Who Remembers AnaCam from 1998?

This article is a year old but just happened to see it this morning. I was moderately obsessed with her back then. What a different internet it was then. Cool flash back and interesting to see what she thinks of the current internet. I think I originally learned of her from a BB post now that I think of it.


Never heard of it, or her, before. Then again, in 1998 my Internet access was extremely limited, as was my free time.

Didn’t the cyberpunks invent the “document your life” concept before 1998, though? I guess they mean this woman was the first person to actually do it.


I think I was more aware of JenniCam, but never understood the impulse to watch a stranger fold her laundry. It’s definitely weird to look back on a time when publicly documenting every mundane detail of your life was considered strange enough to be noteworthy (though I never jumped on that bandwagon myself). My phone has a setting specifically for taking pictures of your food!

I also remember all the “quirky” news stories about people who met their spouses on the 'net. Or the police being baffled by it. It was our little subculture, and it was surprising when people in the mainstream acknowledged it at all, and then funny how clueless they sounded—how long was it before newscasters finally stopped saying “Internet email?”

It’s not really that curious.

This is the thing that’s almost impossible to communicate to people who didn’t live through it—the freedom and excitement that could inspire something like The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace. In the 90s the Internet was a place where you could shed the constraints of the real world and explore challenging new ideas and strange subcultures. It wasn’t real names, curated feeds, Disney, your mom and the NSA. It was seeking out the unfamiliar, not breeding alt-right angst.

I feel like people who started when social media came online don’t even understand what the Internet is for. I keep wanting to tell them that they’re using it wrong.


I’m working on a deadline right now so I can’t write a long comment other than to say well said.

I will follow up with more thoughts once I get my work checked in.


Or how about this: Does anyone remember John Titor?

Joseph Matheney has come out as one of the people behind that. Also, Ong’s Hat.

He’s super cool.


Nothing can outweird the TimeCube sadly only surviving via the wayback machine.


That was my first exposure to schizophrenic delusion, and I’ve been fascinated ever since. And let’s not forget Francis E. Dec:

(disclaimer: he’s also racist, which is not unrelated to the fact that he’s paranoid)


It was also much less commercialized before that. It was mostly about people sharing ideas and socializing and learning. An internet of companies, click-through revenue, ads and analytics, merchandise, and branding is a huge difference. Personal branding would have seemed ridiculous back then.


It’s been awhile but I think what she was doing appealed to me on several level.

  1. She was an interesting and thoughtful person.
  2. I found her attractive.
  3. There was future leaning curiosity of where this would lead culturally and technologically.
  4. Being a voyeur can be exciting.
  5. There was something exciting about having a window in to someones life. I think by this time I had already figured out that reality TV while maybe unscripted was not free from producer manipulation. This felt like what Reality TV was supposed to have been.

YES!!! it really was a melting pot of diverse people and ideas. As best I recall people strove to connect to find commonality. They very fact we and they were there meant we had things in common that we didn’t have with 90% of our RL friends and family. I lost track of the number of times I went to a RL party and was asked if the “Internet” was just a fad and if it was worth all the work and effort for regular people, non-programmers.


A friend of mine said he went to a party and a woman said something about “people running the finger command at nasa.gov just to find out what’s launching next”, and he blurted out “oh you do that too?” before he realised from her tone of voice that she didn’t approve.


I got pretty good at backing away from people while not spilling my drink.


This, exactly.


On Ye Olde Internet, no one knew I was a dog.