Ep. 4: The World's First Blogger
Ever wonder who the world's first ever blogger was? The first blog in history was links.net, published by Justin Hall. And I was lucky enough to get an interview with him for the fourth episode of the On the Edge with Andrew Gold Podcast.
From the Kardashians and One Direction to Kelly Clarkson and Donald Trump, every influencer and reality star owes a debt to Justin Hall, the world’s first ever blogger. If over-sharing online has become a disease, I like to think of Justin as Patient Zero of our Social Influenza. And yet, you’ve probably never heard of him.
His is a tale of the cautionary variety. When he was just 8, his father killed himself in a corner of the family home. Justin went to therapy, where he developed a penchant for oversharing to anyone who’d listen, judge and advise. The Web came around at just the right time, allowing him an outlet for these thoughts and feelings. For some time, he was the darling of the early web and he amassed a following in the tens of thousands in the early 90s.
Steadfast in his commitment to document every minor and major detail in his life and lay himself bear, he…quite literally lay himself bear, his sexy pornographic photos juxtaposing well with images of his flaccid, infected penis – a work of art he calls Cat Dick.
As friends and family began to call him out for writing about them on the net, Justin fell apart, leading to the breakdown video you heard at the top of this recording. You’ll find that, along with everything else, on his blog, links.net, which has been running since 1993 in its original format. It’s a digital museum. And I'm proud that the most recent blog article on that website...is about this podcast!
The highlights of his story include the time he travelled across the States to meet his fans and teach them to make their own websites – and the time he had a physical altercation with writer Kurt Vonnegut. All of this has led him, I’m pleased and humbled to say, to a conversation ON THIS PODCAST about how it all began, what led to his breakdown and how he sees the future of online sharing, blogging and influencing. We also talk about Cat Dick.
If you enjoyed that, have a gander at some other episodes, such as the woman who remembers everything (including her own birth, time in the womb, and every word of all the Harry Potter books), the Coffin Confessor who turns up at funerals to reveal the dead's secrets for them, and a female Mormon psychopath.