, if that's your thing.

general purpose

  • Waxy Links - by Andy Baio. The site is still up to this day and still on my follows!
  • J-Walk Blog - by John Walkenbach, well-known for his Excel knowledge. His blog was "all sorts of things" kind of blog, and he was prolific, blogging daily. Looks like he stopped blogging in 2011. The domain is still up, but IDK if it's still by the same person - the posts seem like the sort of thing I'd expect to find in like copy-paste blogs out to earn money from advertising. I couldn't find any social media presence.
  • Boing Boing - Boing Boing is still up, but no longer written primarily by Cory Doctorow I think. Doctorow now writes a new daily blog on Pluralistic and is still one of my follows.

tech blogs

  • The Daily WTF: The Daily WTF - this was a blog that highlighted one programmer's mistakes every day, some of them were funny. The site is still up! I think I stopped following them a while ago because I kind of lost interest in that kind of thing.
  • Google Blog - I think this blog used to cover mostly Google's tech and engineering stuff. The site is still up at a slightly different URL, but because of how much stuff Google is into now, it feels like many of their posts aren't of interest to me.
  • Joel on Software - Joel wrote a lot about running a software company back in the day, and his writing certainly influenced a lot of the dev culture at the time (for better or for worse?). His site is still up, but he doesn't post very often these days.
  • Ned Batchelder's blog - Ned wrote about tech / programming stuff; his blog is still up (and still has roughly the same layout!). I still follow him and he mostly writes about Python these days.
  • Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger - Robert Scoble was a tech evangelist for Microsoft I believe. I don't think I followed him for too long, as I wasn't super interested in Microsoft tech stuff back then. A few years ago he was embroiled in a #MeToo controversy and apparently no longer has a social media presence.

interesting blogs

  • Troutgirl - Troutgirl worked in the tech industry, but her blog was a combination of tech stuff, industry stuff and other nontech things. At some point she moved from her own domain to a Wordpress blog, which is now only sporadically updated.
  • ButtUgly - ButtUgly is a Finnish blogger who ran his blog on JSPWiki. The site is still up but the last post is from 2017.
  • Critical Section - this was a blog by Ole Eichhorn, who was very prolific, multiple posts a day, posts whatever interesting things he find, that kind of thing. The site is still up and regularly updated and even has the exact same layout!
  • Extraordinary Ordinary Guy In Japan - this is a well-written English blog by a Tokyo native. I guess I followed him for more exposure to Japanese culture. It looks like he stopped blogging in 2004. The site is still up, but the actual post contents don't seem to load, I can only see sidebars.
  • gapingvoid - a blog by Hugh MacLeod who got some traction back then for drawing cartoons on the back of business cards. He is the source of one of my favorite quotes. His domain currently resolves to a company site, where he is listed under the staff. It looks like he's writing elsewhere now.
  • MarkTAW - Mark blogged about a variety of topics including economics, psychology, marketing, music, etc. For some reason his domain now redirects to Amazon. I couldn't find any instance of him writing elsewhere recently.
  • WIL WHEATON dot NET - Wil Wheaton is of course of Star Trek fame. Followed him mostly for interesting showbiz-adjacent stories. I believe I kept following him until recently during the Trump era, when his content started becoming mostly about anti-Trump rants. That content is fine with me, but I wouldn't subscribe to it. His site is still up!
  • Neil Gaiman's Journal - Gaiman is of course a well-known fantasy writer, even back then. He's still journalling regularly.
  • GELATOMETTI - I think this guy was some kind of comic book artist. The blogspot site is still up, but the content seems different from what the internet archive has, and hasn't been updated since 2005.
  • The Fishbowl - Another blog by a dev, writing mostly about dev stuff. The site is still up and is still being updated. Not sure why I'm no longer following his blog, but I don't really subscribe to blogs with mostly dev content anymore.
  • GirlHacker's Random Log - she works in tech, but her blog is more general purpose, things of interest stuff. The site is still up, but she hasn't posted there since 2014.
  • in my mind's zen garden - this was a blog by a guy called randomguru on a site called RiceBowlJournals, which was kind of like a community for Asian blogs. Both sites are no longer accessible.
  • kottke - kottke.org is still up and running and going strong, still blogging after all these years
  • Tricks of the Trade - this was a weblog that posted tips and tricks for different professions. I don't think it lasted very long. The domain currently returns an error.

There's actually a few more categories in the blogroll there, but they're mostly gaming related, lifehacks stuff, or webcomics. And this post is fairly long already. Maybe I'll get back to them in a future post.

The number of old blogs from that blogroll that are still active is actually more than I expected! Though still a lot of them that are dead or inactive now, which says a lot about how pervasive link rot is.

I should make sure to archive a present-day version of my current blogroll and check those sites out around a decade from now, at which time I would hopefully still be blogging!

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Last modified at: April 7, 2021, 3:30 p.m. Source file

🔁 Adrian Cochrane