The exact date is lost, a digital ghost floating somewhere in cyberspace. What I do know, however, is that in February 1999, I started blogging.
So as I sit here in the same spot in our house where it all began, I feel the challenge of coming up with something meaningful to say. 15 years is a significant milestone for someone who is pretty darn proud he wrote, more or less, everyday. On the other hand, instead of waxing poetic, I’d rather be writing about something else.
We’ll see how this anniversary year goes. Perhaps I will jot something down now and then this year. For now, I want to share with you some early memories.
Just a few months after I started blogging, the Giants official site, which they called “The Virtual Dugout,” published a piece on “Surfing With The Fans,” (May 6, 1999). Much to my complete surprise, my site, “The Giants Journal” was the leadoff hitter for their team of nine sites (unfortunately I only saved that first page).
It’s worth mentioning the terms “blog” and “blogger” were not in wide use at that time. Both of those articles reflect this. The Giants Virtual Dugout piece used the word “site” exclusively, while GIANTS magazine used “web site” or “fan sites.”
In the late 1990s, the Internet was exploding with more and more sites. I remember wanting to get started with my own. I figured I could draw on my experiences as a Giants fan, and born, raised and living on the East Coast, I could perhaps provide a different perspective.
The challenge, however, was the form. Back then you had to know some HTML. You posted your files to a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and worried about dead links or some embarrassing error.
Free providers like blogger.com made blogging much easier in the early part of the 2000s. With a purist’s pride, I held on to the old ways until 2004. At first, I couldn’t decide which provider to use. If I recall correctly, it was Rebecca Blood who recommended Typepad. The liberation from HTML felt good and I’ve been very pleased with the Typepad team.
Eventually, I transitioned away from writing exclusively about the Giants. Writing about anything I wanted also felt very liberating.
While it lasted, writing about the Jints was a lot of fun. I found a niche by covering the New York years. I’ll never forget, at a website, maybe the Giants official site, one commenter said, “Who was John McGraw?” (Evidently, he wasn’t joking). I remember thinking -- ah, ha, a target on the audience!
It’s probably impossible to know who all blogged about the Giants in those early years. But thanks to the GIANTS magazine piece, we know about several, including Sarah’s J.T. Snow Page, Valerie’s San Francisco Giants Fan Page, and Russell’s Barry Bonds Page. I also remember Dave Farmar had a great site, as did Michael Wells (“Giants Fans Beyond the Bay.”) The San Francisco Giants Virtual Lounge was colorful and popular.
Saving the best for last, there is one person who stood out among the early bunch. Gregg Pearlman’s “EEEEEE!” was required reading for the faithful. Day after day, he demonstrated it wasn’t bells and whistles that mattered. Tapping into the knowledge that the rest of us were “annoyed” with the team and the helmsmanship, Gregg wrote what he was feeling and thinking. He signed on some other writers such as Richard Booroojian, which made his site even better.
In August 2000, I was touched deeply by something he wrote about my site.
Finally I'd like to mention Jay Roberts, who does a site called The Giants Journal, which you'll find at http://members.aol.com/Jaybird926/giants.htm.
We both got brief mentions in the July/August issue of Giants Magazine, which we deeply appreciate.
Jay has been in touch with me for at least a couple of years, even before he started his site, and I'm so impressed with all the work, the research, and the love he's put into it.
If you haven't seen Jay's site, shame on you. On a personal level, Jay's a very friendly guy who'll go to the effort to touch base with me even when I forget to reciprocate (and I can be forgetful in this way; it's not my favorite quirk).
Without trying to sound grandiose, as Giants sites go, I see Jay as a colleague, not as "competition"; I think he'd say the same -- we're working for the same cause, each in our own way.
The early 2000s were good times for Giants fans. The new ballpark drew rave reviews and the team had talent. Then came the World Series in 2002. I recall thinking about Gregg when the Giants blew it. Of course, at that point, he didn’t have to say anything. Gregg had warned us many times. The Giants, it sure seemed, were cosmic oafs.
Google tells me Gregg is still around. All these years later, I can thank him publically for those kind comments, and share in the joy of the Giants winning not one, but two World Series.
And today I share with you, the readers of this blog, the joy of celebrating this milestone. The feedback you have given me makes this moment all that much more special.