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Thursday, January 8, 2004

Arbitrary birthday.

Three hundred sixty-five days ago today, I clicked "publish" for the first time on and Philocrites was born. Happy birthday to me!

Except that, well, I launched in October 2002. And before that, you could find my sermons, hymns, and essays at, where I had set up shop not long after graduating from Divinity School back in 2000. But the name is even older: I picked my Greek moniker sometime in the late 1990s when I needed a free e-mail address at Yahoo! So many birthdays for my virtual self.

So how long have I been "blogging"? Indulge my nostalgia: Shortly after 9/11, like so many other people, I started updating a file of links to articles about the terrorist attacks and the aftermath. Every now and then, I'd try drawing friends' attention to the links. They quietly ignored me. For much of 2002, I was keeping a blog the old-fashioned way, tinkering with HTML and trying to keep my list of links current. (The New York Times Co. brought the whole project crashing down when they finally blocked links to archived articles, and I've retired the list.) If I had ten readers, I'd be amazed, but I learned a lot. And I realized that a few of the things I had written to Unitarian Universalist e-mail lists over the years had turned up on other Web sites, and I started to think that gathering them in one place and giving them a slightly more public face might be a good way to promote some of the perspectives I'd like to see flourish within the UUA. Which is how my "liberal religion and politics" focus developed.

I learned about blogs from Dan Kennedy and Josh Marshall, and followed my colleague Kenneth Sutton's lead in setting up a blog using Blogger. (He's now using Typepad, and thanks to the generous assistance of a much more technologically sophisticated reader, I made the switch to Movable Type in September.) My first post using Blogger was about North Korea.

The first Unitarian Universalist bloggers I discovered are noted in this entry on an obsolete version of my scrapbook blog (the last vestige of ol' Blogger). Finding other Unitarian Universalist bloggers was one of my primary goals; discovering a broader community of liberal and progressive religion bloggers has been the happiest surprise of the past year.

And yes, the site has been blue and orange since the dawn of time. Thanks, no doubt, to the memorable color of my hair, I won a high school student council election with the slogan, "Vote Orange." A motto to live by.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 8 January 2004 at 6:11 PM

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January 9, 2004 03:06 PM | Permalink for this comment

Happy birthday, Philocrites!

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