Some people like paper, others prefer the computer. Whatever the case may be, letting out your feelings through words is always a good thing. I prefer blogging.
As you may know, I have been blogging for over 10 years now. In those 10 years, I have had 5 domain names, two livejournals, and a couple of other blogs. In those 10 years, I have evolved from a fresh-out-of-high-school angst-filled teenager with a passion for theater to a college-bound young adult…with a passion of theater to a woman with some of the darkest times of her life growing her into what you see on Namari now.
So how did Namari’s roots begin? I suppose I can give a more detailed (and hopefully interesting) story about how I started blogging.
I started on Xanga. I remember going into my high school library, and I saw a guy posting a blog there. Out of curiosity (and nothing more, because I didn’t know the guy and I’m nervous around people I don’t know), I asked him what that was. He just simply said “Xanga”. When I got home that day, I decided to look into it further myself. The thought of having an online journal was kinda interesting to me. I never had an offline journal. I tried it, but I knew that my mom always went in my room and the last thing I wanted her to read is some ramblings about a girl who wanted a boyfriend so bad. I thought that with an online journal, I’d feel safer because my mom is very technologically challenged, and she’d never find it, or would she even understand what it is (she still doesn’t).
So I started my journey on Xanga. It was here where my curiosity for web design piqued. It wasn’t much, but I would see some cool effects on other blogs (or at least they were cool pre-Web 2.0 days) and I was like “COOOOL, HOW DO I DO THIS?!” Read up some stuff on how to make those cool effects and pimped it out.
While I was in college, I started to learn more about web design, and decided that I wanted to spread my wings further in that field. So any free time I had I learned about HTML and eventually integrated my Xanga journal into a webpage that was powered by Brinkster via Iframes (remember those things?). I called it “Simply Peachy”. Which, now that I think about it, combined with the depression I suffered during college, the name of the site had a hint of sarcasm in it.
Brinkster went the way of paid, so I had to find somewhere else to host my webpage. During my time on Xanga, I ran into a few blogs that were run by Greymatter and b2 (which was the predecessor of WordPress). I noticed how much more fluidity you had with how to design your blog. I was like “hey, if I found a host where I can actually expand on learning HTML on AND was able to run it on a blogging platform, that would be awesome. I started with Greymatter[1. Greymatter is now considered “dead” and is actually banned from most web hosting companies] (which was a pain in the neck to figure out), then gave up eventually after so many internal server errors and went to b2.
My first few reincarnations of my online journal was powered by b2 until WordPress came out. Had I known about backing up my stuff, I would have more than just a few years of my life on the net, which is probably the only regret I have through this journey.
So do I have any advice for anyone who wants to start an online journal? If you do, I would suggest starting small. Use a site like Livejournal or WordPress.com. Those sites will give you everything you need to start your online journal (and it requires almost zero HTML coding if that kind of stuff scares you). If you do want to be more adventurous and want your own domain name (a nice investment, especially if you plan on monetizing your blog), then use a self-hosted WordPress blog. It is a big platform; you may never use EVERYTHING it has to offer, but I have been using it for so many donkey years, and not once have I thought “maybe I should use something else”.