My Internet Firsts: A Weird Adventure Through My Internet Beginnings

AOL Instant Messenger, Geocities, chat rooms… Don’t lie, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Well folks, put down your Tamagotchis and lend an ear, because tonight, I’ve just been remembering all the weird stuff I used to make and do on the Internet.

My first AIM Usernames

AIM was a huge part of my day to day at one point. It was what you used to send awkward messages to your middle school crush, find out what all your friends were doing instead of their homework, and of course, you got to pick an amazing and personal username… a true reflection of yourself. Here are some of the winners from my younger days.

  • CartoonSpaz: This was my very first username. I really loved cartoons (My favorites were Rocko’s Modern Life, As Told By Ginger, and The Angry Beavers) and also fancied myself a bit of an unusual person. My English teacher once told me that I “march to the beat of my own drummer” and I really appreciated that. Unless it meant I was tone deaf or something.
  • lenore

  • LilDeadLenore: Would you believe I was a goth girl? Yeah. Some things never change. I loved Lenore, the comic series by Roman Dirge, about the adventures of a cute little dead girl. Lenore was my idol! Adorable, funny, homocidal, and dead! Check out Roman Dirge’s website here.
  • AkoUtena: My friends and I really loved Japanese, because we were huge anime fans. I had a friend who had put Ako in her screen name, and when I asked her what it meant, I found out it was “child.” I adopted it into my name, and combined it with my favorite anime character, Utena. So, you have: Child Utena. I loved the story of Utena’s tragic childhood, where she suddenly became an orphan, but was rescued by a prince and thus decided to become a prince herself. I always wanted to be a prince.
  • SushiBugs: Once I hit college, I got on a sushi kick. And I also liked bugs. You know, like insects. I really have no better explanation for this one.

rocketts-new-school

My first PC Game: Rockett’s New School

I talked about it before on my blog and I’ll talk about it again. This game was a total obsession of mine! I saw myself in the main character, Rockett – an artist and a girl who had to learn how to fit in at a new school at a weird time in her life. As a military brat, I moved every 3 years during my childhood. I wouldn’t change it for the world, (I did get to live in Ethiopia and Japan all before I was 14 years old) but it did come with some struggles. This game was relatable and immersive for me as a girl. I was really sucked into the characters, and their story lines in the games.

utenaanthy

My first website: Project Marionette

Around age 16, I decided the AIM username wasn’t enough. I needed to get serious about my web presence, whatever that was. I had no real concept of branding, nor did I really know the purpose of a blog, so I went with what I did know: anime. I scoured the net for the most beautiful anime art I could find, and I would theme my website after that. Usually Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Sailor Moon, Fushigi Yuugi, Card Captor Sakura, Pokemon, Ah my Goddess, or Chobits. I’d use MS Paint to manually slice tables and assemble my ancient HTML websites that was. I just loved being a little code monkey.

My first website was ProjectMarionette.com. I was in this weird angsty teen phase where I felt controlled by the SYSTEM and by ADULTS (ANARCHY!!!1!) so, I liked the word marionette. Marionettes were also beautiful dolls, elegant and creepy. It represented all that weird emo stuff I was going through. Teenagers, right?

pixelpetsOn these sites, I would struggle constantly for content, and the “blog entries” were never anymore than “Hi, it’s me again! Just a little note to say howdy doo!” For me, the thrill of the website was my little collection of pixel pets, taking personality quizzes to better find out who I was (because those things totally work…), and listing out my favorite things like colors, movies, TV shows, smells, food, music, etc. Productive, no?

webring

Often times on these websites, you could join online rings. Who knew what the heck the point of that was. I guess it was just a way to get people to find your site by cycling through the sites on the ring. Yeah, I was in a few of them. Mostly anime, cute, or kawaii ones. Totally inter-cool.

furcadia

My first MMORPG: Furcadia

kattahead (1)Yeah, so, hi, I’m Stewie, and I used to play a game called… Furcadia! OH GOD STOP LAUGHING. Furcadia was a free MMORPG involving, well, furries. You could create a character who was an anthropomorphized dog, cat, horse, mouse, or dragon. Basically an adorable chat room full of colorful creatures.

