It’s now 2004, on the eve of Bonwag’s 10th Anniversary, so I thought I’d go back and rewrite history.
BONWAG was born on November 5, 1994, a month after signing up for an Ozemail account after work one day because I’d been reading about the Internet in some techie magazine. I tweaked a web page, put up a few links to interesting websites (there weren’t that many back then), viewed it through a black-and-white text-based web browser (lynx), saw that it was good, and then let it sit for a while. I then spent a few years working instead on a website called ‘Australian Christian Music’ to help me put together a radio show.
When I later took on web design for a job, it made sense that I should have a ‘play site’ to test some of the tricks I was working on for clients. BONWAG became an online database of web pages I’d visited – an academic exercise to prove my web development credentials to my then employer.
My first entry to an ‘Online Diary‘ was in January 1998 – a couple of entries about near-death experiences I’d had on the way to work. Here’s what it looked like back then.
It was the first time that I’d considered putting personal observations on the website. I’d already put up a few news pages like birth notices (which I’ve recreated as blog entries after the fact – Caleb, Allanah, Charlotte, Sebastian), and even had people contributing comments online, but it couldn’t really be called a web log. Maybe I was settling into my role as a father and figured I should be informing the world of what was going on. I think that was the main reason I started blogging – to document events and photos of our little family in its earliest days.
BONWAG has moved computers many, many times since then, and somewhere along the line, the records from that time (1995-1998) have been lost to the Great Digital Dark Ages. I can’t say that I was as ardent a diary writer back then, so we’re not talking a lot of loss, but it’s a sign of things to come. I think a lot of people blogging today will have similar problems when great chunks of their lives are gobbled up by a server crash. Print out those photos, people! Backup your online life!
(UPDATE: An archaeological dig has surfaced some earlier entries which complete the timeline. What you see here today is now a fairly complete record of BONWAG, even before the ‘Diary’ began).