forest4trees: the joys of personal blogging

As promised, in my review of Scott Rosenberg’s history of blogging, Say Everything, I want to talk about blogging from a more personal perspective.

Rosenberg started his account by mentioning how blogging had a tremendous growth spurt after 9/11/2001.  As it happens, that’s when I actually started blogging also.  I wasn’t a “war blogger” or an “anti-war blogger”, but for some reason I really wanted to write about things that were important to me.  I imagined it would be philosophical and sociological (that’s the way my mind works generally.) And while I did write like that a little bit, the blog actually became more of a photoblog and a place to capture funny and interesting stories about my family and my kids.  I soon realized that I was presenting a slice of Brooke-deBock history through cataloging various ephemera (pictures, audio and stories) over time.

I called it forest4trees or f4t.

It is actually a bit fragmented now because of different servers/services that I used (and I haven’t made the time to piece it all together.)  The original blog is here.  It has been on the web for a long time!

It will probably be long and boring to most people, but it is also part of my digital identity and there isn’t anything there that I wouldn’t show to my parents or my employer.

Here is an example of one of the personal treasures that I recorded in f4t.

dotcom madness
I’m not sure exactly how this happened. Well, that isn’t exactly true. I have an inkling. A couple days ago, Morgan spontaneously started saying, “” (Sounds like: bhut-dabot-dot-dom).

But today he took it an extreme level. When his grandparents asked him his name, he said, Morgan Kenneth

There is a deep, human pleasure in blogging, even if it is just to 10 or 15 people.

Below is my Mom and her sister from a photo taken in the 1930s: Jopie and Vera den Dekker.


One response to “forest4trees: the joys of personal blogging

  1. Will,
    I have not read all your blog postings -yet – but was so taken with the earliest ones that I felt the need to respond. Some of my family lives in upstate New York – Troy and Albany – and one of my husband’s uncles was killed on the stretch of highway leading to Route 9, very treacherous in winter.
    Further, Ellen’s account of the airport security immediately after 911 was a sad comment of life in our times. How things have changed over the years.

    These kinds of blog historic accounts give us not only a good feel for life from a personal viewpoint, but also a sense of a larger place in history that we all occupy.

    By the way, I homeschooled my son in 2nd grade and then again in Middle School, at his request. Of course, as an English teacher, I required him to write an essay explaining several reasons why I should do that. He wrote the most intriguing essay that I could not deny his request. It proved the best preparation for his independent learning skills.

    Writing has always been a huge part of my life; blogging is more public and hence my reticence for putting all my personal information “out there.” Still, I have encouraged students to use journals and blogs as tools to reach their inner worlds and express feelings and concerns, a therapeutic and cathartic approach for dealing with life.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your insights.


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