I played a female cat person named Katta Piraa. I had pink hair, black fur, and yeah… I was a cat.

If you’re feeling wild, you can read more here or check out the official website.


quilting-bee

My first online club: The Quilting Bee

The Quilting Bee was actually lots of fun, and might still be fun if it was still around. It was an online pixel art and friendship club, where you create a large digital quilt by swapping “patches” with other people in the club. The rules were simple: You had to swap at least 2 patches a month, and your website had to be decent looking. You had an official member number and had to design your own quilting patch. It was a fun way to meet other web designer types who also had an affinity for cute pixel things. Here’s an example of a quilt!

quilting-bee-quilt


darling-stewie

My first real blog: Darling Stewie

I finally decided I was spending way too much time online with nothing to show for it. I needed to get organized and focus my design skill so it, well, made any fucking sense. So I decided to start a blog, develop a brand, and put my thoughts in order.

I began to showcase my web design, logos, and other design work in an online portfolio. I also modeled my favorite outfits, talked about my favorite trends, geeky things, wrote articles on blogging and social media… Basically I began to share all the magic in my mind in a better way. And hey! This particular design was featured in an article, Excellent Graphic Designer Website Designs – 30 Examples. Here’s a later evolution of the design of Darling Stewie:

darling-stewie2
And look where we are today. I’ve been officially been blogging on DarlingStewie.com for 4 years on December 10th, so join me in celebrating my blogiversary by joining in on the fun!


I’d love to see some of your Internet Firsts! I am sure you’ve got some great stories about Angelfire, Neopets, or Yahoo Chat Rooms to share… so please, make your own Internet First posts and use #MyInternetFirsts… and let all that embarrassing, MySpace Magic hang out!

Other My Internet Firsts posts!
A Geek Tragedy’s Internet Firsts

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  • Oh my goodness, this is a NOSTALGIA bomb. I loved Neopets, Gaia Online, and other stuff like that. My first screenname EVER was lilangelpup20 (I was in 4th grade, so forgive me – I still cringe!)

    • lilangelpup!! That is the most kawaii thing I have ever freaking heard of!!!! Neopets ALL the way. I didn’t add it but I did think about it. My post was getting too long, haha!!!

  • Loving this retro post šŸ™‚ Rocko’s Modern Life! Loved that show! I was a freshman in college before I was regularly on the internet. My first usernames: KitKat and later, SKITTLES which was what a bunch of my coworking lab monitors called me then I got into MUDs because of them and had a string characters, Pekkle being one of them.

    • I loved Pekkle (still do) as one of my fave Sanrio characters! He is so cute!!!!

  • B

    This was such a fun post! I wish I could remember my AIM names. I’m sure they centered around Hanson in one way or another. I remember having websites hosted by Gurl too.

    • You should make a post too!!!! I loved Hanson back in the day… but who didn’t?

  • My site in the 90s was (and hold onto your britches) this:
    https://web.archive.org/web/19990903192153/http://www.angelfire.com/pa/LeahSpaceCases/
    I loved the 26-episode Star-Trek-for-kids Space Cases. All of my web presence was tied up in it. I wound up meeting my husband through the fandom, so I guess it paid off in the long run.
    It’s impressive how early you were thinking about branding. I’m still working on thinking about that.

  • I don’t know anyone that only had one AIM username lol I remember those early days of geocities and domains.. with cutesy layouts, pixels/toy boxes and those tiny blog entries!!

    I only got into building websites because of my love for Sailor Moon and I wanted to make my own gallery of it. I also got sucked into message boards like Orange Slice and Candy Town.

    • I was totally into Sailor moon websites of all sorts of geocities. I always searched for Sailor Moon wallpaper!!!!

  • nerdburger

    I LOVE this post. I was soo obsessed with Lenore and had the hugest crush on Roman Dirge. ahahaha

    • I got to meet him at comic con in NYC a few years ago and it was so amazing! He was pretty cute too šŸ˜‰

  • Oh lordy, you’ve reminded me of 13/14-year old Ari’s MySpace account. It was a combination of Wicca, high fashion and emo-y music. Thank god I disabled my account!

