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

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web life

I first surfed the web in December 1993 and had a page up by January 1994.

When I first discovered the web I was very excited by the tremendous amounts of information. I surfed the web far and wide in them early days, and I kept a log, of sorts. I learned a lot from the early web - the web gave me some big ideas about the future of civilization and stuff. Kind folks who visited my site early on responded well to my writing, so I started posting poems and short stories. Then, I started posting stories about my life; context for the rest of the content. That part of my site grew to be the most involving and perhaps engaging.

After hosting that page at Swarthmore for some time, I moved out to San Francisco to work with professional web sites. All those folks I worked with and partied with definitely had an influence on me.

brainstormer One of the first people I met was Jonathan who offered me an incredible place to stay at Cyborganic. I went to work at at Hotwired, where I met Howard.

biancaThau Bianca, they were from Chicago, as I was, but I didn't get to meet them until we were both trying to find ourselves a place as web lovers in a professional new media world. Where I was a lone traveller on the web, they hosted a rowdy pub.

Watching my old friend GK work on the web has been inspiring, first the garrett county journal, and then the GC Press.

Joey Sucks I went to a Wired Anniversary Party where I spent a lot of time talking to these two black-clad degenerates, Carl and Joey from the website Suck. That was in 1996 - I felt very inspired by the potential of the internet to free ordinary writers from the shakles of professional conduct - they were excited to create a brand by the seat of their pants and make money and earn fame by selling out to a bigger brand. It was eye-opening for me to meet that mindset, and it left scars - that night they goaded me into updating the front page daily, which I had been doing sorta, but now I kept things more vibrant up front, until my hands broke.

At some point my excited rhetoric about web potential caught up with me, and I travelled across America by bus to stay with other web folks and teach people how to do basic HTML and site building. That was a wild eye-opener; I learned a lot about human nature and I learned that the web isn't going to help broke people very much.

This guy Doug Block decided I was an interesting internet specimen and decided to follow me with a camera. Accordingly, some of that footage ended up in his documentary on personal web page making called "Home Page."

abbe designed Somewhere in there, I worked for another internet startup, "the first community portal" or something - history might say. electric minds, where I worked with abbe, and vjim, some web thinkers.

I've been pretty crotchety in my time about the importance of the web as a medium for text more than pictures; I wrote about David Siegel and his High Five awards in that light.

A lot of stuff has come online since I was first poking around - a lot of businesses especially. I did some thinking about the growth of the web a few years down the road.

f e e d feed ers

I went to a ZDhoo! party in January '96.

As the web became a commercial phenomenon, I was invited to provide standup digital culture insight, mostly in Scandinavia.

I worked talking about the web on TV for ZDTV, then they had to de-affiliate because my site was too mature.

In 1994, I registered the domain because I was a big pot smoker. Then in 1998, I finally started using it for regularly updated content: - continuing the collection of luscious links in conjunction with other talented surfers and friends.

In 1999 I worked for a commercial web site about games. They wanted to be a "portal" which meant "everything to everyone" so it was a nice chance to be a generalist and study in the field of games broadly.

I was asked to be a judge for the Webbies two years, I went to the Webby event/party the second of those, in 2001.

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justin hall | <justin at bud dot com>