⚡ November 2, 2017
Journalers before Bloggers 📓
After much consideration and cutting and pasting, I’ve decided to repair rather than replace my old Perforated Lines daily journal site. Therefore, that link will now take you to a basic time capsule of the turn of the last century, literally. It’s a lot of fun, for me at least, to poke around and see what was going on back in the day. Back, way back, when the web was more handmade and certainly more trustworthy than it is today. Back then, as far as we knew, no hostile government was actively out to get us and our precious personal secrets. Back then, you would only get into trouble if you were looking for it in some dark alley of a listserv. Back then, there was no Facebook or Twitter and blogs and journals, just like VHS and Betamax, were competing for dominance.
Everyone has a personal map of the imaginary Neurolands created when first encountering the web. This page leads to a virtual museum of almost every journal that was active and performing from mid-1999 until the Twin Towers came down. I’ve thoughtfully subdivided the communities by various methods popular at the time and generously decorated the page with many animated gifs, as was the custom back then.
You may laugh at them now, but that’s all we had. Sure, there’s something unnerving about them when you come upon a page like this, created way back in 1999, and it’s still just as animated as it ever was, batteries never running down; always there. Still there. Most of the links, however, are defunct, but not all of them are. The Universal Thump is my tribute page of the best of the best when there were just 2,200 journals to choose from. Walk down memory lane and see if you can spot some of the writers you might be reading today. This is how they got started, competing like crazy back then within this little community of writers who had to learn some programming in order to get their journals online. Each journal on that page was unique and wonderful, and there were no advertisements or darkening screens or popovers and unders to monetize your visit. They were just there, writing great stories of true encounters with the everyday. I miss them.
We had our own conventions! We had proms! We had world-wide collaborations! And awards! Ironically, it was Ev Williams, the guy who invented Medium, who sort of ruined the serene little community of journalers when he invented Blogger, which allowed any Tom, Dick, or Harry to blog her teenage heart out without much of an entrance fee. My Democratic heart is conflicted, as you can imagine. But, it was a great time when it was an exclusive club, and if you know anyone from that era who is still around today, let me know.
For the record and as a blatant attempt to gain readers, I will be submitting this blog entry to Medium, in an ironic double helix of a twist. 🐔