Jul 7, 2017

I’ve Been Writing on the Web for 20 Years

Writing online can now seem trivial but I’m proud of my 20-year legacy. Here’s to 20 more years.

Keyboard
Tap, tap, tappin’ away…

Back in 2014, I celebrated the 15th anniversary of officially creating Opus as it currently stands (I registered its original domain in 1999). But the fact is, I was writing online long before Opus was a site. I started posting about music as early as 1994 when I was an active member of the “rec.music.christian” Usenet group. (On a whim, I found many of my posts from the group in Google’s archives and it was a nice stroll down nostalgia lane. Fun fact: I was way into Christian industrial music back in the day.)

My earliest web writing, though, was on my first homepage, courtesy of Internet Nebraska. That homepage went through various name changes before I settled on Opus; at one point, it was called Nekros, which was my username on a Christian goth IRC channel and sounded really cool, edgy, and theological at the time.

Not surprisingly, my Internet Nebraska homepage basically consisted of some music reviews, a couple of personal essays on Christianity, and the first instance of what would become my annual Cornerstone Festival coverage. Unfortunately, I don’t have those reviews or essays anymore — they’re probably on a 3.5” floppy somewhere in my basement — but I still have those old Cornerstone posts.

Writing online now seems rather trivial, thanks to the ease with which anyone can post their thoughts via Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and a host of other services. That ubiquity can make it feel transient and ephemeral. I’d like to think I’m playing the long game, though — that good art and culture are timeless and deserve to be chronicled in a suitable fashion. I have no idea what form the web and online content will take 25, 10, or even 5 years from now. Whatever the future may hold, I’m jazzed at the thought that decades from now, somebody could find my Cornerstone coverage or the reviews I wrote when the web was still in its nascent, pre-Facebook, pre-blog form and still discover some new favorite band or movie.

I dislike self-promotion, but I think 20 years is a pretty cool milestone. As such, I’ve got several plans for this site, and my writing in general, to celebrate that milestone, and I’ll be talking about them quite a bit in the coming days and weeks. Some of them are still in the early stages, but I’m as thrilled about them as I have been with any project I’ve ever worked on.

One easy way you can help me celebrate right now is by sharing some of your favorite Opus articles with your friends on social media.

Finally, thanks to all of you who’ve continued to read and support the site, send me feedback and comments, engaged in discussions (online and offline), and basically, been my audience for two decades and counting. I’ve met so many fantastic people in the course of writing, and even fulfilled a couple of personal dreams because of it. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it all, and I hope you’ll continue to follow this site, whatever form it takes, for the next twenty years.

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