    • I totally wanted to start a “wicca 101” website with my friends when I was 13! Oh the good old days

  • This brings me back… My AIM username was groovykitty131 (I was obsessed with the 70s and cats.) Did you ever play the game Flyff?

    • I too loved the 70’s / 60’s – I had a HUGE thing for the Brady Bunch (and still do!) I never heard of Flyff but I did play another game call Graal!

  • Oh my goodness! I cannot even explain how deep my Rockett obsession went as a child!

    • Girl we need to start a support group. I had pathetically recreated her sketch book in my spare time!

  • Love Lenore!
    And, is it weird that I feel like I came across Project Marionnette? I don’t remember anything about it, but the name though…so maybe not lol!
    This post is great, I think I’ll do one!

    • If you did, that would be amazing and crazy!!! Link me up to your post when you do it, I would love to see!!!

  • steenaw

    I met my husband in an IRC chat RPG at the age of 10. It was a medieval/fantasy inn and quest game called Mystic Shadows. When people ask how we met I just say we met online through a mutual friend. Explaining online RPGs is too complex.

    I also played in forum and pbem RPGs of Sailor Moon and *cringe* Digimon.

    I had the anime handle, Shampoo999 from Ranma 1/2. I also had Lynxen because lynx were my favorite animal.

    • That is AWESOME that you met your husband that way. I met mine at LARP – nerd couples unite!!!! Shampoo was my favorite from Ranma!!! So adorable!!!!!!!!

    • Lisa

      Did a nostalgia search for Mystic Shadows Inn and found this post. Any chance you knew an OnyxRose while over there? (circa 2001)

      • Stewie

        It sounds so incredibly familiar – so maybe! It was soooo long ago!

      • zid

        I kinda remember that name. I was there back in 2001, too. I went by Jaspyr Nyte.

  • kaiwilli2014

    Oh my god! I loved Neopets and I TOTALLY played Furcardia. My handle was perfectgracekmw for YEARS (because I’m clumsy and I thought it was SUCH a clever misnomer.)

    This post is amazing!

  • This post just exploded my brain. SO MUCH NOSTALGIA. Quilting Bee!! I need to get on writing mine like… now. Right now!
    xx Abby a geek tragedy

    • Quilting Bee is one thing I really really miss. Mia and I were just talking about it. It was a cute/fun thing to do!

  • Oh my word, I love this so much. I’m impressed you could remember all of this, too! Such a great post! My first AIM screen names just make me cringe: JediGrl88, SavetheFISHIES (don’t ask)…I was a weird kid! lol

  • Fiona Dunn

    Haha! I don’t even know if I remember even half of the embarassing things I used to do. This was such a fun blog post!

    http://www.northeastnerd.co.uk

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  • Oh my the flashbacks that just hit me in the face. I just can’t. My first AiM name was Tsukino Usagi because I discovered Sailor Moon and the internet at once. Haha..

  • This post was wonderful. I really should come by more often! My first online name was dannyak – it’s a mixture of my middle name (Danielle) and my initials (A and K) and I thought I was pretty clever for a thirteen-year-old. It was my MSN messenger name – we didn’t use AOL much up here in Canada.

    Thanks for posting this!

  • I suppose you never do forget your firsts. : P

    Me? I’ll never forget those days in the computer lab of Blue Ridge High School, where I spend my study halls chatting it up some dusty old Geocities client under the guise of Mariner, an homage to my favorite baseball team. (and where I met my first pen pal from Singapore!) And, of course, I could never forget all the hijinks and tomfoolery that was had on the Sega Dreamcast network, as everyone discussed such hard hitting topics as “ur a nU*b fr plying maRIo” and “sANIc AdveNUTRE iz da best!1”

    And now….well, I guess I’m still experiencing my internet ‘firsts’, as I sit here trying to develop a blog and websites and wish my knack for design was as half as good as yours.

    Anyway, as somebody else said, this was a fun article. Thanks for sharing!

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