The Internet's first personal blogger, Justin Hall, who was an online diarist and Web logger before the word "blog" even existed, has pulled the plug on his blog, after 11 years. He offered his readers an explanation in the form of a very raw, personal video, which you can see, here. Justin is based out of Oakland ~ I hope I bump into him some day ~ maybe I already have and he blogged about the experience but I just don't know it, and we missed out on actual human interaction and instead a facsimile of our exchange exists only in cyber-space ~ and damn wouldn't that be a shame? Kudos to Justin who is signing off, albeit maybe just temporarily, because (among other reasons) he wants to spend quality time with his girl. A guy who ditches his blog for you? Now he's a catch! Same goes for Oso who is taking time off from the blog to enjoy moving in with his sweetie, as they set up house in Mexico.
The full article about Justin is here, but I found this excerpt particularly poignant:
While thousands of people start and stop blogs every day, Hall's presence on the Internet has been a constant. If he can't keep his faith in the connective powers of online communication, who can?
In a style reminiscent of the films "The Blair Witch Project" and "Tarnation," Hall speaks directly into the camera. He is visibly upset, crying at several points.
"What if intimacy happens in quiet moments?" he said. "I think the Web makes me not alone and I feed it my intimacies, and the Web is my constant connection to something larger than myself ... but what if something you do, something you practice like religion as a dialogue with the divine, drives people away from you?"
Hall's dramatic statement fits the scale of his endeavor. He was one of the most committed advocates for the bonding powers of interactive, Web-based writings. But now, his sudden expression of doubt over the Internet's ability to foster intimacy marks a huge change in attitude from the one expressed in work over the past decade and shows that his philosophy may be evolving with the medium in which he works.