Saturday, June 19, 2010


(As the readers come in, Tim raises his walking stick to point at them. He stumbles, even though he is sitting down at the time.)

You young people may not know it, but I was once your age. Yes, even the ones that are older than me. Especially you. (And stop sniggering back there, you spry young sixty year olds. You'll get to be my age one of these days if you don't watch out.)

Ah! I've been running this blog for years and years. How long has it been now? It's coming up to a century, more or less. Well in purely numerical terms I suppose I've had this blog for five or six years, but they've been a long five or six years, and in blog terms five or six years is quite a long time, although those five or six blog years are exactly the same duration as five or six years in normal non-blog terms, but why quibble over facts?

Well! It was a different time when I was a blog whippersnapper. An exciting time to be alive. Why, we even had cars back then. And ovens. And ink-based plastic pens. And handkerchiefs. (Yes, I know we have them now, but they were more exciting back then. Handkerchiefs have caused people to contract a case of the hiccoughs on more than one occasion, let me know, you cheeky young rapscallion.) And none of this iPod this iMac that Blueberry nonsense; all of that was still to come.

Blogs were quite the thing back then, new, exciting, edgy, shiny, gleaming with possibility, and maybe just a little bit salacious. Oh, it was a long time before the mass media had begun flirting with blog technology or anything like that. I wonder when was it I actually first heard about blogs? It may have been eight years ago. Well! It's a long time.

By and by, as they say, I had got myself my own cosy little corner of blog space and had begun posting the occasional meditation or imagining on here. And continue to so to this day - and hopefully will continue to do so for many more years to come, God willing! I suppose there have been big changes in the technology since then; back then I imagine blogs were steam powered. Everything was, more or less. We'd all have to go and get bits of wood to put in the stove when we wanted to turn the computer on, for instance. In America I hear they had grown used to slightly different technology - they'd all have to use a hand crank to 'wind up' their computers.

Those were the pioneering years! We all developed our own 'lingo', just like you young people have today. I imagine you'll be familiar with some of the terms we used back in those early years of blogging. For instance, when someone wanted to comment on something you'd written, they'd 'click' on a 'link' titled something like 'leave a comment'. And if you ever wanted to make sure that what you'd written, either as a comment or a 'post' was right, you could simply choose to preview what you'd written: you just had to click on a button called 'preview'. I know this must seem quaint now, but it was exciting then. And, to me, it still seems quite exciting now.

Nowadays it seems things are quite different. There's this newfangled thing they've developed called 'twitter'. Well now that I come to look at it it doesn't seem all that newfangled at all; actually it looks quite like blogging, except you can't write quite so much. And what's all this facebook nonsense? What with the 'status updates' and the 'events' and the 'groups' and the 'causes' and the 'applications' it's left me feeling all quite confused. I never even knew I had a status, much less one that I had to keep on updating. But all you young people seem to be spending all the time on it these days! Well I spend a lot of time on it too, but it's confusing time! Can't we get back to the simpler things? Like little words printed in neat lines in a clean column right down the page, occasionally interspersed by pictures and reader comments.

And what's so fancy about facebook anyway? It seems more people are spending less time on blogs and more time on facebook than ever before. On facebook, why, your readers are only limited to your 'facebook friends'! There's no change of any old acquaintance, or even a nice new person, dropping by to your facebook page and reading your carefully-crafted status updates or facebook notes: that sort of thing only happens on blogs. Why, I even have people leaving comments for my blog on facebook! No-one ever leaves comments on my blog for my facebook, thank heavens. Call me old fashioned, but I just don't understand things any more. And somehow, even arguments or learned discussions just aren't the same on facebook: who wants to leave a long, learned comment on facebook? There's not enough room! And here's another thing: even if I did decide to start posting regular 'notes' on facebook as a supplement to my blog, I wouldn't even be able to format them with bold or italics, or decide on the format of the page: all that is taken out of my hands.

It's utter rubbish, I say!

Anyway, you young scallywags had better scatter, back to your 'facebook' and 'twitter'. I've just discovered a wonderful new invention - called the 'television'! Why, you just have to tune in to a certain 'channel' and watch a so-called 'television show' for however long you want to! It's quite marvellous, the things they come up with these days, even if it's not as good as old-fashioned blogging. Go on then! Here's a shiny penny, buy yourself a little snack, you funny young things!


Ann ODyne said...

back in the Olden Days of the WWW the term 'flamed' was frequently seen in regard to blog comments, but it seems to have died out now.

my Grandmother said in 1974 that colour television was just a passing fad and she would not bother with replacing her B&W receiver. I expect television to fade away soon as well.
All the potential producers of it will be too busy Tweeting.

I follow and recommend @Kerry0Brien but nor so much that I would neglect the blogs. As for FkBook - most of them could not compose a blogpost to save their life.

TimT said...

For a moment there I thought Kerry O'Brien actually WAS composing that twitter account which would have been quite surprising.

Ugh! Journalists, media, and politicians twitter accounts. I hate them! Old media attempting to kill new media, and very nearly succeeding.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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