My Pre-Tweets (2003-2005)

Back in 2003, I got my first web-enabled phone. I’d been blogging since 2000 and wanted to be able to make updates to my blog wherever I was, without a laptop. For context, here are some things that did not exist yet: Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Firefox, and obviously, iPhones. Nokia was still king of cellphones.

I’d been using static HTML to do blog posts, but then learned a little PHP/mySQL and started publishing that way (add WordPress to the things that didn’t exist yet). I created a little mobile-friendly page that would allow me to update my blog by typing a short message and hitting a button. (My dream was an update using SMS, but that was beyond my ability.)

I worked for Oracle at the time and spent a lot of time traveling to set up webcasts: England, Japan, China, Brazil, France, Singapore, etc. So when the first camera phone arrived in the U.S., I got it. (Nokia 3650!)

I had to do the text update first, then add the image after. Even the new blogging platform recently acquired by Google (blogger) wouldn’t let you blog images from a mobile device. Also, I was writing updates without a QWERTY keypad. #firstworldproblem

What’s interesting is how I did self-portraits and pictures of my meals. By interesting, I mean, not-super-original. (I used to be one of those guys going bald who shave their head to overcompensate.)

When Twitter came out, I signed up as @mikev, did one status update and abandoned it because I was afraid I’d start doing as many as five updates a day. (If someone can help me get @mikev back, I’d be in love with you romantically forever.)  I did end up essentially live tweeting a night out alone in London (6 28 2003 range on the England photos).

So why now? These pre-tweets were missing from my site after I switched over to WordPress a few years ago and switched hosts.  I had an issue migrating the database.  Recently, I was looking for a picture of my cat jumping really high, and realized it was one of the old mini-updates (I think I used to call them moblogs, for mobile blogs–it’s embarrassing, I know. But I’m 80% sure I did it ironically). The fix seemed much more obvious to me so I put them all back online.

It’s fun going back to read them. For a while there, I felt like I was living in the future…

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Mike Vogel

Hi, I'm the Writer & Director of Transmedia, Feature Films, Original Series, and Fiction. Portland, Oregon

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