Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Complete -- if abbreviated -- eStory of my eLife

The first thing I did when I got a computer with an Internet connection at home was surf to Art Bell's website to see pictures that were, at the time, realistic and frightening evidence of alien beings. Now of course they would be much less realistic than the oralse.cx kitty being chased by a Japanese turd. If you don't get those references, don't worry about it, you're the one who's all right. That same first night of cyber life -- when mom finally went to bed -- I went straight to Hustler.com and gawked for literally hours at tiny thumbnails of partially obscured genitalia, having no idea of the high-res hardcore awaiting me in the years to come. I got sick of Yahoo! Chat about as quickly as I discovered it, and within a few months of getting online I had a weblog.

The world was a different place back then, you have to remember. This was 1996, which is the year that we caught the cunning Unabomber taking a dump in the woods, Tupac totally didn't die at all, and nobody knew what the fuck a weblog was. There had been 'blogs online for years by then, but they numbered in the tens rather than the tens of thousands that they do today. My first webpage was on Tripod and it didn't have a name -- all I actually remember is that it had an ugly background texture, and flaming bars to separate content. Next was PimpChimp, a result of all the good names being taken, which was a garish orange page with a shit-load of animated gifs and hi-larious pictures, but really wasn't all that bad when I think of it now. After that, things got a little bit weird(er).

It's 1998 by now, and I've just discovered a different kind of weblog at steakandcheese.com, which today is an awful porn ad bought out by a bigger and less interesting site, but back then was a unique hybrid of simple weblog entries, and files collected from the whole of the Interweb -- like PimpChimp. The only trouble with this concept is that it suddenly takes the site away from the realm of a cute little project to work on, and thrusts it out into the competitive and absolutely baffling world of ego-maniacal, traffic-hungry scenesters who would label themselves "E/N," for Everything/Nothing. How could I have known that I would soon be crowned as their queen?

Amanda was my name when I opened my first E/N Site. I didn't do so well as a boy and figured it was mostly because I wasn't very interesting at all. However, completely mundane boy tasks are some of the most exciting things ever written when you tell everybody that a female was behind them. A Man, Duh; my writing under her name was probably often offensively sexist, but that very fact made me a wholly convincing lesbian to my readers. As far as I can remember, Amanda was behind at least thirteen domain names, and validatethis.com was by far the most popular. By 2001 I was the undisputed top dog in the E/N community, with soaring traffic complete with bandwidth that I could never afford, and for a moment a sub-culture and genre of sites seemingly devoted entirely to debating or philosophizing about me. One Internet Gossip site had a private investigator stalk me and -- being that he wasn't particularly skilled -- he announced as a point of fact that I was a female, because he had found my sister before me. This did wondrous things for my popularity of course, but my popularity did terrible things to my creativity, so I took the site, and persona, behind the barn to be shot.

I tried to rejuvenate the site without a persona, and it was actually doing better than it had for the past year or so, but I simply didn't have the time for all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a successful website, so I took it down again. Since then the writer in me has survived by LiveJournal, which I can't much stand because of the limitations to interface and format, and that's why I'm here now with my very first Blogger. The mere fact that a page resides under a domain with the word "journal" in it feels, to me, like an excuse to post absolute garbage because there shouldn't be any expectations from something like a journal. Maybe using Blogger means that I'll get back into my old style of more prolific and topical writings, but if you know me online then you probably suspect as I do that it's just another needless change for the sake of having something be different. Oh well, here it is; there ain't a whole lot I can do about it at this point.

This is far from a full account of my time on the Internet, but it's a decent summary and I doubt if anybody actually cares for the long-winded version. I would, though, like to be a little bit cheesy and just thank the few people who really did help me out along the way. First of all there is Kap from the old steakandcheese.com who was a great and loyal mentor, and source of traffic. Stile, who despite being a filthy rich pornographer and King of the Web, gave me the time of day as an upstart and helped me greatly early on. Samn who showed me and everybody else a different kind of funny, and on a personal level inspired me to go beyond the words and dive into the world of coding. Bertie for being an actual lesbian with at least the integrity and twice the intelligence of my character. And of course the most important person in all of my experience these past six years, the one and only Joey Michaels, who would step in and take care of my sites when I was bored with them, providing an impressive portion and some of the best of the content the site ever saw, and staying absolutely loyal as both a colleague and friend. Thanks.

::hugznluv:: okay? May all sheep please return to the flock. Here we go again.

15 Comments:

Blogger Raya said...

Yeah, being a lesbian was the coolest thing since sliced bread until Mary Cheney got all famous....

11:45 PM  
Blogger holy said...

jerk

5:31 AM  
Blogger J. Michaels said...

Holy crap! Holy! I am beside myself!

My favorite part if how IG proved you were a woman.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Christoph said...

Oh, holy! Joey would post some masterwork every five minutes and I had to beg you all week for a contribution, and I guess that's why I left you out. You're probably the most loved person who ever came by the site though, either you or Joey but I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. You contributed a lot through that simple fact, with your personality and the dynamic it brought to the site, and I am certainly very thankful of that, I probably shouldn't have left you out. I wanted to thank the people though who changed the way I wrote and the way I thought about the Internet; while you might not have done either of those things, you were everybody's favorite, including mine, and I would say as notable a force as Joey was in VT's legacy. So yeah, thanks.

5:49 PM  
Blogger holy said...

I wasn't looking for recognition but merely enjoying the opportunity to call you a jerk, dink or fag as opposed to slut, bitch or whore. Regardless, I appreciate the acknowledgment.


Viva la whore!

9:19 PM  
Blogger Christoph said...

Spelsey Grammar, Editore O'Frustratle, Omeany bin Poop!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weird, I haven’t hit this address in what seems like years. I had a crappy little site back around your peak of popularity called Sexual Frustration. You were always very nice to me... although I thought you were a women at the time. I think I was about 17. I got rid of my site and wrote for that guy on thissitegotmelaid.com. Remember that one? I was Dirk and everyone thought I was a made up personality that the owner of the site would write under... I can't remember his name. Then there was something with blackmail and he shut down the site one day because of it, unless that was all bullshit. I never knew what the fuck was real… I was pretty young.

Anyway, Validate This and "Amanda" always provided me with something to read. I always enjoyed it, so thanks.

PS all the old sites suck at life now. I haven’t been to any in a while but last I remember they were just porn sites with no content. iwangf or some shit and all of those. I also can't believe how often they say the word "blog" on MSNBC now.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yeah, it had been a couple weeks, I was wondering when something was going to change. I'll be reading, as always. If I wanted to be really unoriginal, this would be the part where I include closing tags with the words "ass kissing" or something to that effect.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dexter/johndude here. I always thought holy was the funniest internet personality out there. Joey writes great, but is way too mature to be as revered as holy. Palses4life? I still can't believe I fell for that. Someone remember how that was spelled and spell it for me. Chrismcamanda? Thanks for the explanation. Am I really publishing my comment?

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand nothing, but thanks for all the lesbians.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Holy was here!?

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is holy at?

7:07 PM  
Blogger reanon said...

i always wanted confirmation you were in fact a guy. many years later, i finally get it.
man you were annoying on AIM. i didn't have the heart to block you, but you used to shit me off something cronic. hahaha

i swear there were photos of "you" floating around at some point. who was that girl?

cheers
livian
www.muntedmess.com

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

riders hypothesis updatesnew industryto foster screenshot ninestream medieval movie nationally classify
lolikneri havaqatsu

1:54 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I second Livian's comment... Who was that girl?

Wow, we were all pretty young and naive back then. Or maybe it was just me. :-/

xtacy.org

12:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home