My Story: From Georgetown Graduate Student To Tech Blogger

A common question I get from curious folks who find my blog is “What made you decide to start blogging?”. In an interview I did this week with my Alma Mater I did my best to answer that question

Steffan Antonas - Georgetown Communications Culture and technology CCT

Here’s an excerpt from the interview about how I got into blogging about technology, community and design:

A bit about my blog…

In my second year at CCT I wrote a thesis titled Gaming In Cyberspace: How Interactive Entertainment Is Changing Communication & Identity On The Net . Back then (2004) social media wasn’t really mainstream yet (Facebook was founded in Feb 2004, and our class at Georgetown wasn’t on it until late that year. Twitter didn’t even exist until 2006). For my thesis I did a lot of research on how people interact and communicate in virtual communities – I read a lot on network theory, interaction design and human behavior in digital mediums. I was super interested in this stuff, but back then it didn’t have much practical application because these kinds of virtual communities were so new. Though, I knew huge numbers of people were changing their behavior and gravitating to these communities and that this stuff was going to be big. Quite a few people at CCT thought that I was just a wee bit crazy.

Fast forward to February 2007. I was at a tech conference here in San Diego (O’Reilly’s E-Tech) and was introduced to Twitter. After just a few weeks being on the service, I had bumped into half of the authors that had written books that were the foundation for a few of our core classes at CCT. People like Howard Rheingold (Smart Mobs) and Steven B. Johnson (Interface Culture and Emergence). They all had blogs and were having daily conversations about the stuff I loved. So I started blogging publicly and joining in those conversations. Because I had studied a lot of this stuff at CCT for my thesis and in my courses, I was having great informed conversations with influential people in the tech world. I was having a ball.

I would never have had this access without the exposure to the authors and ideas I was exposed to at CCT. I’ve been having conversations about new media daily online (on blogs and on social media etc) ever since as a full time hobby and it’s opened a lot of doors. I have written for one of the top 10 blogs in the world, ReadWriteWeb, and I’ve been on WSRadio Internet radio here in San Diego several times (recently again last week as a guest host). This month I was nominated for InfluenceSD’s New Media Blogger of the year award (awards take place in April). I didnt plan any of this, it’s just sort of happened organically while I was writing about stuff that I like. Over the last year I’ve also turned the blogging and social media it into a part-time freelance business. I do social media marketing projects with companies and non profits in southern California, which keeps me busy and engaged on nights and weekends…

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The Last Time I Saw Dan Zaccagnino He Was Just Some 15 Year Old Who Wouldn’t Put His Guitar Down…

That was over a decade ago. I was one of 7 senior proctors who lived in Memorial House at Choate in 97-98′. Dan was a freshman who we were lucky enough to have in the house. I haven’t seen him since I graduated that year. This morning I caught a clip of him on the Colbert Report talking about the company he co-founded, Indabamusic. You might have heard of it. They’ve built a global community of over 125,000 musicians in 170+ countries. Incredible. So that’s what you’ve been up to, Dan. A very humble hat tip to you…

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