Why in the world would I want to create a blog? I have been asking myself that question a lot ever since my good friend Neil started putting together this web site for me. Maybe I should step back a bit.
A few years ago it became possible to register .ca domain names and it seemed like a good idea to register wayneharrison.ca. Initially the plan was to use it as the basis for a permanent email address as I had changed addresses a few times as ISPs came and went. When I sent my new email address to Neil he had a look at www.wayneharrison.ca and found nothing there and asked me when I was going to put together a personal web site. After a few attempts to get something together I finally asked Neil to build me something and he suggested this format, based around a blog. At first I wasn’t convinced. I had tried to keep diaries and journals a few times over the years. Apart from a short stretch in the late 70s when I kept a fairly regular diary which, sadly, has become lost I have never stuck with it. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.
I am not a fan of the overuse of social media for documenting the minutiae of daily life including what people had for breakfast or who is angry with whom. In our brave new world of tweets, facebook posts, archived emails and, yes, blogs, there is a constant stream of personal communication being recorded for posterity. The misunderstandings that come with electronic communication are amplified. Useful information is lost in a sea of chatter. Spelling and grammar errors stare out from the computer screen. Poorly thought-out ideas are shared with the world and cannot be easily retracted, if at all.
On the other hand a judicious use of the same media can provide a record of our lives that was not possible for the general public in years past. I have a strong interest in genealogy but unfortunately all that I have of many of my ancestors is the bare bones of their existence: birthdates, death dates, maybe an occupation and where they lived and were buried. I would dearly love to have access to a diary to see what they were like as individuals, what there dreams and passions were and what issues concerned them while they were alive.
It is important to consider the target audience when writing. In this case my target audience is first and foremost the general public and more specifically family and friends. I expect that I will come back to this myself in future and I hope I will not be embarrassed by it. Finally I hope that this will be available for posterity in some huge searchable archive in the cloud after I am gone.
I have no illusions that everything that I write will be profound or important. Much of it will be mundane and trivial. I will try to select topics that I feel are worth sharing or that I would like to have documented and preserved. I will not share highly personal information. There are other venues for that when appropriate. I have no idea how frequently I will add to this but I hope it will be fairly regular.
Please feel free to comment if you have anything you want to say, but be kind.