Michael Jackson died five years ago today. At the time, I was on the staff of Artisticthings.com, in my first attempt at online writing. There wasn’t yet the ability to share posts online–or at least I never did it if there was–so every post that I wrote for them went out onto the internet and that was it.
What I learned from Michael Jackson’s passing was the value of having an online platform for when big events happened. Writing an internet post feels heftier, in some sense, than sending out a Facebook post or a tweet about a breaking story. The ability to really say something often takes much more than 140 characters.
I was near the end of my tenure with Artisticthings when Michael Jackson died, but I went back and found the short post that I wrote when it happened. I recognized the same tone that I’ve taken on many other occasions here: life is short, so enjoy it while you can. It was a progenitor for what I’ve said time and again in this space. In some ways, Michael Jackson’s death helped to shape my opinion of online writing, and helped to define a message that I have returned to again and again.
Although the past five years have gone by very quickly, his musical legacy has endured and always will. To borrow a phrase from ABBA, thank you for the music, Michael Jackson.