Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pioneering Blogger Justin Hall Releases the Documentary 'overshare: the story'

I think it was back in the late nineties, when I watched a TV segment about blogger Justin Hall. A TV team was invited into his home in San Fransisco, and he talked about sharing his life on the internet, something that back then was a bit unusual, or maybe I should say very unusual. Several years later, I was reminded about this fascinating interview once again, when I read one of Justin's articles in Yoga Journal. "Ah, the internet guy" I thought, mistakenly thinking that he wasn't blogging anymore. Fast forward to today, and I just found out that Justin has released the documentary "overshare: the story", and that he's been blogging for 20 years.

Hello, my name is Justin Hall and I've been sharing my personal life in explicit detail online for over twenty years. Starting in 1994, my personal web site Justin's Links from the Underground has documented family secrets, romantic relationships, and my experiments with sex and drugs.

overshare: the story is a documentary about fumbling to foster intimacy between strangers online. Through interviews, analysis and graphic animations, I share my motivations, my joys and my sorrows from pioneering personal sharing for the 21st century. In 2004 the New York Times referred to me as "perhaps the founding father of personal weblogging." I hope this documentary reveals that I was a privileged white male with access to technology who worked to invite as many people as possible to join him in co-creating an internet where we have a chance to honestly share of our humanity.

Visiting the documentary page is pure nostalgia, reminding me of the early days of the web, with simple webdesign layouts, animated GIFs, bulleted lists, and those tables. As a side note, the recent website re-design of artist Vanilla Ice, brings many of these elements back to life once more.


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