Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

Forging Culture

27 april, 1995

Don't wait for anyone to recognize your talent

do what you love, and do it online.

I grew up a voracious reader. As I read, I burned to be writer. But I sought approval before I created. I didn't realize that to be a writer, I just had to write. Somehow, I thought an agent and a book publisher came first. A contract with Time magazine, sanction from the big boys. I thought that everyone who had anything to say was published, simply because I'd never been told otherwise.
When I was 19, I began publishing on the web. Because it was fun, because I could, because I wanted to. I didn't have permission from anyone, I wasn't trying to carve myself a digital niche. A year later, I find guys with suits and too much money asking me about "content providing" and "youth culture" - like I've found the philosopher's stone of netgeist.

What are you when you compose your e-mail? your web page? your own graphics?

You too are a digital artist! You are among the digital elite!

Publish yourself. Publish your friends. Digital culture sucks when everyone's hanging around looking for the latest pop culture trend before it hits, so they can put their name on it, invest, and cash in. Forget it - invest in yourself. Tell stories, and worry about the next trend when you're on the toilet.
Good stories, good art - these make good web pages. Not money, not hot systems, not big hired guns. People are naturally funny. Give them a chance to be so, and they will.

Go out into your neighborhood and do a video documentary! Stage a play on a streetcorner! Strike up a conversation! Read a poem on a train!

Then, write about it on your web page.

Remember the first time you had sex? How strange that was?
Write about it. Put it online.

Remember the first time you were dumped? How shitty that was?
Write about it. Put it online.

I'd sooner read that than Barry Diller's five means of media ascension.

Culture doesn't come from Warner Brothers and Sony. Culture is that woman friend of yours who tells the most outrageous stories.

Culture doesn't cost big bucks, and hang in a gallery of modern art. Culture is your friend who likes to draw. is a popular newsgroup - because people like reading stories about other people's sex. Tell your own, and readers will come.

People responding to your work is the highest form of praise. You can get that on the net for $20 a month - you don't need a donation from Silicon Graphics.

If you don't write, or create something, you should. It's human. After a while, getting by ain't shit.

If you write, or create something, please share.

How will you be paid? I'll send you a story in return.

This is culture people - unbound, unabridged, unedited, unpackaged, unfiltered. This is people culture - fresh, alive, un-self-conscious, hype-free.

Beware anything that tells you what it is. That is marketing.

Things should just be. Critics can talk about them. If you are talking about what you are doing, you aren't doing it.

Let's not pay other people to tell us what's the best we can do. Do it, and share. We'll make a culture to be celebrated.

personal publishing | technologee writings

justin's links by justin hall: contact