A big happy 5-0 to Dave Winer, the Blogfather, without whose example (and eventual direct encouragement) I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
Though I have told this story before, it’s worth repeating:
- 1994: Dave starts writing Davenet, email punditry about the software industry.
- 1995: Dave’s stuff starts getting published in Wired (or HotWired, anyway). I, a junior software developer and an amateur student of the English language, wake up: here’s a software developer I’ve heard of (he scooped Apple by releasing Frontier in its first incarnation as an application automation solution before Apple released AppleScript), who’s writing intelligently and passionately about the Internet, Apple, and a bunch of other things I care about. Coooool, as Dave would have said then.
- 1997: I get married and we move into our first apartment in McLean, Virginia. This is our first place together, and we are at the time the furthest-north outpost of the Jarrett family (which is centered in North Carolina), so we start calling the place “Jarrett House North.”
- 1997: Dave starts Scripting News.
- 1999: Dave releases Frontier for free. I download it and start hacking it to build web pages which I serve from my old Power Mac over our first broadband line (you can see my first attempts on the Internet Archive). The site is called Jarrett House North.
- 1999: Dave releases Manila and the EditThisPage service, Frontier based services that take dynamic web content management and put all the tools in the browser.
- 2000: I sign up for an EditThisPage site and make my first post. In a moment of insanity, I name the site after my little home grown site, little thinking about the implications for the URL. It turns out that jarretthousenorth.editthispage.com is one of the longest possible URLs imaginable.
- 2001: I am interning at Microsoft and find myself turning often to Dave’s site for perspective, since he’s writing about things that my company is doing and I’m doing research on online community. I decide that it’s time to start updating my site more often. Maybe once every three months.
- July 19, 2001: I opine on the future of SOAP and XML-RPC on the Mac platform following MacWorld. Several people, including Dave and Macintouch, point to me. “You mean people actually read this stuff? You mean I got more pageviews yesterday than (insert Microsoft product)?” I get hooked on blogging.
- 2002: I buy my domain name. Of course, at this point the lengthy URL is so established, I figure that shortening it by twelve letters will be sufficient.
- 2005: Here I am, still blogging.
Thanks for the start, Dave. It’s always good to read you and it’s been a privilege to meet you live a few times as well. Many happy returns and here’s to the next 50!