Sunday, March 20, 2005

You Had To Be There = YHTBT

You know how people can get together and have a great time and have funny inside jokes -- I like to call them "wormhole jokes" sometimes -- like "wormholes" those weird things in outer space where you crawl in and travel a few lightyears into another dimension but it feels like it takes only a few seconds.

Anyway, when people have that kind of experience, they say, 'you had to be there' (YHTBT) and it's a reference to the kind of quick, immediate, silly, fun, intense communication you can have with someone in the moment and then it's hard to tell anyone else about. Hard to tell the people who weren't there what was so funny about it, or so right about it, or so insightful about it.

Blogging has a lot of YHTBT moments. Blogging has had a lot of YHTBT moments over time -- over the last three or four years -- and as new people come to blogging and you want to let them in on some of these things, it gets harder and harder to explain them to those new people.

Some of the weird cultural moments include the "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" thing and the "Stealth Disco" thing and the bloody Atom/RSS wars and all the events related to that long, drawn-out conflict. And then certain technological events like the MT pricing announcement, the launch of Technorati and Feedster, the arrival of Typepad, of Newsgator, and business events like Google buying Blogger, MT buying LiveJournal, and all these things. And the people things like where we all were on September 11, 2001 and the amazing blogging that day and Winer going to Harvard and Scoble going to Microsoft and Meg becoming a cook and Ray Ozzie starting a blog at Groove and the Dean Campaign blogging and the rise of all the political blogs and Andrew Sullivan going on vacation to the Cape and Weinberger going to China with his son and Rageboy putting Swan on his blogrooll and the many events at many conferences.

I know I'm leaving tons of things out, but for our "neighborhood" these are part of our memory scrapbook and make it harder and harder to say to new people, well, here's our history, our forefathers and foremothers, our inside jokes, our trials, our tribulations. It seems to defy description and is another reason you really have to take the time to READ blogs on a regular basis. And in the end, I guess it does come down to that difficult phrase, you just had to be there, but if you're here now, bravo for you, welcome and keep reading.