There was always "why not?".

Rather consistently Boidem columns had an atmosphere of playfulness (or at least I hope they did). Yes, there were serious researchers out there dealing with existential questions of representation of self in cyberspace, or asking whether learning was desirable (or even possible) in a hypertextual environment, or examining the nature of community without face to face contact. Each of these, and more, were important issues that deserved intense study. But they were also "issues" that we were living through as they took shape, and rather than approach them with a microscope I preferred to approach them with a feather that attempted to tickle some meaning or significance out of them. At least some of that tickling was accomplished through the purposefully hypertextual nature of these columns. Often it was simply the asides that added color to what might otherwise have been a bland topic, but occasionally I succeeded in using the Boidem's linked structure in order to surreptitiously contradict a claim on the main column page on a less prominent internal page. Rather than reaching "conclusions" I sought to raise questions, and hypertext seemed a fitting medium for that.

Although it's certainly not something every writer desires, a very limited readership (my proverbial eight) may also have been a positive factor in the continued existence of the Boidem. Since to a large extent I was writing to myself I could allow myself to play around with issues and ideas without needing to reach some sort of definitive, or even substantiated, conclusions. I wrote what I wanted to write. Then again, that also meant that I kept writing as long as I still found topics worth writing about. Actually, it's fair to say that I didn't stop because I ran out of topics, but because other commitments demanded more and more of my time so that even though there were still topics that merited examination, as these topics seemed less and less novel, I gave in to an inevitable withering.

Go to: It was nineteen years ago today.