This page will constantly be updated until it is complete.
Part One: On Who the Hell I Am
Hi there. Assuming you’re reading this page, you probably have the common question, “Who the hell are you?” either in a narrow sense (you’ve read my stuff for a while but are curious as to my weird-ass background) or in a broad sense (as in you ended up here, somehow, and have no idea who I am). The short answer to that question is, I’m Mark B, a guy who’s been writing on the internet since 2001 in various forms and fashions as a form of personal amusement, and while I’ve vaguely entertained the notion of doing something with that writing that would be fiscally profitable, it’s never amounted to anything of note. At this point I’ve become content in working a normal job in the private sector, doing information security work for the company that pays me reasonably well for doing so, and writing as a side venture for fun and the odd free game.
Part Two: On Mailing Lists and Bad Ideas
The first thing you should probably know is that I got my start, officially, writing on the internet back in September of 2001, as I’d just discovered the wonders of AOL and owning my own PC, and I thought it would be an interesting idea to start a mailing list, thus forever cementing one of the two trends of my life:
1.) Getting into evolving trends in communication really early and failing to push myself into becoming a front-runner in said emerging fields, and
2.) Getting into evolving trends in communication really late, long after said trend has died off in popularity and no one would be interested in bothering to care about my contribution,
of which this choice would be Option Two. I’ll point out which type of choice each one I make is as we go along, for the sake of completeness.
Anyway, I managed to generate a surprising amount of interest in the mailing list among I knew (for some reason my friends liked listening to my ideas), even though at the time the opinions of a twenty year old raised on George Carlin, pro wrestling, video games and industrial music were roughly about what you’d expect (AKA vitriolic, slightly depressing and mostly uninspired), but a generally apathetic drive to succeed and a lack of ideas on how to grow subscriptions ultimately killed my interest in continuing to generate the email list, let alone create entries for it in a timely manner. The reality was, email lists were still somewhat fine as a method of sharing information, but the days of mailing lists being the ideal method of sharing your opinions had started to decline, and I had little technical knowledge of how to share such information with others. It also didn’t help, honestly, that I had a fairly limited perspective to share with others; as a guy in his early twenties, I’d done practically nothing, been practically nowhere, and had at most finished high school, but I loved the idea of sharing my opinions with others who might listen, even if I didn’t have the first idea on how to do so effectively.
So I allowed the email list to drop from my frame of reference, especially because I’d found something much better to work on…
Part Three: On Websites and Astonishing Apathy
Around the time I’d begun working on the email list, the internet had begun offering options for the casual user to share their information with the world. We weren’t quite at the point where literally anyone could host their own website, mind you, but user-friendly tools like Angelfire and AOL were available if you wanted to make a webpage to show others.