20th Anniversary of my First Blog Post

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Looking back on 2 decades of being an old school web guy and obnoxious jackass…

“Whuzzup” Created. “Free Stuff” created. “Avon Order” demo created. Website receives RSACi rating. URL added to AOL Netfind, Lycos, Yahoo!, HotBot, and Alta Vista. “Non-frames” version of Erox Graphix created for browsers that cannot view frames.(Originally published in XOOM)
~ April 15, 1998


That was my first ever blog post made 20 years ago in April, 2008.

Kinda.

Sorta.

My EroxGraphix site on XoomWell EricBrooks.Com didn’t exist until July of 1999. Blogger.com didn’t exist until that year either. Heck it wasn’t even my original EroxGraphix site (long since become a p0rn site… don’t go there. I posted a link to the Wayback Machine.). It was on a free site named Xoom. Like most old schoolers, we practiced on a site like that, or Geocities, or Angelfire before we felt we can move up to the “Big Leagues” and get a “real site”.

And like most Webmasters of those days, we made a “What’s New?” page just to keep our (virtually non-existent) visitors updated to new features we added to the site. Eventually we also promoted other web friends, injected our political opinions, talked about recent national news…

The weblog was inevitable.

Many of us saw what WebGod and pioneer Jeffrey Zeldman did: Posting daily, talking about others, drawing in a HUGE FOLLOWING… so we stepped up with our “What’s New” pages.

One weekend in 1998, the family made a trip to Queens, NY from the Poconos and I wanted to post updates remotely (back then, you’d write the web page and FTP’d it up). So I took Matt Wright’s Guestbook script (we all had that and his FormMail script.), and hacked it to post entries on a page.

Still, before weblogs existed.

So, fast forward to the early 200’s. With blogging becoming a full-blown thing all the cool kids were doing as we hung out on MetaFilter, I fought the term “blogger” for at least two years. Blogs were boring. People talked about going to the store and buying kale and assembling IKEA furniture. WTF? I am trying to entertain people and they are wasting some poor schmuck’s bandwidth with mundane details of their lives.

My stuff was special.
I’m special.
My mom said so.

DRAMA = AN AUDIENCE. WHO KNEW?Drama brings an audience to your blog every night... who knew?
"No Such Thing As Bad Press" and all that stuff…

Recently, I was optimizing my site, going over old posts and I realized… HOLY SHIT, I WAS A PRICK!!!! I was looking at it all from an outsider’s point of view, and wondered what the hell was going on in my head at the time. I kind of thought of myself as some kind of “Internet Superhero” who would defend the little guy and use my influence to make change… but man, was I overbearing.

No wonder why I hate Social Justice Warriors so much. I was just like them.

Poor Joe Jenett of Coolstop. I missed his email politely letting me down from inclusion in one of his projects, so I got the impression he was a cruel snob, and launched an electronic Jihad on him for years.

Man I am so sorry, dude! (uhm… well, the time where I rigged a bot to keep voting us as “blog twins” was pretty funny though.). 😀

Blog Twins...

It was around that time I caught the attention of Faith from ctrl-alt-ego.
A tough no-nonsense lawyer from New York.

Two loudmouths from New York… this ought to be interesting. We traded barbs almost nightly, and people had to come back and forth to read the latest. After the September 11th 2001 attacks, we both sort of formed an unspoken truce. But we kept the feud going for appearances sake. We sent emails laughing at our jabs.She was also a key ally in helping me get my kids back and getting CPS off my family’s back after a grueling 3 year battle of bullshit with them. I will always be grateful for that.

Dialup and 14K modems... aka the stone age.Dialup and 14K modems… aka the stone age.
Yeah the good old days where people made Javascript popups for no reason, posted rainbow unicorns (which made a big comeback on MySpace a few years later). Learned HTML without any schooling and some did quite well for themselves freelancing after honing their skills on Angelfire and GeoCities. People editing their web pages in Microsoft FrontPage and uploading it with WS FTP Uploader… The LinkExchange banners and counters… it was a totally different landscape in 1998.

A hoax involving a fake girl dying of leukemia also humbled the hell out of me and taught me to listen instead of running my big mouth. (I still hear about that to this day despite apologizing twice in the MetaFilter thread.) You know what, though? I deserved it. It made me a better person.

I was an asshole on the internet, and all I got was this Urban Dictionary entry to show for it. No Encyclopedia Dramatica. No Wikipedia. Nothing.

Ah well, at least somebody remembered me… Thanks, Mike. 🙂



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So, what was the web like when you started? How has it changed?


Eric Brooks

Old school webguy who started out in the 1990's on free sites, then moved to the "Big Leagues" with Erox Graphix and EricBrooks.Com in the late 90's. Kinda wishes he had kept his "Problem Adults" site and turned that into a social media site 10 years ago though... "Grampa, tell us about the days you made sites with Microsoft FrontPage and WSFTP and got excited when AOL declared 'YOU'VE GOT MAIL!'..."

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About Eric Brooks

Old school webguy who started out in the 1990's on free sites, then moved to the "Big Leagues" with Erox Graphix and EricBrooks.Com in the late 90's. Kinda wishes he had kept his "Problem Adults" site and turned that into a social media site 10 years ago though... "Grampa, tell us about the days you made sites with Microsoft FrontPage and WSFTP and got excited when AOL declared 'YOU'VE GOT MAIL!'..."
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