Remember Wayback When Blogging Was Fun(ny)?

It just struck me that the decade is coming to an end. The most incredible decade imaginable by most anyone’s (born before 1985) standards. It’s also marks a decade of netZoo and WOOZradio. The early days look really funny in retrospect.

2001. Ahhh… the wayback machine.

Just for kicks, let’s take a look at some of the hilarity that masqueraded as my nascent web presence:

  1. netzoo comic sansComic Sans — already sick of the limited web-friendly fonts available, I played a silly trick on the world and used the font that never dare say its own name backwards, or, as one friend righteously recently put it: “Comic Sans is the Mark of The Beast. Shit, I even used it back in 2000 when I went with the Message board-blog hybrid approach (or something).
  2. I wanted to have a list of choice links — but I didn’t want to show my hand in the open. Not amid all the other highly SEO’d meta tagged engaging content on my “home page” (joke). After 9/11 I was a bit more willing to lay it all out there, thought not with quite the hyperlinked artistry of some. Basically, to copy and paste, this is how my linkblock –er, brailleroll — looked in July 2001:

    :: :::::: :: :::: :: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::: ::: ::: :::

  3. I was already well-rooted as a snobby lo-fi music buff with an emphasis on Chicago indie. BUT clearly inspired from my stint as Smithsonian Folkways webmaster, I decided to profile my then-favorite albums alongside REAL AUDIO clips. Hahahaha. Mind you, before the mp3 renaissance of the late 90’s, Real Audio streams and were the-coolest-things-ever-invented. Surely these songs sounded better in Comic Sans.
    real audio hahhaha
  4. By ’02 I had mellowed a bit. Live365 offered streaming at higher bandwidths and I focused a bit more on WOOZradio (which in its 10+ year existence has yet to break even for a month. I pay to play your music). What I could never do now that I loved doing then was music listings of concerts that I would go to in Chicago (where I lived) if I could clone myself.

still haven't made a WOOZ logo or stickers or nothing. But I did this rainbowy abomination all by myself
contact: e-mail | icq | AolIM: netZoo

Laugh at me now — I hope you had half as much fun as I had looking back into the past. The CRAZY thing is that our Comic Sans’d, hacked-together framed message board history is only a decade old. Come to think of it I should have stuck with the blank slate blogging style (with illustrations) I switched to around New Years Eve 2000. I guess I’ve been blogging for a while (with a few years off in between). We’ll look at those middle-aughts later (the WordPress years). What a decade its been!

What silly blog skeletons are gathering dust in your archive?

Continue reading “Remember Wayback When Blogging Was Fun(ny)?”

No Reflection: Looking Out the Window

the view from my office window

I’ve been actively blogging here for 2.5 years — and intermittently since 1999, when I first launched WOOZradio. Why don’t I bother to self-promote or even make cards/stickers to increase traffic and the minimal revenue flow that could help me break even on the $15 a month or so I spend to keep Live365 running and paying royalties. Because I feel stupid talking about myself to a computer screen, I prefer to let my mind run free under the assumption assume that nobody is really reading, and, well, in the end I just do it for me.

Here’s an image that was on the front of back around mid-2001. Go ahead — click and see what this place looked like back then — it takes a few clicks to get to the music clips. Instead of actually listing my blogroll preferred online mags and music sites, I used orange colons. I have no idea why. The entire history of my lackadaisical updating of my personal web site / blog / whatever is well-documented (along with everything else on the innernetz) at

That’s my little reflection for the day and now on with it. The sky looks awesome out my window (I’m here looking to the northwest) and there is much to be done at the day job (Yes, I do have a real, full-time job). My extra special Derby Dolls photo essay (thanks, Kelly) from the Tough Cookes-Fight Crew bout is scheduled to pop up now live at LAist during lunch. P.S.: If you want me to take you out in the next couple weeks, I’d love to, visit Caroline on Crack for more on that.

State of Design ’06 — Online News Sites

Check out Luke Stevens’ post featuring an invaluable collection of screenshots and design stats from newspaper Web sites around the world.

I find the unfortunate placement of ads on some of the U.S. sites to be shameful, at the very least degrading to the integrity of the news content within. For example, I never noticed‘s mirror image ads on their masthead until seeing the repuslive “Blood Diamond” ads from this distant perspective.

If newspaper’s are hoping I become a print subscriber to escape the onslaught of ads on their home pages, I’ll repeat that there’s no money to be made on my $1 Fri-Sun delivered-to-top-of-hill subscription to the L.A. Times (and before I even take it inside I drop all the inserts in recycling).

If a news Web site’s goal is to have users regularly visit the home page, or even use it as their portal to the Internet, then the advertising is most definitely misplaced. Of course, as far as cost-per-click is concerned, the big money (and the most measurable) ad placement is on the site home page. However, it’s the ads in the actual articles that truly have the most impact, in my opinion (although each days’ paper has a fresh set of unique URLs), especially in this age of RSS and the ubiquitous Google search (leading directly to the article).

I’ve seen many people type the name of a Web site, columnist or publication directly into the Google searchbar as their mode of entry. I believe this is because of the uncluttered and easy-to-use Google homepage. Who wants to try and find a search box at when it’s scrunched between scrolling and animated ads? Personally, I default with Yahoo! News and digress with their full coverage links or news search engine. My other go-to is Google Reader, stocked with the latest from the hundreds of sites and blogs I track (see my opml). New York Times’ home page has a whopping 15 paid, graphic-based ads (not including a handful of self-referential ads) to only 9 legitimate (content-based) images.

As Yahoo’s news site proves, it’s better to be content heavy up front and keep the ads on the inside. Houston Chronicle is another example of this at The home page is much shorter (lengthwise) than many of the others drawn upon in Stevens’ post but Yahoo’s cover presents at least twice as many hyperlinks (opportunities for deeper browsing — leading to a platform to better target ads based on content and the fact that the reader has already linked through).

I think the most effective news Web site home pages should be clean, content-heavy, customizeable and hyper-local — if not geographically, at least unique to the users preferences. Readers demand and deserve control of their content — why set your home page for news if the first thing that pops is going to be multimedia ad content?

And, yeah, those Scandinavian news sites (coming in at up to 9400 pixels in length!) are really something else.

Check out these sites / blogs about Online News Web site design:, Editors’ Weblog, Paid Content, Press Time, poynter.