Neil Blakey-Milner

Startin' up: A reintroduction

Published: , updated:

Almost 21 years ago1, I wrote my first “blog” post, after maintaining a “personal web page” for about 5 years before that. It was a rush job - a friend and I had been involved in an episode2 of a documentary television program, and announcing that it had aired was the impetus I needed to finally publish that blog.

For the next 7 years through 2009, I was somewhat consistently active in writing “on the Internet” until, well, I wasn’t3. And in early 2011, I moved to the United States, focused on my new job, and one day something broke. I decided just not to fix it. None of those posts are directly4 on the Internet any more.

I still do write a lot - just not on “the Internet”. At FacebookMeta, I have an internal “blog” - a Workplace5 group. It’s focused on work, obviously, but it’s rarely deeply technical. It’s mostly a place to share what I’m seeing (including stuff written by others) and what I’d like to do, and hopefully get some feedback from the few hundred people who are subjected6 to it.

I’ve tried several times to start up again (yes, mostly in January, like this time). Since 2011, I’ve written three separate blog “engines” of my own, built at least eight different blog themes, and written 30+ posts across at least five different “sites” - and this is the fourth (at least) “first post”.

Few7 of these survive at the time of writing.

Still, I keep trying. As I mention in my original first post, I feel the need for something to remind me of what I’ve done and what I’ve wanted to do. With 21 years of perspective since then, also it’s interesting to look at how I’ve changed over time (and also how I haven’t).

Writing in private is different - there’s just something about the perceived finality of clicking “publish” as a way to say “yeah, I think this is enough” that’s missing.

Maybe this post will get that “publish” treatment and collect enough companions that I don’t decide to rip it all back down afterwards.

Unlike my previous first post, I won’t predict what I’ll be writing about - but do check out TechGeneral if you care more about the technology side of things.

  1. April 4th, 2003 ↩︎

  2. The episode was named “Wireless Loophole” and aired on 30th March 2003, but it doesn’t seem to exist on the Internet anywhere. ↩︎

  3. A story for another time, perhaps… ↩︎

  4. The Wayback Machine seems to have a full archive. And I have them in an archive in some AWS bucket somewhere… ↩︎

  5. Think Facebook, but scoped to a single company. ↩︎

  6. It’s in the “onboarding” modules that a few managers across the company give to new hires to get a sense of company culture. ↩︎

  7. TechGeneral (the reincarnation of the technology blog I split off in 2008) has 8 posts I’ve written since March 2022. documents a ~month in 2013 where I was experimenting just documenting stuff I was playing with without concern for polish. ↩︎