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.
- 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.
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.
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?
On 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?
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.
My first MMORPG: Furcadia
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.
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!
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:
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