18 May 2016

Eight Years

Alright, now here's the "proper anniversary post" that this blog may or may not be warranted.

Let's see. How anniversary events are usually handled is that we look at the past, see how we're handling things today, and where the future may lead us. So let's try that template.

The past first comprised of cringey early teen posts. Almost a necessary requirement for teens nowadays. I think I tried too hard to emulate "teen speak", by attempting to use as much lower case lettering as possible. Tried hard to post as much as possible too, in a bid to generate enough content and (unrealistically) attract a horde of readers to the blog that early.

To think it'd take me like six months before I'd wise up to using proper casing. "Just to practise before typing essays on the computer", as I said. But content-wise, I was mostly oscillating between trivia of my life, and trivia of the general variety. A little later this expanded into whatever else I found interesting. Fascinating links, funny videos, that sorta stuff. The early venture into multimedia.

I think this was also the era of the music players and chatboxes. Goodness, the time I spent trying to customize the chatbox and curate as many not-well-known-but-good songs into playlists, even special festive playlists for the Lunar New Year and Christmas festivities. At least I was wise enough to not indulge in the obnoxious practice of autoplaying music on the site. Eugh.

About this time I also came up with the neat idea of time capsule entries, which I named "Past Entries". Not creatively named, but I couldn't really think of anything else. And eight years later that's not changed. A neat way of using the feature of scheduled post release, and turns out to be an interesting way of self-retrospection and reflection even till now. Sure I could go back and re-read previous posts from way back then, but after a while my Past Entries involved prompting questions for my future self, further pushing me to reflect deeply.

Oh wait, I also remember that for a certain period I had a separate page of embedded web games. Don't think that went as well as the music playlists, seeing how the latter lasted longer on the site before being discarded. And yeah, there was a mini-series of Late Night Bloghopping, which basically consisted of me clicking the "Next Blog" link at the header to see where it randomly takes me. Was pretty interesting for a while... maybe I could do that again some time?

Then came the first fictional piece I put on the blog. A little Christmas story of a father reluctantly playing the role of a sneaky Santa placing his son's present under the tree, only to be surprised by a present the son left for Santa. Turned out to be quite a gateway to putting several more stories online. Even helped prepare me somewhat for National Service in an odd way, giving me enough confidence to put something on the fictional writing board in the Intranet forums. Doubt I'd do a retelling of those two stories here though.

At the same time I think my posts got more verbose, more emotionally venting even. Certainly was apparent during NS for sure, if it already wasn't during my schooling days. And it's also around this time I cared less about quantity and more about quality of posts. Pretty much everything I did in NS was classified, and I can't talk jack about my work. Meanwhile my weekends were generally unremarkable. The night classes I went to were, um, dry. The classmates were interesting enough but I never hung around with them that often. Most were actually taking the same IT classes to boost their job security, so the apparent age gap wasn't helping in terms of bonding. But that may or may not be another story for another time...?

So time went by, writer's block + lack of motivation = worsening post frequency, being barely made up for with the Past Entries popping up now and then. And that's more or less been the status quo.

But I'll try to change that. Set up more Past Entries, do more active musing, perhaps go into more active sharing of content. That bloghopping thing might come back. Perhaps even - who knows - do a wee bit of mathematical investigation??? I mean, I'll have to do a thesis eventually. Might as well start on a tiny scale or something.

On second thought, maybe I'd do such technical content on a separate blog. Maybe a separate platform altogether? Seems weird to lump that with emotional/philosophical scribbling. But which platform though?