Monday, December 13, 2004

The first post

It's the questions that surround the mystique of the first post that intrigue me: what shall I say? What shall I share with the world? Should I sacrifice the red chicken or the grey one before pressing the publish button?

The internet fascinates me. From that very first initiation of plugging the modem into my Amiga 1200 and negotiating the byzantine protocols and procedures of my new isp, cussing and crying until that magic moment when I opened my browser and found the world on my screen - right there, like a new puzzle to be solved.

I arrived late to the party. Mosaic was already history and Internet Explorer was beginning to challenge Netscape in the browser wars. Spam was but a minor nuisance, and viruses were just breaching the boundaries of common knowledge. And Usenet was in decline, like an elegant lady on her third bottle of gin slumping towards the gutters.

Of course, I was immediately attracted to usenet, and soon enough set up my new home in rec.arts.poems - now that was a scary first post: "Hello," I said. "I exist. Here's a poem for you all to gnaw on." Which they did.

I was so newbie, I even posted under my real name!

I've posted introduction messages to lots of places since then. Some have been acknowledged, many more have been ignored. But the important thing in my view is not the content of the first post, but rather its existence: "Hello, I'm here!"

I still post to Usenet (the old lady has been robbed and raped several times now, and begs for coins for one last mug of gin), almost exclusively to the poetry newsgroups. If anyone would like to know more about the poetry newsgroups (like, why?) then feel free to pop over to my Poetry Newsgroups Rogues Gallery for more information.