I realized as I was working on the redesign that I’m about to have a blogging anniversary. I’ve had a personal web site since around 1998, and it was sort of a combination gallery/ music trading space. It began, like most people, in an ISP hosted 5 meg free space. I started writing “this Public Address” on February 10, 2001, when I moved to my first domain, visibledarkness.com. The initial entry was:
2/10/01 A week or so ago I finally decided to become master of my own domain. I was tired of trying to write out my previous address; my handwriting is awful and few people managed to find my place, except those who wanted to trade music (sorry folks, I’m too busy right now). I’ve been in a weird, frantic, busy sort of mind and you might say that I’ve been lost in the land of allusion. So designing the place has turned into a minefield of allusions. The sort of “what’s new” zone became “this Public Address.”
I’ve got mixed feelings about explaining everything; if you have to explain the joke, it isn’t very funny is it? But since I seem to get further out every day, I thought I would go ahead and explain this one. William Blake wrote a speech on scattered fragments in a notebook about the state of art in his time. It has no title, but since one of the pages refers to “this Public Address” it has been referred to that way by generations of Blake scholars. Since an Internet address is indeed a public address, and what occupies my mind most is the state of art, it seemed fitting. Of course, since this ramble will mostly consist of fragments rather than completed thoughts, the name works on every level.
For six months I coded every page by hand because I did not like the idea of blogger controlling my ability to publish. It was a pain, and not particularly attractive. I treated my web space like I treated the journals I used to keep when I was a teenager. I just sort of pasted random photos next to the writing.
When I discovered Greymatter, things got better and this Public Address 1.0 was born. Inspired by Luke, it was very blue:
Like most people’s juvenilia it wasn’t particularly interesting or exciting. However, as a writing device it was good for me. Things sort of flowed together on the sea of blue, and I worked out a lot of the ideas I still draw from. Luke’s blog isn’t blue anymore; but I’m sort of attached to the original version of mine as an artifact. I can’t just pour the old content into a new container.
William Blake continues to inspire me, so I’ve kept the name but have long since progressed to other designs. I don’t trade music or cuss as much anymore though.
I also might be slightly less silly.