Happy 21st blogoversary, Dustbury
April 9, 1996, was the publication date of the first edition of Charles's opinion column, The Vent, which addressed the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the approaching anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing. The Vent has appeared almost-weekly since then -- precisely 48 editions per year. Charles notes that the site shares its April 9 birthday with Tom Lehrer and Hugh Hefner: "I suspect that the seven million or so words I've tossed up on the screen since 1996 are at least slightly affected by both of these chaps."
Despite illness this past year, he has managed at least one post per day since June 23, 2000, when he inaugurated his "sort of blog."
Tens of thousands of entries since then have ranged widely to fill creatively-named categories like Almost Yogurt, Tongue and Groove, Political Science Fiction, Blogorrhea, PEBKAC, and Rag Trade. (That's culture, music, politics, news from the blogosphere, computing, and fashion, respectively.)
On the 20th anniversary, Charles explained the origins of his long-running experiment in HTML Bad Examples and Bandwidth Wastage:
In the spring of 1996, I got the ridiculous idea that I ought to have a Web site of my very own. I'm not entirely sure what the tipping point was. My workplace had sent me and the corporate IT guy to an HTML class for no reason I could determine, and I came away from the experience wondering why anyone would bother. But hey, I was in my early forties, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to have one more skill in case I had to move on; all else being equal, I reasoned, employers would rather have someone younger, or at least with lower expectations. I was a member of Prodigy in those days, and Prodigy was pleased to offer me a full megabyte of Web space at no extra cost. In a couple of hours, I had hacked up seven pages of stuff, installed links across the lot, and uploaded them through something that only vaguely resembled FTP. "Chez Chaz," the least-lame name I could think up on short notice, was hung on top.
BatesLine's first link to Dustbury was in September 2003, to Charles's comment about a Wall Street Journal staffer turned homeless freelancer. His first mention of BatesLine was earlier in the same month, the day after the passage of the Vision 2025 arena tax. We first met in January 2005, at the first-ever Okie Blogger Bash at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City.
Dustbury has always been ars gratia artis, a rarity in these times of ars gratia pecunia -- never an advertiser or even a tip jar. But in the wake of some serious medical challenges last summer and some even more serious medical bills, a concerned friend set up a GoFundMe for Charles G. Hill. As a wee bit of thanks for 21 years of interesting and entertaining content, I dropped $42 in the offering plate, and I encourage you to do the same.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Happy 21st blogoversary, Dustbury .
TrackBack URL for this entry: