Old timers will recall that Forward Retreat was once a blog proper: forwardretreat.com, real domain name and all. Near daily posts, comment wars— nothing too crazy in terms of the numbers, but nevertheless a good collegiate effort all around. One day in 2005, a solid three years after launching the site, I simply nixed the thing. I had backed up my posts, but not in earnest; some still lie dormant, buried deep within my hard drive. Some are long gone. And though there was nothing romantic or ceremonial about their deletion, the act was still perversely cathartic. It was fueled by the particular sort of endorphin rush one feels when exercising agency over the thing one has made by and for one’s very own self.
Committing “blogger suicide” is a highly counterintuitive act— a foolish one even, as Google is now a (if not the) hiring tool of choice. (In my case it turned out to be an ironic one, too, given that I now blog for my supper.) Forward Retreat (2.0) doesn’t have a long archive in its sidebar, the badge of honor— of temporal proof— for those pundits who began baring their souls to the World Wide Web long before “blog” was tossed about in the common vernacular. Forward Retreat, in its original form, is a memory in the minds of few.
Blogging— especially of the sort I do for Curbed SF— is (in part) about planned obsolescence. Each day’s content is buried by the next, not unlike life itself: time marches forward, and the past only recedes further and further behind. This movement— post, archive, delete— proves a fitting metaphor for the turning over of a new year, I do think.