Hello, world? Is this the proper greeting to use when creating web content?
To think about this greeting, what it means to create web content and what it means to be published (or rather have an audience) I give you (the audience) a brief history of my journey in web content creation/interaction:
1. Yahoo email account. My first personal email address. This can be considered the first place where I personally created web content. This means that I have a broader definition of what it means to be a creator of web content. It may be argued that an email is a form of web content whose form is determined by the program which creates it, the programmers who designed it and the imperatives of the company who maintain it. While the distinction between creating an email and creating a web page using html commands may have been clearer in terms of which form of web content creation is more mediated, the line, so to speak, is blurred amidst the backdrop of Web 2.0 (i.e. user centered designs such as word press, facebook, and [insert ‘hot’ social networking site here].
2. Blogger.com. Ah…my first blog…. Can you guess the title of that first post on my first blog 5 years ago? Well word press came close and like any efficient mediator, automatically created a first post (which I am know editing) titled, “Hello world!” Well, my first blog post was/is (because its still archived) titled, “Hello Internet.” Now, lets break down the differences in terms of linking word choice/language and meaning/expectations. Whereas my automated wordpress post positions me as a content creator enthusiastically greeting the ‘world,’ my own blogger post from 2005 has a more cautious tone, greeting the Internet. Maybe now, the ‘world’ and the ‘Internet’ are more interchangeable.
3. OJR. The Online Journalism Review run by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. When I signed up in 2005 as a student journalist, the site consisted of primarily student written articles (about 500 words) that related to topics of online media and journalism. I started out not knowing what a podcast was…. ah…I was such a newbie…
My first story was about Current TV (they had just launched) and I interviewed Sarah Gore (daughter of Current founder Al Gore). It was my first interview and my first published story on a news medium: “Got Video? Current TV web site a venue for grassroots journos” It was later included under “Google Answers” under the “Business and Money” category as a resource to the question of “How are TV and radio stations reaching out to ‘citizen journalists’?”
I wrote three more articles on new companies/web sites/web related services for OJR before they stopped the student contribution section I was working under. But they are still archived at OJR:
“New news aggregator includes blogs alongside big media sites” covered news-oriented web site Inform.com
“Outdoor blogging technology: The blogoshpere goes organic” covered placed-based social media Wiffiti
“Kosmix.com paints Web searches in shades of gray” covered search engine Kosmix.com
4. Meanwhile, I kept up with my blogger and in addition to posting the stories I wrote for OJR, I posted stories that deal with society and media (in a broad sense). Issues relating to home (Lahaina, Hawaiʻi) were weaved into the blog post lineup.
Guess what? People were reading what I posted! (Sounds basic but it’s a big deal if you’re a writer).
5. Offline, I continued writing and photographing for various university and community publications. Some of which also made it to my blog, such as this article on Mochi (and Japanese American businesses in LA’s Little Tokyo).
6. I got a myspace account. It kept me connected with family and friends back home and abroad and was/still is a resource for music (across the mainstream-independent gradient).
7. Online photography had been delegated to a flickr account (I was still a yahoo “customer/user/consumer”). Useful for sharing photos, but not quite enough flexibility or options to present the kind of photojournalism that interests me.
8. Facebook. I gave the about me section some careful consideration and crafted this short story about my life and update it with changes when needed. Facebook proved an invaluable social networking tool when I moved to New Zealand, to stay in contact with family/friends and to network with all of the new people I met in Auckland and around New Zealand.
9. The next significant form of web content creation that I took part in would be the countless emails, chats and discussions that took place online between me and my graduate adviser, professors, grad students, and so on while working on my dissertation. Though this type of content (like my yahoo emails I had encountered earlier) are shared only with selected viewers/readers/consumers, the creation of that content contributed directly to my MA dissertation which also considered new media and social networking in its analyses of contemporary Pacific popular culture (though the dissertation itself was not published online, yet).
10. In lieu of creating a web site to store my previous work/writings/photography/resume with which I can also add new content, I researched (as I so often find myself doing) and decided to give Kompozer a break and sign up with wordpress. Thus, here we are.
Hello again, Internet. Its me, Micah. Good to see you again.