Don’t, actually. But Ishmael didn’t know what he was getting into when he signed up for his little expedition, and I’m not sure I do either. It was only two nights ago that I was sitting in front of my computer, staring at my browser when I thought, ‘I should find more things to do with the internet than check my email and Facebook accounts.’
I’ll back up for just a second now, and explain that for the past month or so, I have been marveling at my roommate’s ability to find random things on the internet: sometimes hilarious, and sometimes just strangely catchy. I asked my roommate how he found all of this stuff. His answer: StumbleUpon. For those of you who don’t know, StumbleUpon is a site that lets you ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ any webpage, as well as choose from a list of categories that interest you, and out of this information it will whisk you off to a randomly selected page that it thinks you might like too. And of course, you can share these rare finds with friends on other social networking sites as well as with your fellow Stumblers. So I dabbled in Stumbling across the interwebs for a while, and here’s one site I particularly enjoyed. Calvin plus snowmen equals crazy – who knew?
So I had my Stumbling, and my email, and my Facebook and all was well. Until a couple nights ago. That’s when I realized that I had been shunning the internet! Sure, I use the internet, but all the while I’ve been completely baffled by the schmorgasboard of sites out there, especially of the social network variety. As my Dad might say, it was mind-boggling. But I felt a left out. I mean, why does everyone else have this magical ability to find something interesting and shiny out of the infinite goop and gunk that is the internet? And it hit me – this is a self imposed isolation. For years I’ve turned down invitations to new sites and networks saying, ‘I’m already on Facebook, what do I need another site with a username for?’ I never realized that all of these sites, all of these networks are just one of many ways that people around the world get to the good stuff. The meat and potatoes of the web.
With all of this in mind I set out on my merry way. In the past two days I’ve followed links, read blogs, and found new sites focusing on things I’ve never heard of before. And in the middle of all this I’ve been thinking, ‘what about a blog?’ What about a blog indeed. Not too long ago I tried starting a blog with Blogger, but it didn’t go so well. I didn’t have a focus, I didn’t have an idea, and most of all I didn’t have the drive to really immerse myself in the online community. But now it’s different. Now I have an aim to rediscover the internet in all of its surprisingly random glory. This venture would have been exciting enough for me as it is, but I like writing too, so writing a blog about my misadventures on the web gives the whole endeavor an added appeal.
So here we are. My first post on my ‘first’ blog. My blog is the first of what I hope to be many additions to my online presence. But this blog will be a central part of that presence. I hope to use it to catalogue the sites I discover and the things I learn. And hopefully along the way I’ll find some fellow bloggers and/or readers that have some things they’d like to share with me to expand my web-crawling horizons.
I’ve already bounced this idea off a few friends and gotten some great positive feedback. Feedback that sometimes came with a lot of really cool sites that I am eager to explore and share here with all of you. So here we go. Plugging my nose and jumping in the deep end.
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