It’s kind of weird when I think about how long I’ve done some of this stuff. How has it been so long?
Unlike most Gen X, I grew up with a computer and my dad encouraged me to tinker, build, and program. I still remember him teaching me how to code in BASIC and us playing a text only game about pizza delivery. I also remember a computer that used tapes, a set up using a tiny TV that was crazy limited but we thought absolutely astounding, and running everything at the command line because that’s all we had available.
I was the only Freshman at my University with a laptop. It ran Windows 3.1 and boy did I think that was amazing. You only needed to click to do anything! Magic!
Dad brought home our first 1.2 Baud modem and we accessed the entire world. Sure, it tied up our phone lines and ran up our long distance bill, but it was like Star Trek. I remember logging on to Bulletin Boards in Kansas and Alberta. My dad found one called Teddy Bear which made him happy as a teddy bear collector. We also found one that a school newspaper set up, exciting the budding journalist in me. Too bad I never convinced my school we needed to do that! A few clicks and there was e-mail via the FIDOnet. I remember composing emails on my computer before logging on to the internet and baffling my University when I asked if they gave us an e-mail address. (The answer was, no. Ahhh, 1993… you were like the dark ages.) I think the best was downloading games over the course of 12 hours. Sometimes Dad brought them home on floppy discs after downloading on the much faster than 2.4 modem at his work.
I coded a personal website for the first time in 1997. What an ugly piece of rubbish that was. I moved from the typical GeoCities and TriPod to ISP hosted websites before I settled on real hosting with a real domain. I remember hard coding each page, with no CMS. Movable Type came along, revolutionizing web design, and proving to be an utter nightmare. WordPress was my dream and I’ve used it in some shape or form for well over a decade now. I ran a parenting magazine website with friends, managed a few sites for friends with businesses, and did some freelance coding when someone asked. That’s also when I got in to graphics design, first with Paint Shop Pro, sliding to Photoshop, and settling on The GIMP.
Social Media once again changed the internet. We went from email and message boards to what we see today. LiveJournal turned blogging into a far more social experience. Then MySpace cropped up. Facebook opened to non-University students and I added that in 2007, though it took time for me to fully migrate from MySpace.
I signed up for Twitter days before Facebook, after using it for about 6 months without an account. I gave in, loving the platform and wanting to converse, having been using it to follow some of my podcasting friends. This was before podcasting was done by half the planet or celebrities used Twitter and it was a really fun time, and 75k tweets later, I still enjoy it.
Later came Pinterest and G+, with beta codes. Regular followers of my blog or Pinterest feed know how much I love Pinterest! I currently have 91 Boards that I use for inspiration, collecting recipes, saving tutorials/tips/tricks, planning my next costume, keeping track of Scripture studies, making wishlists, and the like. With just shy of 7k pins, I believe Pinterest has seem me far more than I ever used Evernote.
Ahhh Instagram. How I love you! The photographer in me loves it, though I feel like I never take the kind of photos for IG that I do with my professional cameras. I loved using Instagram for event shoot sneak peeks!
I’ve seen Social Media come and go. I miss Plurk, I remember being part of the “TextAmerica Mafia” in a precursor to Instagram back in 2004-2005 (?), and I can’t even remember what else. I occasionally post to YouTube and I have a LinkedIn.
I love the connecting. I find that brands, people, companies, and etc that I find the best are the ones that actively use social media. With anxiety in regards to using the phone, this alleviates that, plus it’s generally easier than waiting on hold after screaming your way through confusing phone trees.
Want to Connect?
You should know this drill by now. Find me anywhere on the Internet by the name Lady Ozma! (Also, there’s stuff littering this blog left and right…