June 10, 2004

An Incomplete A to Z of Blogging
F is for First Among Bloggers

I’ve never quite understood this incessant need for certain bloggers who are a bit long in the tooth (although only in blogging years, of course) to have to try and validate their existence by continually telling us that They Were Here First.
So, you’ve been blogging for years, have you? Good for you. Absolutely marvellous. Colour me a distinct shade of impressed.
Interestingly enough – in a kind of exceptionally uninteresting way – myself and my fellow host on Uborka this week, Mr Graybo of Chichestershire, began our respective weblogs almost exactly within a month of each other (although I will freely admit that he was there first, by some 29 days) during the autumnal mists and mellow fruitfulness of the latter part of 2000. These were the heady post-millennial days when we thought that anything was possible – that the human race would soon be travelling around in miniature spaceships, that we were about to start communing with aliens, and that it was really possible to update a personal website with fresh and exciting content on a daily basis.
Sigh. Truly, they were much more innocent times.
Four long years later, on the occasions when Mr Graybo and I happen to meet at one of those blogmeets, it doesn’t take long before we start reminiscing about the old days over a couple of frothing pints of Old Speckled Peculiar …

Vaughan and Graybo

Vaughan: Graybo, I says, Graybo – do you remember when Blogger would be unavailable for days on end? Do yer? When you wouldn’t be able to post to your site? Knackered, it was. Bleedin’ knackered.
Graybo: Aye, that I do.
Vaughan: And do you remember, Graybo, I says … I says, do you remember when there were nowt such thing as comments? When you’d be typing all your most profoundedest thoughts onto that web doo-dah and nobody would respond, do you?
Graybo: Aye, that I do.
(Graybo and Vaughan sit in silence, lost in a moment’s reverie for the dim and distant past. Sniff).
Graybo: And you could fit all the UK’s bloggers into the upstairs room of one central London pub, and there would still be enough space for the weekly meeting of the Soho Gay Vicars Association over in’t corner. The bar tab for t’night would only come to £6.72, and we’d all stick money in’t pot for packets of pork scratchings.
Vaughan: By ‘eck, Graybo. Thee’s right. I’d reet forgotten about pork scratchings.
(Editorial disclaimer: please bear with me on the accents here. I am aware that they’re moving about the country in a rather haphazard fashion, but I’m trying to be regionally inclusive. I don’t want anyone to feel left out. Oh, and I’m rubbish at accents).
Graybo: ‘course, it were all fields round here in them days.
Vaughan: Aye. Sheep as far as the eye could see.
Graybo: And sometimes – hey, it’s all comin’ back to me now – when Blogger were really buggered, I used to get on’t me pushbike and take me latest blog entry over to that nice woman at Pyra, who’d type it direct into Blogger database for me. Oh blast! Me memory’s going again! What were ‘er name?
Vaughan: Mavis Ollerenshaw. At Blogger offices. That were ‘er. She were a lovely lass. Never complained when I brought in one of my late night, depressive and pissed posts. She’d pat me on’t ‘ead and say, “Eeee, don’t you be worrying ’bout nothing, pet. It’ll all be better in’t morning” – and then send me on my way. And there, next day, would be the blog entry on my site, which I’d immediately ‘ave to ‘pologise to t’readers due to excessive – excessive – oh buggeration, what’s the word I’m looking for?
Graybo: Introspection?
Vaughan: That’s the one, Graybo! That’s the one! Introspective blogging. Whatever happened to that, eh? Them were the days. Them were really the days, weren’t they, Graybo? Eh, Graybo? Graybo? Thee still awake?
(Vaughan shakes Graybo’s left arm, causing him to spill his pint).
Graybo: Aye. T’were just thinking.
Vaughan: What were thee thinking, Graybo?
Graybo: I were thinking … bloggers today. Don’t know they’re born, they don’t.
Vaughan: Chuffin’ hell, Graybo. Thee’s right. These young blogging whippersnappers don’t know they’re born. Don’t bleedin’ well know they’re born! They’ve got it lucky, they have. Not like us. Pioneers, we were. Effin’ bleedin’ bloody blogging pioneers.
Graybo: Aye.
(From somewhere in the distance comes the sound of wafting orchestral music. Syrupy strings. Graybo’s eyes are noticeably moist).
Graybo: Another pint of Old Speckled Peculiar, Vaughan?
Vaughan: Ooh, I’d better not, Graybo. I’ve got to be gettin’ meself home to write an entry about this here blogmeet – and don’t thee be forgetting that there’s only 167 bloody names to individually link to their respective weblogs, in’t there?
Graybo: Bloody ‘ell. Bloody bloody ‘ell. One hundred and sixty ‘effin seven bloggers. I remember when there were just –
Vaughan: Aye. You’re not wrong, Graybo. You’re not chuffin’ wrong …

NOTE: Huge apologies to Graybo for scandalous levels of artistic licence. He’s nothing like this, really. Honestly, he isn’t.

Let the above dialogue act as a salutary lesson. Whatever you do, don’t continually drone on about being the first ever blogger to walk the Earth – or this could happen to you.


11 thoughts on “An Incomplete A to Z of Blogging
F is for First Among Bloggers

  1. Oh, and there you go again, bragging about how you’ve been writing since 2000.
    Bloody hypocrit.

    Pete on June 10, 2004
  2. Eh, don’t you be so cheeky, my son. I manned the picket lines for you. Clip round the ear will soon sort you out.

  3. The thing is, it really was all fields around here then. And we *actually knew* ALL the other bloggers, right down to their shoe size.
    Ahhh, those were the days. Such innocence. Such fun.
    And we had *real* cocktails. Featuring vodka. And jelly. And Mo Morgan’s hair gel.

  4. Mavis Ollerenshaw, huh? And thus you inadvertently betray your essential second-generationness.
    Before Mavis’ time, there was Gladys Earnsthwistlethmacclespostlethwaite. What she didn’t know about back-end interfaces wasn’t worth knowing.

  5. Never mind all that. These days there is a New Wave of UK Bloggers (it says so on Naked Blog). That makes every one of us into some sort of elite pre-New Wave blogger. Even Pockless.
    Did someone mention cocktails?

    Karen on June 11, 2004
  6. There will be cocktails, fret not. My esteemed colleague will be issuing invitations shortly.

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