According to Wikipedia, the most accurate source of information in the entire universe, the term “weblog” was created by Jorn Barger on December 17th, 1997. That word was cleverly split into “we blog” by Peter Merholz in the spring of 1999, and voilà, the term “blog” was born. From its humble beginnings as an on-line diary, the use of the blog has grown exponentially. Since 2003, over 70 million blogs have been created.
Matt Kailey thinks there should be one more.
“You should write a blog,” he told me in January. I laughed.
Actually, it was more of a scoff. Why would I write a blog? What would I say? And even if I could think of something to write, who would read it? No one that I knew of, except maybe Matt, and then I thought he was just saying those things to be nice. But he was persistent about this blog business, tapping away at me, like a bird pecking at the window. (Shoo, bird. I can’t write a blog.)
On the other hand, I really like to read Matt’s blog, “Tranifesto,” just like I enjoyed his book, “Just Add Hormones,” so I am glad that he has a blog. Matt is a good writer, he’s funny, and he has knowledgeable and interesting things to say, especially about the trans community. I felt as though I had none of these things going for me.
Then, something unexpected happened. I made a post on a Yahoo list.
Well, that wasn’t the unexpected something that happened. I make posts on Yahoo lists all the time. I am a member of about half a dozen lists, all of them somehow part of the transgender community, mostly in the FTM circles. I like to make posts to provide information – I am all about info and resources. And, I am all about science. It’s what I do.
So I was laying down some information of some sort, and someone else on the list followed my post with another post and asked me to start a blog. (That was the unexpected part.) I stared at the words, surprised. Then an email popped up off-list from someone else with the same request.
I told Matt, “Hey, a couple guys asked me to start a blog.”
“I told you that you should start a blog,” he said. “See, people want to hear what you have to say.”
But I still doubted it, so I decided to take a survey. First, I talked to my friend Trevor. I told him I was thinking of starting a blog. I thought he would blow it off, or pretend to say something nice and then change the subject, or outright tell me what a dumb idea it was. Instead, he said, “Sweet! I’d read it.”
“Obviously,” I thought, “I chose the wrong subject for my survey.” So I asked a couple more guys, but they also said that they would read it. When my friend Nate stopped by, I told him that a couple people had asked me to start a blog. “Why does that surprise you?” he asked. I replied, “This is a concept I’m having a hard time understanding.” He shook his head.
But then, as I thought about it, I remembered a couple guys over the past year or so had also asked me to start a blog. I didn’t give it a second thought at the time.
Huh. People seem to want to hear what I have to say. Go figure. That Matt Kailey guy was right.
I wrote to Matt then and asked him a bunch of questions, like where and how should I make a blog, and what things should I consider, and I gave a list of the blogs I like to read and said that I wanted to make some kind of difference with this blog but didn’t know how, and then I asked him for his thoughts, adding, “…except for ‘I told you so.’ I know that one already.”
He replied, “I’m not going to say, ‘I told you so’ (because I just said it).”
And then he gave me suggestions about where to go, how to set up, and that I should consider a focus for my blog. I took all this information and analyzed it, over and over, from all different angles. (That’s what I do, too.)
Then, I finally made a decision! I decided to ask my friend James about it. He’s an experienced guy in the community and I look to him at times for advice. He said, “I just think it’s so easy for trans people to respond to the positive attention they get that they become consumed with other people’s stuff and forget to live their own life. I’m not saying you shouldn’t start a blog. I’m just saying you should do what you want to do. 😉 ”
Yes, I could see that happening, and I could feel the allure tugging at me. What? People want to hear what I have to say? Wow, what a concept. But am I feeling the need to do something about it like it’s an obligation, or is this something that I simply want to do? For, like, fun? I turned it around and around and analyzed it some more.
So here I am, on lovely Word Press, trying to choose just the right look for the blog and still learning all the terms, tools, gadgets and what-nots about blogging, and deciding, yeah, this IS what I want to do, and I’ll do it until I don’t want to do it any more, even if it’s only for a year. Or a month. Or even just a day.
And if I get to that point, I’ll figure out a way to blame that on Matt Kailey too.