Five years ago today I started my blog. Lilia Efimova and David Gurteen encouraged me to do so because they thought it would fit my way of working. They were absolutely right.
In the past five years I have found myself on an accelerated path of learning. The world turned out to be full of interesting, inspiring, challenging, warm, and fun people, that I shared a lot of interests with.

In the past five years I have been privileged to witness ideas turn into companies, the writing of books, the coalescense of ideas into research and PhD’s, all as result of the tremendously engaging conversations we build through our blogs. Being witness and part of that journey is an invaluable learning experience.
The past five years have helped earlier ideas and notions on learning, collaborating, creativity (some of those ideas dating back to primary school), take shape and actually turn into practice.
In the past five years the way I make sense of the world has changed dramatically. The number of connections to other people multiplied (and still does), the speed of change increased, and the volume of information exploded. But it is that same multitude of other people that keep that manageable.

You all are my filter, my outside-in lens that helps me make sense of the world. As a result newscasts seem late getting ‘breaking news’ to me, papers have lost the right to call themselves newspapers. As a result I started sharing more and more info about myself, my behaviour, my patterns. Because it is that sharing that helps make feedback loops, because sharing makes you part of a living network, because it makes both me and you better social filters for eachother.

And we are all still only playing with prototypes, when it comes to the tools we use to enhance our scope, our reach into the world, our ability to be in touch with eachother. I am sure these are still prototypes. When I look at tools like Jaiku, Plazes, Imity to bring our on-line social interaction into our physical environment. When I see how RFID, and its precursor the barcode (e.g. as in Aura) can help create a web of things. When I see the forays into ambient devices and displays, with digital photoframes, ambient lighting, and Nabaztag wifi-bunnies. When I see the incredibly fascinating attempts to lower the barrier to entry for production with e.g. FabLab, as much as we have done for sharing and publishing with social software. When I see that video and photo use is still in its infancy, with things like Photosynth, and multi-touch screens around the corner. When I see how we are making our first baby-steps into 3D environments. Then I see prototypes.
In all this I see prototypes that spell the evolutionary acceleration of diversity that comes with the discovery of a new unfilled realm of possibilities brought to us by digitalization and the increased levels of complexity of systems possible because of the increased connections between us. What cities did for us on regional and geographic scale, digitalization and internet are doing to us all over again. Globally. And it’s starting to show.

I can’t wait for what the next five years will bring us.
As a three year old I saw the world as an exciting place where treasures and wonderful things were hiding behind each tree and around each corner. I had lost that feeling for a long time, and refound it some eight years ago. For the past five years that sense of wonder was being fed by the cascading effects of this blog.

It was and is being fed by you. You’re to blame.

In random order: Lilia Efimova, David Gurteen, Jim McGee, Ross Mayfield, Gary Murphy, Jon Husband, Nancy White, Elmine Wijnia, Bryan Alexander, Roland Tanglao, Boris Mann, Felix Petersen, Sebastian Fiedler, Martin Roell, Thomas Burg, Phil Wolff, Marc Canter, Dave Pollard, Jack Vinson, Lee Lefever, Lee Bryant, Riccardo Cambiassi, Anne Bartlett-Bragg, Jyri Engestrom, Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, Colby Stuart, Jonathan Marks, Howard Rheingold, Sebastian Paquet, Stephanie Hendrick, Miguel Cornejo, Fernando Tricas, JJ Merelo, Anjo Anjewierden, Luis Suarez, Bev Trayner, Stuart Henshall, Dina Mehta, Barbara Ganley, Andy Boyd, Chris Messina, Johnnie Moore, Jack Yan, David Wilcox, Barbara Kieslinger, Ralf Klamma, Marc Smith, Denham Grey, Earl Mardle, Ed Mitchell, Gunnar Langemark, Henriette Weber-Andersen, Mark Wubben, Pierre Gorissen, Frank Meeuwsen, Peter Rukavina, Robert Paterson, Martin Dugage, Flemming Funch, Piers Young, Ralf Beuker, Gerrit Eicker, Gerrit Visser, Suw Charman, Stephanie Booth, Tim Bonnemann, and many many many many many more.

You’re all to blame for this. You all rock. Thanks.

(This is the cake Elmine baked for me to celebrate 😉 )

14 reactions on “Five Years Ago Today, I Started Blogging

  1. Great list of bloggers, several of whom I’ve only met because of this medium. Lilia’s writing was key in my own adoption of blogs. I never considered before your comment that sharing helps to improve one’s feedback loops. This is a good point to emphasize for non-bloggers, or those considering the medium.
    I too, hope to hit the five-year mark some day myself. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It has been a pleasure (and still is) to have been part of that filter. And unlike a regular filter, you yourself are also part of the filter of each and every particle that make up your filter. So thank you for that!

  3. I wish I had a word for that “knowing of someone” through reading their blog, seeing them log in on Plazer and all the rest.. and sometimes meeting them in surprise places. It was mostly through you that I learned that new type of familiarity with “online people”. It’s great, isn’t it!

  4. Hi Ton,
    Congratulations. What’s so amazing to me is how so many of us approx five or so years ago started blogging and all connected. My post on the same subject will go up in hours. I too expect to watch the next five years with interest and with the use of my blog!

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