Remember blogging?

My Gmail inbox, a wasteland of forgotten times, got an interesting email today: A congratulatory message from LiveJournal, telling me it had been almost 2 decades since my first post. … Two decades? I hopped over to Knightwise.com to investigate and did find out that indeed, in 2004 i scribbeled down my first thoughts during those exciting web 2.0 days. …

Blogging! Never before was it so easy to gather your thoughts and slam them down on a webpage, the modern day equivalent of doodling your hopes and dreams onto yellowed diary paper. A time when most of us were still hiding behind the anonymity of an ICQ account number (well, maybe not) or an original internet-handle on MSN messenger like CompuGot69 or god forbid, Knightwise.

Give a man a mask and he will show you his true nature. Whoever came up with this quote was (Machiavelli ?) was a very astute connoisseur of human nature. If i browse back to some of the blogs I read back then (and read back what I posted myself) I sometimes wonder if it was wise to put all that out on the internet. But blogging was cathartic, just like journaling. Writing down your hopes, thoughts and dreams and putting them out there (anonymously in front of strangers) was liberating. I was going through a difficult time in those days. My dad had passed away and my family was in turmoil. Babylon was burning and every day during my lunchbreak I would log into this little bubble on the internet and write up what was going through my mind.

Gradually this daily diary evolved into a more technology oriented website where I chose to share my fledgling encounters in using technology to “work for me”. Only after a few years did Knightwise.com really become a “brand” with a clear mission and a growing audience. The little online diary had become a .. product.

And I have had many a good time thanx to this little website. Opportunities have opened up for me, I’ve met interesting people and made friends for life. But the last couple of years, mainly because of my dayjob (that involves online marketing and branding) Knightwise.com has felt more like a “product” i needed to produce for an “audience” and has strayed far away from what it originally was: A diary about how I live with technology.

I wonder if I would ever be able to go back. If I would ever choose to disclose those inner most thoughts and feelings to the world. The changing nature of the internet, the loss of anonymity and the size of my digital footprint would most certainly lead to the words of “Knightwise” coming back to haunt me in my real life.

But what I do know is that “livejournal” told me a valuable lesson: How to express myself in a way that people would find interesting. I learned how to reflect on and organise my thoughts and feelings into blocks of text people wanted to read. But the most important thing was : I didn’t care if anybody did. I wasn’t hunting for likes, looking for comments or waiting for feedback. I just did it for me.

So maybe there is an “inbetween”. Where I talk about tech and how it influences my life. On what projects I dabble in and what new insights I’ve gained. To come back from a “brand” that needs to follow a “format” and bring back some of the “personal” into the digital.

So as I ponder the new Knightwise.com mission, this too becomes another factor of the new way I want Knightwise.com to feel: More like a “blog” with a “theme“ and less like a brand. I make brands for a living and Knightwise.com is my little getaway where I can leave work behind and go do something else. So it might be chaotic, inconsistent and everything that I would frown upon between 9 to 5. But .. That .. is life on the edge of real and cyberspace.

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