Modulate this just turned 5. Woot! In thinking about it, that’s a long time in “internet years” and it’s causing me to become a bit introspective.
Before I say anything else, I wanted to thank the loyal and growing number of readers and subscribers who take the time to read and comment. A special thanks to other artists and technologists who’ve agreed to be interviewed and or shared insights and/or supported the blog by allowing me to use your pictures in posts. Last but not least, all the other bloggers and Twitter folks out there who also believe this is not a zero-sum game and who embrace cooperating, sharing, reblogging, and RTing.
I wanted to thank the writer and actor Wil Wheaton. What does Wil Wheaton have to do with this blog you ask? If it wasn’t for Wil there may not have been a Modulate This! Here is the story.
I don’t know Wil Wheaton personally. Never met him. But back in the early 2000s I was working for a large PC Manufacturer and was leading research on using the internet to solve some business problems. I became fascinated with the internet as a publishing medium for the masses and started to think about how I might contribute. As blogging emerged, it didn’t take me long to find Wil Wheaton’s blog as he was an early pioneer. At the time his blog was called Wil Wheaton dot NET and now it’s called WWdN: In Exile.
I knew Wil’s work from Star Trek and was drawn into his candid posts about growing up as a child actor, being a geek, being a video game fanatic, the creative process, his transition from actor to writer, and now his “insider” view of getting back into acting. I was inspired by how he jumped into the deep end of the blogging pool and helped grow and influence blogging. In case you're not familiar with Wil's blog, this excerpt from his about page explains it nicely.
While most celebrities are happy to let publicists design and maintain their websites, Wil took a decidedly different turn when he started blogging in 2001. He designed, coded, and maintained WWdN entirely on his own, until he "blew up" his sites' database in 2005 and moved his blog to the TypePad service. In 2003, Forbes.com readers voted WWdN the “Best Celebrity Weblog.” Wil's blog was chosen by C|Net for inclusion in their 100 most influential blogs, and is an "A" lister, according to Blogebrity.com. In the 2002 weblog awards (the bloggies) Wil won every category in which he was nominated, including “Weblog of the year.” In 2007, Wil was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Bloggie, alongside Internet powerhouses Slashdot and Fark. In the 2008 weblog awards, Wil was voted the "Best Celebrity Blogger," and in 2009 Forbes named him the 14th most influential web celebrity. This is all amusing to Wil, who doesn't think of himself as a celebrity, but is instead, "just this guy, you know?"
So, in 2005 when I was considering ways to use the internet to give back to the electronic music community and as a way to connect with other artists, Wil’s blog inspired me to take the plunge into blogging. I was also influenced by his technology choices. I went with Typepad, and feedburner very early on – and I still use them today.
In general I feel he blazed a path for all of us bloggers and continues to show us how to use this communications form well to connect, engage, and grow communities around ideas. I also learned a lot by watching him blend technologies on his blog to create a unified solution.
Through Modulate This I’ve been able to create and share ideas. Modulate This has also let me meet and connect with other artists and those passionate about electronic music technology who I would have never met otherwise. And now my art is better for it and my life is richer.
For me, this year was special in that I’ve started getting emails from others who tell me I’ve inspired them to start their own blogs or to get out there and share their ideas on twitter, or to finish their album, or to post a track, or go to a meetup and connect with others – so it’s come full circle and that is very gratifying.
All that being said, I just wanted personally thank you Wil Wheaton for inspiring me to start Modulate This! If I ever meet you in person, I owe you big time – and we can start with me buying you a beer. If this happens, I will of course blog about it :^).