Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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june 28 - july 1
my time is full up at the web99 online lounge

web99 is consumed my life this week -
it's like i have a day job, except it's not a job, it's a gig
i'm basically helping to host a party

after web98 i sent mail to miller-freeman suggesting they redesign their online lounge. they hired me as a consultant and paid me to help them do it.

so i looked up some djs; through elly found technostate
invited friends and acquaintences to be speakers
encouraged them to take on art installations, painting and sculpture,
found some local art
my entire concept for the space was to open it up - instead of one big space, have a few small stages, intimate spaces for web tours and personal site sharing. encourage people wandering around to sit down and communicate with each other.

i feel happy to be here - it's a cool place to be. the djs have been top notch, mike kendall's art is weird, i just love elly's recycled fan email slide projected installation., and the ranting youngesters aren't bad either. still it's a strange thing to be wedded to anything. is this mine? no, many people helped me. and union laborers erected it! so what exactly did i do? "all connections and no grounding" sometimes i see myself as a big rolodex
and there's a place for that in the world. just making connections leaves you out a little, after people have met who they're meant to, you can wander around the outside still observing
always a consultant
anyhow, amy got a job as a web designer, making more than i ever have -

scott mccloud was exciting to see - history and future of visual storytelling, the genetic structures of different media

i proposed this because i saw it and i thot i would like it. now that it exists, should i perform any futher followthrough? fortunately i don't know that my participation in any future mfweb events is even up to me - i picture a committee meeting afterwards to decide how cool the lounge was, whether the jungle beats were too invasive, the art too much to deal with, the costs outweighing the benefits of a relaxed cultured attending crowd. they have planned a roadshow - that would be even more time away from home.

there's a patch of grass in here; amy's friend tongsue responded to the web99 art solicitation with an indea for an installation: a platform of sod, surrounded by transparent white fabric walls. she envisioned a space where you would sit on the grass and look out at the conference around you and perhaps recive a head massage. miller-freeman liked the idea but the platform was a problem for americans with disabilities act - the platform must have railings and a ramp if it's over a certain height and anything under that height is nonstandard and must be built. the fabric is a nice idea, but it must be fire marshall approved and to buy those and hang them is a bit expensive too. so tongsue compromised, proposed she purchase and cover some old couches with sod. they didn't see how we were going to make that happen so they nixed that aspect and instead here today there's the online lawn: a few lawnchairs on a few pieces of sod in a 20x20 square. it's a real nice touch to be able to wiggle your toes in actual plant matter at this alienated posthuman information trough but knowing the origins and the compromises involved in the piece is tough. in other words, a lesson from this experience is: the resources to mount truly huge events are only commanded by beaurocracies with their own vast infrastructure that must be worked within to a large degree, meaning that all sorts of opinions and expertises are brought to bear. as long as you can derive joy from a few folks sharing in a fabulous idea, then there's joy to be had. otherwise you might find yourself gazing at a mere shimmer of the bright glow you envisioned and wondering did i fuck up somehow?

working to make corporate events more culturally diverse is a noble aspiration, and seems from a distance potentially quite lucrative. but crossover endeavors are only widely successful and profit generating after they have already been fully absorbed and denuded of their revolutionary potential. so either you participate in the future because that's where it's at, man, or you revel in the fact that the present is more popular.

as i work back and forth between mac and PC it's absoltuely clear that windows 95 and windoews 98 absorb the features of the macintosh, which were standard in the 80s. amazing. macintoshes had stereo sound, microphones shipping with every computer long ago. PCs are just now shipping with microphones.

Susan C. Druding you have to love seeing a few folks who didn't know any better suddenly dropped into elly's lifespew as a result of their otherwise inconsequential seating selection. you have to be psyched to introduce the quilting expert from - i know i am! guess that's why i'm billed as "the ringmaster" but i feel like "old man" and i wish occasionally that i was still as i was this morning, standing near my plants to see, hear what they needed and giving it to them. gardening.

i have my ideas for further improving web99 lounge space - mostly to further extend the personal web tours idea by attaching projection-screens to invidual computer-stations, so that people will be less inclined to check their email (in full view on a 6x4 foot screen) and perhaps more inclined to browse things they want to promote. even if they check their email, it becomes a bit of entertainment! i'd love to see what people do with computers and large screens. and then have the changce to disappear into a smaller room for space recalibration.

thanks to Gershom Bazerman "18 year old junior studying compsci at berkley" who expertly presented the contemporary shape of web pages, and wasn't afraid to get excited, and lead us to teethmag's ben and bryan who took the stage as though it were their own, flaunting their ruthlessly cool 4.0 popup window trickery.

she tried to pull out, but laura lagassa still shared her work with the Northern California chapter of the US Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association. she took good advantage of the intimate stages - leading conversations on couches.

same thing with susan kaup, who presented her geek talent resume collecting web site. people actually came up to me later waving the online lounge program asking me when she was going to be around.

carli schultz presented personal sites that inspire her, including a doctor talking about losing a patient, and told us that a lock of her hair is travelling the world through fans of her site, lunesse's page. she proclaimed the value of beatnik, adding music to her daily musings.

maura johnston showed us some teen sites, performing some online anthropology on the people who've actually now grown up with this stuff.

Susan Druding, the quilting expert from, has been conducting online quilting forums since 1993, making her a net old timer. she showed us all sorts of ways to get people to look at your pages, and tips for recirculating visitors into extensive content archives. like a scavenger hunt!

28 june


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