Hands up if you were into MySpace and personal blogs in the mid early 2000s! Well, I was. I was that low-cost emo kid in school that would use HTML and CSS to change their MySpace page (and that hobby is now paying bills so no complaining).
When I read the recent news that MySpace lost all their content I had an old memory coming back at me.
Back then, when I was using MySpace, you were able to set your “mood” - you may be familiar with that feature because Facebook also had (has?) something similar.
I did a little bit of searching and to my surprise, in 2007, someone did a blog post about MySpace moods that you can still read about today (because owning your own content is cool).
Setting your “mood” as a status wasn’t the main memory coming back. It was actually blogs and what teenagers were doing at the time. Back then, in MySpace you could create “notes” which were more or less like blog entries, and if I remember correctly, at the end of the post you would add something like “Mood, doing, listening, thinking”.
I don’t remember the “doing, listening and thinking” being particular form input fields but rather something that you would add optionally (and manually). The “mood” bit would have a specific set of emotions and emoticons to match. So “Mood, doing, thinking, listening” quickly took over and you could see forum threads with people sharing what was on their minds. I remember it being a trend that I picked up on also, but it quickly transferred to personal blogs.
I tried to find living examples of this but it was so hard. I tried different search engines but whenever I typed “Mood, doing, thinking, listening” almost all results were about mental health even if changed the dates around the results. I still had some urls memorised in my head so I used Wayback Machine and I looked up some blogs that I used to read and I found some real examples in the wild but sadly they do not have styling.
While searching for all this and to my rejoice I found a lovely PDF that talks about “Mood” and “Listening” being a common blog feature and I love it!
So because I am feeling nostalgic I’m going to bring “mood, doing, thinking, listening” back to my blog and be alone oversharing in 2019.
Choosing the emojis
I’ve decided to keep it simple and only add to the footer of the blog post this information. Unlike Livejournal, most personal blogs at the time wouldn't have a matching emoticon to their mood. But I want that. I don't have time to convert the old emoticons to svg (i'm not even sure if I could do that from a legal point view). I also remembered that the phpbb forums had a smiley pack available but the last thing I want is to do requests to mini gifs. But in case you're wondering, I did download the emoticons for the memories's sake.
But it is 2019 and emojis are free. Maybe one day when I am an artist I could add my own drawn emoticons to my emotions. But for now emojis will do. Or maybe, one day, when I am as cool as Aaron I will take it to the next level like he did on his website.
How many emotions do I have?
Not that many and while looking up the list of emotions that were available on My Space and Livejournal, I realised that I don't even know the meaning of some of those words. I tried to come up with own list and I can't lie, I struggled to deal with the negative words. I've been trying to tell my self to only share positive things and sometimes that isn't possible. My negative emotions exist but I think I prefer not having too many available and have a bigger variety of positive emotions.
The following match of emotion with emoji was mostly based on how I think my face looks like when I feel those emotions. I do realise that the name of the emotion and what the emoji is supposed to mean may not match.
Adding these to my blog
This is where I become insecure. I'm sure there's 1000 ways to build the same thing and they are all probably better than the one I've chosen. I don't use any content editor to write for this blog besides writting my own markup. So I didn't implement this by having a drop down that selects the emotion and adds to the post. I could, but I don't have time for that. I'm satisfied with adding it manually.
I searched in GitHub for anything related to Jekyll and Emojis and I did find a couple of things. None of them seem to be exactly what I was looking for (although I could be wrong) but I am not really sure of what I looking for anyway.
To build this I decided to make more use of the Front Matter and include a layout that will render if that information exists.
And that is it. I'm hoping to add more quirks to this blog and I think looking at the past isn't a bad idea. Back then we were far more expressive anyways.
P.S.: Always write and publish when you're happy. I've been having too many bad days in a row and that has stopped me from writing and publishing more. I can't take a nice day for granted. This small and not so important post was written in the end of March.
TIL: Front Matter accepts emojis.