When I first got online in 1996 – using a 28.8 Kbit dial-up modem – the first serious thing I did was join an online discussion forum. Back then it cost so much to be online that you dialed in, downloaded your messages, logged out and read them offline with special software. I’m sure the Netflix generation are shaking their heads if they are reading this.
The second serious thing I did was to get an HTML editor (I used one quaintly called Hippie) and make a website. I think I was on GeoCities at first, later on Delphi Forums for both discussion and web hosting.
My first attempts were pretty lame but at least I got the basics of Website design and coding, server files and FTP under my belt.
Today with Blogspot, WordPress, Twitter, vBulletin, Pinterest, YouTube, MySpace and (yes) Facebook around that early stuff seems almost like driving a Model T on the Interstate.
I think you have to choose your way of online presence carefully though. I hate videos so YouTube is not my shtick. Neither is Twitter – I always run out of character space. Facebook is OK but sometimes I can’t take the incessant chatter.
I suppose the old fashioned discussion forum is my favorite thing still – maybe followed by this.