DeepWaterWeb and the Art of Blogging in 1995 (Part 1)

January 5, 2021
WarOnPress

Twenty five years ago, the Internet was still straddling a line between practical, and a whimsical novelty.

The office where I worked, in San Jose, California, had just recently gone from a handful of PC’s assigned to special cubicles, to a regular fixture on every desk. And whereas there really was still no sense of “internet,” much less browsing to catch up on news and shopping during whatever break, a useful “CCMail” as it was called was site licensed, and it was becoming more routine to email colleagues, clients, beta sites, and vendors. Still the fax machine was used just as, of not more often to receive various documents, including drafts of product user guides for managerial review. And I remember quite clearly one fax I was reluctant to send, since a problematic vendor was demonstrating a rather belligerent defiance in simply following revision orders they had previously been given.

On one afternoon, I paused for a moment, standing over the fax machine wondering if it was a bit risky to send a rather strongly worded collection of comments. Ultimately I decided to “pull the trigger” and I fed the page into the feeder, dialed the number and “let her rip,” via the send button.

The vendor in question was a small company that specialized in writing user guides for consumer products, and they ultimately got “triggered,” at least a decade before the concept of “triggers” became a major subject at College Campuses.

A bit concerned, that I had maybe smacked the vendor a bit hard, an upper line manager (one above my boss,) got involved, fully embracing my comments and adding his own, somewhat less sophisticated “do it the way was tell you” kind of addendum.

The vendor was so tripped out, they literally fired themselves, but I had noticed these prima donnas were basically bossing my boss around, and she seemed to need to grovel to ask them with lots of “pretty please” to get them to take directions from us, their client, more seriously.

That all worked out just fine, and we hired another independent local documentation specialist, and that aspect of product development became that much easier for everyone.

Now as we moved further through the 90’s, a colleague mentioned that he and his wife had their own website. His wife worked as a swim coach, and so they setup a page that ended with “/swimming.” The top line was the name of the hosting company, which may have been “hiway.net.”

Now he indicated that there was really no reason he couldn’t offer me a sublease on his page (via a lower level subdirectory,) and I was keenly interested. It didn’t take long for me to think of a name to go under swimming. And so, “hiway.net/swimming/deepwater,” was born as my first website.

The landing screen provided visitors a warning about the “explicit truth” and “unabashed wisdom,” that they would encounter once proceeding. The shark picture was an animation created form a polaroid taken at an Gilroy Garlic Festival, (perhaps in the summer of 1993,) where I brought the bag phone we happened to be carrying (primitive analog cell phone,) to pose what I called “the ultimate 911 call” from within the plastic shark’s mouth. This was well before “911” took on a different meaning which sort of ruined my joke.

At this time I knew precious little about HTML, and simply used Microsoft Word for Windows to save a document as a webpage, and then I figured out how to upload that to the service my colleague generously let me access.

Now the site was certainly offering a “right minded” perspective, and it became quite hilarious, since, the colleague that so generously made the offer and his wife were both super ultra “liberal” people in terms of political ideas.

The format of the main page was a long scroll of which about 10% of the total vertical “depth” is presented in this image.

The page was a long scrolling document that took the audience “deeper and deeper” via scrolling and then linked various articles of my own making, and other content that I believed might be interesting to my audience, including a rather risqué page from across an ocean, “Tokyo Topless,” that as a young single fellow in my 30’s struck me as a good balance to the political jabs directed at the day’s Clinton Presidency and other prominent Democrats that appeared to rule the 1990’s.

Ultimately I would learn that my friend’s wife was absolutely not pleased with the content she had unwittingly welcomed to be nested under her own page, and I was politely encouraged to find, in Internet language, “a new place to live.”

Now obviously, “deepwater” only made sense under “swimming,” but since I was now going to get my own account with the hosting provider, I could utilize a new feature they supported of a unique domain name of my own. And thus www.deepwaterweb.com was born.

Now I was free to share the most outrageously different of views, and potentially conjure up some conversation by way of any emails I might received from an audience. I offered two buttons to send different categories of response. I thought the “Hate Male” a cute way to take a jab at any “feminists” of the day that might have found any of my content to be upsetting. And of course the other was labeled “Love Letters,” for more positive feedback.

Now at this time, it was clear to me that the “Al Gore’s invention,” of the “Information Superhighway” was something very special.

I saw the opportunity to have all the world comparing ideas in what I described as a “collective consciousness,” which would be a perfect venue for getting to the bottom of great mysteries, including problem solving in the realm of some of the world’s conspiracies.

I became aware that there really are no secrets that aren’t known by somebody, and if all were invited to add their own little pieces of puzzles, we would, together, experience a whirlwind of discovery.

At the time I had just been reading my first book that attempted to expose hidden power structures that weren’t plainly visible and that expanded on the lessons of High School and College Civics coursework.

I read one in particular by Craig Roberts that focused on the JFK Assassination with great interest.

After reading this, I became convinced that our “choices” were, at least ordinarily “false choices” when it came to electing Presidents and other leadership.

(to be continued…)

©2021 WarOnPress

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