In 2001 I discovered my first weblog. I had been hired to teach a group of marketing folks how to use Flash. Why people who work in marketing needed to use flash was beyond me, but I didn’t care. I was desperate to find some sort of work that would enable me to break out of the restaurant biz. The guy who was orienting me, Mike Lee, showed me his weblog. I was immediately hooked. It brought the internet into a new context - I started to see it as a place for individual publishing.
Alas, my escape from the restaurant life did not turn out to be through web stuff. Instead I chose nursing. In 2004 I was finishing up nursing school and started to poke around to see if there were any nurses who wrote blogs. That’s when I found codeblog and Head Nurse (Brain on the top, spine down the back!) For my critical care clinical I was assigned to keep a journal. I decided to make mine a weblog.
I knew there was a thing called typepad but I never really got around to figuring it out. I was busy with clinical rotations, exams, and I still worked in a restaurant on weekends. So the night before my journal was due, I took all my scrawly, hand written notes (the “journal” of my clinical care rotation), and converted them into text. Then I made a little site in HTML. The sidebar had a list of all the dates of all my clinical shifts in the MICU, and when you clicked on each one it went to the page detailing that day - my patient’s diagnosis, treatments, my personal reaction to the experience and of course -hyperlinks!- in case you didn’t know what sarcoidosis or BOOP was. I also had some sort of navigation enabling you to page through the clinical dates.
I then uploaded the files to my server space on AOL(!), and sent the link to my critical care professor. I also made a CD of the files because you never knew when the internet would go all wonky on you in 2004.
I arrived at class the next morning, and there was my site, up on the projector screen. My professor was impressed, and excited to show the class. For me it turned out to be the difference between an A and a B, so that was cool. Plus it's always fun to show people what you made. What really surprised me was later that day, in a different class, I came across another professor showing the site to her class. “And look at this - you can click on the link and it shows you more information!!!” She seemed genuinely delighted to discover the concept of hyperlinks. And really - who wouldn’t be?
And then a few months later my nursing blog was born.