A few weeks ago, while changing around my passwords, I found something I almost completely forgot about. Around 2013 I was doing my Bachelor degree in Rome and, inspired by a friend of mine, I opened a blog on WordPress, using a nickname instead of my real name. I wrote something like four or five posts and then I abandoned it, but I remember that a lot of effort went into it and I liked what I was doing.
Tbh, I have no idea how it was not taken down by WordPress after 10 years of inactivity, but I was happy to have the chance to sort of glance into the past me. It was revealing to look at what I was writing and how.
The first thing that I noticed was my naiveness (this is not completely gone to be honest). I am not considering it a negative thing, but I chuckled at some of my statements that were clearly drawn from inexperience and ingenuity. To mention one, I thought academics were being paid for their published paper. THE IRONY.
Another thing that was immediately evident was the writing tone. I was at my third year of university and in Italy students (at least in archaeology courses) don't get too much writing exercise. This, I think, was reflected in a less pompous writing style, which reading it now, felt more personal and diary-like. I was not writing for anyone else, I was writing for myself, and I was (kind of) talking to myself. I was not worried of getting everything right, and even if I was making some (now) clear missteps, it did not discourage me from posting. I was writing in Italian, so maybe this is influencing my perspective on how it sounded, but when I see my current writing, I kind of feel like I might loosen up a little bit sometimes. All these thoughts eventually made me also think about how I was using this blog, and I decided that I will try to bring back that feeling a bit, if I can.
It was also a very good feeling to see that I am still invested in some of the things that I cared about a lot. In particular, back in 2013 I was already talking about freedom of access to knowledge, a topic that is among the dearest to me. I like that, even if a lot has changed through the years, some core principles are still there.
Interactions were limited, and actually we were me and my friend commenting each other's posts (even if he was clearly ahead of me with at least two other commenters, lol). However, everything felt more contained, more "intimate". I guess it was a good feeling at the time, and as many others have talked about, the web has now gone to shit recently and has turned in an ads-based performative nightmare platform.