Introduction part 2 – Eluc, the beginning

This post is part of the introduction series. If not read already, I recommend to start with the Introduction part 1

U.S. Robotics, one of the most famous brand of modem, before they start building killer robots.

My blog name borrow my pseudo, Eluc, this is an old pseudo from my early online experiment, I started very young on 28k and rapidly moving to 56k modem. So you can guess more or less my age. And as you can guess as well, I’m from Switzerland as I choose eluc.ch as a my domain name. But first, back at the time I was in high school and one of the few precursor to use internet when it was far from the norm to have internet at home. There was a natural tendency to connect each other with other geek from before geek was a thing and nobody heard about the word, because yes, geeks are social but they are just a little more shy than the average usually.

Rapidly I end up mounting my first website, very basic, wrote in HTML code directly and with ugly Flash animation on the front page. Shortly after, youngs of my age were starting to get access to internet more and more at home and slowly at school too, that was when I started a phpBB forum for my school and it took off quite fast. So fast that me and another student, who was helping me moderating the forum, end up at the principal office. Apparently a topic about “Your worst teachers” went out of control and as almost everyone known each other on the forum, our pseudonyms online was quickly linked to our real life identity, and at least one person didn’t hesitate to sell us to the principal apparently. Of course the school asked us to stop this embarrassing topics if not the complete forum. I was experiencing for the first time directly the censorship from a higher authority.

We moved on, the forum was not closed but people lost interest in it eventually and the reason is probably that all these innocent kids writing and reading about their school life, figure out that they were not alone, not in a privacy environment and anyone could read what they wrote and easily link this to their real life identity. They didn’t want to get involved in anything that might get them a bad reputation with school authorities and teachers or more importantly with the other cool kids in the place. Or maybe they just lost interest once the most interesting discussion thread was removed, we will never be sure. The hot topics became quickly: what’s your ICQ number? What, you are on AIM?! And that when private online communication start to take off in high school. Of course it was only private to a certain extend as, at least at the beginning, nothing was encrypted what so ever, but nobody was watching form above as the company didn’t know yet how to take advantage of our data or just don’t have the technical tools or computational power to exploit them massively … yet.

Continue reading with Introduction part 3 – The need for writing

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