Kia Ora from Aotearoa
Auckland from the Harbour Bridge
Some 894 days ago, I sat down at a desk in a tiny room in a tiny apartment 18,353 kilometres from where I sit today and wrote my first post for the Metroblogging London. Metroblogging London was the first city outside the US to join what has become the world’s largest network of city focused blogs, a network that links over 700 contributing bloggers in 51 cities.
I had been writing my own blog in one form or another since the late ’90s and, if my memory serves me correctly, it was that which prompted Metroblogging’s co-creator Sean Bonner to ask me to head up the roll-out of the London site. Although I had written and contributed to a number of web sites before, the idea of city-centric blogging appealed to me and the following months saw a small band of us writing about living, working and playing in one of the world’s great cities.
A great deal has changed since those early days. With career changes, job relocations and other factors making it hard to meet the commitment required, the reins were passed to the infinitely more hip and groovy Ruby T and the London Metrobloggers while I slipped off into the distance. Somewhere between then and now came the decision to emigrate to New Zealand and I started a a separate blog to record the experience. Following a quick trip to New Zealand to get the lie of the land, the first half of 2005 was spent slowly completely dismantling our lives in London and preparing for emigration. Our last months in London were irrevocably changed by the devastating July 7th bombings. As with other bloggers involved in and affected by tragedies worldwide, the ‘citizen journalists’ of Metroblogging London blogged the immediate aftermath and the impact on the lives of Londoners in the weeks that followed.
Leaving London was strangely anti-climatic, leaving us slightly numb as we scudded across the Atlantic and US to a stopover in Los Angeles. It was in LA that blogging.la and Metroblogging came into being in November 2003. Not one to pass up an opportunity, I called Sean and arranged to meet him for an iced coffee at the historic Farmer’s Market. Sitting in the bright Californian sun, Sean and I discussed all sorts of things including blogging, art and punk rock but all the time he was working the angles on a hidden agenda – a MetroBlog city in New Zealand. Given I didn’t have a home, a car, a job or even permission to stay in New Zealand at that point, I pleaded that it wasn’t a priority for me but I would keep it in mind. Fifteen months later, with a resident’s visa, home and job in Auckland, I’ve run out of excuses.
Metroblogging is all about a global community of local voices – the characters, the faces, the sounds and the locations that define our place in the world. We’d love to hear from bloggers in and around Auckland who would like to play their part in capturing those characters, faces, sounds and locations for the world to enjoy.