Sunday, December 19, 2004

Megajesus '94: Before there were blogs

I first came online in 1994. There were no blogs. And I was not called Anonymoses. I was called Megajesus. It was the birth of the Age of Exuberance.

Now I am reviving a blog, just for the purpose of archiving those early, heady days of the pre-blog web. Please don't take offence at the name. It was in my youth. Anonymoses is slightly less presumptuous.

There is not much up yet, and what is up will need editing. So far I have only posted stuff from 2001. May and June, to be exact. And it was simply my half of messageboard discussions. A little hard to follow, in retrospect, but somewhat reflective of the times.

It was fun to see Bill Gates and company, in '95, scrambling to catch up with the rest of us netheads, who had already realized where the future was heading. For years, I personally put in 12-19 hours per day, every day, building what would become the web as we know it. My specialty was content, and I had what Net Guide called a gargantuan website, giving me 5-stars for my edifice. Most people, at the time, only had one or two pages, and I had a network of 40+. Crazy stuff like "NAA: Nicotine Addicts Anonymous"...which I created to counter the lunacy of the Tobacco Company execs who all claimed it wasn't addictive. We now know better.

In lieu of blogs, writerly types would cloister around writer's groups, chatrooms, forums, messageboards and such. Most websites were gray with only an HR
or BLINK to give it nuance. The hyperlinks, of course, were the crux of the biscuit, though. W3 should still have a decent history of the WWW page, for those interested.

An early test of the power of the web came when I saw, online, that Oklahoma City had witnessed a bombing. Only later did it appear on TV or radio. Quite fortuitously, I had been researching a BATF messageboard, where a lot of nutcases would gather and talk about explosives and getting back at the government, and other nonsense. It was ghastly what some of these people were plotting, and I figured, after OKC, I would find McVeigh's footprints all over the place. There were many potential McVeighs...but after that fateful April day, most flew from the site, and probably wished they had never appeared there in the first place.

This was before talking points and easy spell check, and so the basic stupidity of these angry young men was easy to discern. They have since learned to copy and paste, and use spell check. The stupidity is still there, under the surface.

Anyway, I hope to be able, over the months, to recreate at least some of the gestalt of that creative time.

Now go eat....