Ten Years Gone, Holdin’ On

Propagating opinion online since 1999
Truth be told, I’ve been in the opinion propagation biz far longer than ten years.


Propagating opinion online since 1999

Truth be told, I’ve been in the opinion propagation biz far longer than ten years. Some in my family say I came out of the womb with a point to make back in ’66. About thirty years ago, when I was but an innocent pre-teen youth, I published my first magazine. A one-off copy of a crudely drawn comic ripe with fart jokes and violence called Krazed. I think there was a total of three issues.

Then someone gave me a tape recorder as a gift. One of those black table top ones like what Rerun used to record the Doobie Brothers on ‘What’s Happening!!‘. With it, I proceeded to create a series of (what I thought were) funny recorded skits and bits and music for my pretend radio station WHIZ. Those tapes are floating around somewhere, I just know it.

As I got older, I realized how much I liked spreading my thoughts around, whether folks wanted to hear them or not. In the late eighties/early nineties, I took things to another level by producing a handmade fanzine called Madcap Frontiers. It was mostly used to promote my music and the music of my friends, spiced up a bit with collages, poetry and commentary. Typical fanzine fare.

Quickly it took off. I could no longer rely on day-job copy machines and postage to handle the 10,000 piece circulation. I actually went thru over a ton of jobs during this period. I would suck as many resources from them as possible and move on before getting caught. It was guerrilla publishing at it’s most fun.

Eventually I had to start using a professional printer. The problem was, all of the costs were coming out of my own pocket. I never accepted any paid advertising. Instead, I would trade classified-style listings for circulation. Basically, if someone promised to pass around a minimum of twenty five copies of an issue, they’d get a free forty-word ad. It was great for exposure, but hell on my budget.

Over time, I moved away from paper and started producing email newsletters and lists of links on free-hosted sites like AOL and Geocities. Then, on one fateful day in May 1999 (the 18th to be exact), I bought my domain. This was not that easy of a task because I have a very common name. Up to this point, I had never gone by my proper full name ‘Stephen’, but all other variations on my name were already taken.

Actually so was Stephen, kinda. There was this accountant in Australia who already owned the domain stephenbailey.com.au. It was that extra country code that saved me. I would get frantic emails from Aussies who were about to lose their homes to the tax collector. I was kind enough to redirect them to the correct guy. I mean, what karmic payback would I suffer had I not?

Over the course of ten years, the site evolved into what you see today. I still make no money and I still love doing it. And I’m still making changes. Most recently, I reintroduced that old concept of trading ads for circulation. This time trading links for links. Simply put, if you’ll link to me, I’ll link to you (as soon as I can). Don’t worry, no amount of link exchanges will tone down my overly-opinionated view of the world.

Then as it was, then again it will be
An though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
~ Led Zeppelin (1975)

Thanks for your support. Here’s to many more years!

Cheers,
Stephen


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7 Responses to “Ten Years Gone, Holdin’ On”

  1. Billy Farrell
    06/05/09 at 12:08 pm #

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Maggie W.
    06/06/09 at 9:13 am #

    Wow! ten years! You don’t look a day over nine :0p

  3. Sam Johnston
    06/06/09 at 12:43 pm #

    Very cool. You turned me on to some great bands over the years. Keep it up man.

  4. Keith McAllen
    06/07/09 at 2:54 pm #

    Wait … there was an internet in 1999?

  5. Karen W
    06/09/09 at 12:15 pm #

    Love the Led Zeppelin reference. Now the song is stuck in my head. Could be worse I guess.

  6. Eric Lapinto
    06/10/09 at 6:08 am #

    Karen W stole my comment…

  7. Hank J
    06/10/09 at 4:20 pm #

    Did I ever tell you how Physical Graffiti changed my life? No? Oh well. Cool site. Keep up the good work.

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