The wit of the staircase

I’m not doing so well at the “almost daily” part of this blogging lark any more. “Every few days” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “almost daily”. Full disclosure – back in the mid 2000s somebody else used the name “Almost Daily” for their video blog. Amanda Congdon.

Now THAT is a rabbit hole. The beginnings of the social internet – vlogging, tumblogging, and so on. I guess a lot of it coincided with the beginning of YouTube.

Anybody remember Digg before it was sold, asset stripped, and befell the same fate as Yahoo? If you’re not old enough to remember (and quite frankly, few are anymore), Digg was a much better, much more popular fore-runner of Reddit.

Let’s see how good my memory is.

Kevin Rose was one of the founders of Digg, and co-hosted the Diggnation video podcast along with Alex Albrecht. Cali Lewis (Luria Petrucci) hosted “GeekBrief.TV”, Leo Laporte hosted (and continues to host) TWiT, and of course – getting back to our jumping off point into this rabbit hole – Amanda Congdon hosted first “Rocketboom” and then “Almost Daily”.

Oh – let’s not forget Justine Ezarik – “iJustine” – who continues to report on tech from her own YouTube channel. She appears to have become ageless – part of the internet firmament.

I wonder where some of the other luminaries of the early years of the internet are now? I gather Matt Mullenweg is still at the helm of WordPress. Tom Anderson – “MySpace Tom” – is still out there, although has nothing to do with whatever is left of his creation as far as I can tell. I don’t think Craig Newmark still has anything to do with Craigslist either.

We won’t mention Mr Zuckerberg. Famously private Mr Zuckerberg.

I think I may be the last of “my class” still writing on the internet. Back when I started blogging I crossed paths with a number of people who became distant friends. We took part in challenges, wrote in each other’s guestbooks, added each other to blogrolls, and built our own network of sorts – this was years before “the social internet” happened.

One by one they have vanished off the radar. Some are still out there – getting on with their lives – sharing occasional updates. Some have died. Too many have died.

Death tends to focus people’s minds – causes them to re-factor what is important. And then slowly but surely they return to the way things were.

While dancing like an idiot with a friend at my birthday party the other week, a “fuck it” switch got thrown in my head, and I shouted across the dancefloor words to the effect of “I love you!”. Close friends laugh now when I’ve had a drink and my walls come down. I invariably become a sentimental fool.

It’s better that friends know how much I appreciate them though, right?

There’s a saying in French – “Avoir l’esprit d’escalier” – that roughly translates as “the wit of the staircase”. It means to think of something you should have said or done after the fact. Regrets. Wishes that you might have been a little more brave, perhaps.

Perhaps it’s time we were all a little more brave from time to time.

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