Oops! Thanks for all the wonderful welcoming comments. We've had rather a lot, and had to turn the comments off on the first blog. I can't answer them all, but I would point out one thing. I just played my part. I built on the work of others -- the Internet, invented 20 years before the web, by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn and colleagues, for example, and hypertext, a word coined by Ted Nelson for an idea of links which was already implemented in many non-networked systems. I just put these technologies together. And then, it all took off because of this amazing community of enthusiasts, who have done such incredible things with the technology, and are still advancing it in so many ways.
By the way, this blog is at DIG, the Decentralised Information group at MIT's CSAIL. I intend it to be geeky semantic web stuff mostly. For example, it won't be for W3C questions which should really be addressed to working groups.
So thanks for all the support, no need for more general 'thank you' comments! Thank *you* all.
In 1989 one of the main objectives of the WWW was to be a space for sharing information. It seemed evident that it should be a space in which anyone could be creative, to which anyone could contribute. The first browser was actually a browser/editor, which allowed one to edit any page, and save it back to the web if one had access rights.
Strangely enough, the web took off very much as a publishing medium, in which people edited offline. Bizarely, they were prepared to edit the funny angle brackets of HTML source, and didn't demand a what you see is what you get editor. WWW was soon full of lots of interesting stuff, but not a space for communal design, for discource through communal authorship.
Now in 2005, we have blogs and wikis, and the fact that they are so popular makes me feel I wasn't crazy to think people needed a creative space. In the mean time, I have had the luxury of having a web site which I have write access, and I've used tools like Amaya and Nvu which allow direct editing of web pages. With these, I haven't felt the urge to blog with blogging tools. Effectively my blog has been the Design Issues series of technical articles.
That said, it is nice to have a machine to the administrative work of handling the navigation bars and comment buttons and so on, and it is nice to edit in a mode in which you can to limited damage to the site. So I am going to try this blog thing using blog tools. So this is for all the people who have been saying I ought to have a blog.