Recently I’ve been on project overload. Too many things to focus on and not enough time to complete them all. One of my major stress points was figuring out which blog I should be using to talk about my life. I have one for work, one for personal work, one for documenting my improvisation studies, and this one. Up The Tree has long been used solely to house the podcast Tracks Up The Tree, which has been my on-again, off-again (love/hate) focus for the last 5+ years. When I wasn’t podcasting, I was neglecting the site.
I can remember originally starting it on Blogger in 2002, back when there was such a thing as Blogger. It was originally called Fun Time Tree House, where I gained my nickname, Funtime Ben. The most amazing part of blogging back then was that there were a few thousand of us, and everyone was hungry to connect with one another. I would post something, and within minutes a stranger had commented. People were literally waiting for blog aggregators to list the latest blogs which had been updated.
It was back then I discovered some of my favorite sites:
- More Than Donuts (now KDUNK) was the most rockenist bloggers in New York and someone I truly looked up to in terms of style and wit.
- Fireland (now Fireland) was an edgy and well-designed blog I thought pulled no punches in terms of content and tone.
- Dooce was and still is the mom of the blogosphere and became quite famous when she was fired from her job for blogging. I loved her stories about LA and her move back home to Mormon, Utah. Her Leaving Los Angeles mixtape effectively opened my eyes to indie music.
- Slower.net (now Eliot Shepard) Was the first photoblogger in my book. His photographs inspired me to take pictures and make art. He was also one of the first bloggers I ever met in real life and was very kind to me.
- Little Yellow Different (now Littlest, Yellowest, Differentest) Was the irreverent writing of wonderfully hilarious Ernie Hsiung.
It really feels like going back in time to revisit these blogs. I can remember so well the feeling of checking in to see if anyone had updated. Looking for a new writer to read while I should have been working — back when that was a new thing.
Sadly I no longer read any of these blogs anymore. Not because of any one reason. Life gets in the way. Like relationships that grow apart, so too did my connections with each of these blogs. Dooce had babies, More Than Donuts and Fireland closed up shop for a while to regain sanity, and Slower moved to Flickr. The technology and landscape for expression had changed.
And so… in honor of those days passed, I rolled out my new and improved old website today. I have decided to eliminate all the complications and return to the weblog I started so long ago. I have restored it to how it looked back in 2006, with all the bells and whistles of a modern site. It’s my blog, back when I was most fond of it, back when blogging was about expression rather than the guilt of neglecting the thing you once loved. I hope you enjoy the new old me.