I missed two big events this past week.

1. I've been blogging 11 years. Started December 15th, 2000.
2. I passed 200,000 followers. Took, what, about six months (it took me almost five years to hit that mark over on Twitter).

What has changed about online content development in 11 years?

Well, back then it was hard to find new things to read. Dave Winer had an aggregator of blogs, called a ping server, where we could see new ones being posted. But when +Dori Smith and +Dave Winer first told me about blogs I could only find about 200 on this new search engine called Google. I didn't think they were important enough to even do a single session at the CNET Builder.com Live conference I was helping Dan Shafer plan back then at +Jim Fawcette's company. What a long time ago all that was.

I remember that for years the mainstream media hated blogs. We'd have debate after debate about them at conferences. Eventually they figured out that blogs were the future. But they still drug their feet.

Heck, 3.5 years ago, my boss at Fast Company, told me to stop Twittering. I told him I wouldn't, and that it would be the future of news distribution. I had a contract so he couldn't fire me, but I soon left for a place that understood the Internet, er, the future, which is how I got to work for +Rob La Gesse and +Rackspace Hosting.

The half-life of a conversation (the time that we'd spend in the inner circle talking about one thing) has gotten shorter and shorter. Or has it really? We're still arguing about big companies. We're still arguing about politics (which have decidedly gotten even worse).

Back 11 years ago Flash was just coming on the scene and it was hard to get it to display low-quality photos. Now we have real-time photo search systems on our iPhones.

Back 11 years ago I had a Blackberry. I used to be called a freak because I used it under the table at meetings to talk with people around the world. Now everyone does that all day long, it seems, even while walking around at Disney World. Only now we use Droids and iPhones.

Back 11 years ago it sure looked like Apple was dead, which is why I was probably blogging on a Windows NT-based computer. I used to make fun of Apple freaks like my boss +Steve Broback because his Mac would crash every hour.

Back 11 years ago I was still jealous of people who had a T1 line cause they cost a lot per month. Back 11 years ago there wasn't wifi. There wasn't YouTube. There wasn't Twitter. ICQ was still something many of us used. Our email was mostly Exchange or a POP server. +Chris Pirillo was even geekier than he is today. +Leo Laporte was on this thing called TechTV that no one could watch because our cable systems were so lame. 11 years ago I thought it was SO COOL that Dave Winer sent me about 3,000 people with one link. Even Bill Gates read his email newsletter it was so popular.

11 years ago I was just hearing about a thing called .NET (almost got fired for leaking details about it that I learned from my friends in the Microsoft community). Now .NET is almost washed up. So much has changed.

11 years ago I kept hearing about cool new Microsoft phones, but everytime I went to London the cool kids were proud to show me their Nokia phones and said Americans don't know anything about mobile. I couldn't disagree.

11 years ago we kept hearing about terrorism but couldn't fathom something like 9/11 and couldn't fathom that blogs would be a major way for people to get information, since so many professional news sites went down under the strain. Many a news company exec has told me since that that was the day that they knew they needed to change and get online.

11 years ago social media wasn't yet invented and SXSW only had a few hundred attendees. LeWeb wasn't yet born. Techcrunch was still five years from being conceived in +michael arrington's house. Microsoft was at its peak of industry dominance and was facing the fight of its life as it got wacked by the DOJ.

11 years ago a digital camera was something only rich people had and, even then, was very crappy in quality.

So much has changed. Thanks for being part of it all these years!

I bet that even more will change in the next 11 years. Now THAT thought gets me up in the morning!

Here's to tomorrow...

Funny thing. I agree with Steve Jobs. I very rarely look back. I'm only slightly bummed that the first blogs I did were long ago deleted. Heck, I wrote about 100,000 posts on Usenet (the 1990s version of Google+) and those posts are long gone, although some of the relationships still remain. I seem to remember +William Storage and +Dave McClure were both around back then, along with a few other people who are all now friends of mine over on Facebook. +Bob O'Bob and I used to have long conversations, er, debates, on Compuserve and Usenet. Damn, should have done something useful with my life instead of all this typing. :-)

There are too many people to name and remember over the years. I've collected more than 10,000 business cards in the past 11 years (my contact list is being used this weekend to test out a system being built by a Y Combinator company since it's so big and their system keeps crashing it).

Ahh, the fun. Well, onward. Got kids to chase and more videos to get up.
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