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20 Years Of Blogging

I have been thinking how to celebrate my blogging anniversary, since today, twenty years ago (May 31st, 2004), I wrote my first (Italian) blog post. The post is honestly not interesting at all, and it’s written like… well, like a teenager, since that’s basically what I was: 17 years old. Among the things that I was thinking of doing was the option of data mining my own posts to figure out which topics I covered most, whether there’s something stylistically different between the various years, and even at some point the idea of asking an LLM to parse all of my posts and condense them in my own style.

But honestly, all of those feel like silly gimmicks, given that I’m celebrating 20 years of writing. In those 20 years I graduated high school, became a Gentoo Linux developer, got Gentoo/FreeBSD to actually release, nearly died for a pancreatitis, changed name, moved to Dublin for my first real full-time job, then London, got married, changed employer, and a lot more stuff!

I blogged using at least six different platforms: Blogger, KDEvelopers, Gentoo Blogs with Serendipity, Typo, Hugo, and WordPress, with the separated self-hosted WordPress maybe counting as seventh. When I started self-hosting the blog, it was literally running under my desk, on my home DSL, using Gentoo/FreeBSD, PostgreSQL, Rails, and lighttpd.

When I started blogging, MySpace was the fresh kid on the block to possibly take over Geocities. Twitter,, and Google+ didn’t exist – so they came and went from the blog’s point of view. Facebook was still TheFacebook, and was not open for registrations outside of a handful of universities, having launched just a few months before my blog — quite the feat to think that I now work for Meta! Heck, YouTube didn’t exist! Blogger, already acquired by Google, was still running on their own server when I started writing on it!

Among other relevant sites that didn’t exist at the time is Hacker News and Reddit, so the primary source for links to various content was Slashdot — and I did get slashdotted while running on the Gentoo/FreeBSD under my desk, which was… quite something. And before you ask, no, not even Digg existed at that point!

It is extremely difficult for me to represent or even comprehend how it feels to know that I have been blogging for longer than some of my colleagues have been reading (a teammate once told me that she started writing, as in, in school, around the same time I started blogging), and that’s without thinking too much about interns, who by this point are possibly younger than my blog!

As I said I didn’t really prepare anything for the anniversary, except for having recovered all of the posts from 2004/5 that belonged to my Italian-language Blogger blog Peregrinazioni Mentali. I had deleted the live version of the blog at some point in the past, mostly because the writing is… well, the writing of a teenager-turning-tween that thinks he knows everything about life, but knows very little about it. I probably felt like I would want to look at the posts again because, before removing it from Blogger itself, I decided to make a backup, which I went looking for last time I went to Italy.

What I did end up doing was figuring out that 20 years ago my website was, a simple PHP website hosted at a small Italian Internet provider that was spun out from a video game distributor (CTO), which ended up going bankrupt soon later due to changes to international distribution flows… and whose domain was left parked for most of those 20 years! I ended up picking up the domain for £100 from whoever had it parked (rather than the original thousands they were asking for!), as a sort of mid-life crisis, so you can now reach my website at the same address it had… 20 years ago!

But overall, I just felt I needed to free up myself to say that, 20 years in, I have no intention to stop blogging. I’m not using this blog to share personal news and personal views the way I was using it before the current idea of social networks existed, but I think that’s alright. It is now a more focused effort than it used to be, even if it’s no longer as frequent or constant, but it would be hard to argue that what it was was better than it is now.

So my hope is to be here, in another twenty years, even if the last two blogs are mine and Scalzi’s.

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