Social Anxiety Order

One Year Later
Cambridge - One Year Later

I’ve certainly never been a stranger to social/internet outlets. I’ve been consistently wandering around the online public space for a long time. I explored AOL 1.0 in the early 90’s, was part of online communities, forums, etc. I started building websites around the same time and was part of the “Independent Web” movement in the late 90’s/early 00’s. I watched the death of camportals and the rise of the “blog” (I remember Josh Kinney famously asking me “What was the internet before the blog?”). Originally it was “push to publish” services like Blogger and it’s lightweight version, Blogspot, that gave every person on the web a chance to have a voice. The rise (and fall) of assorted social media waypoints has provided a nearly continuous supply of outlets for anyone and everyone looking to fill up the internet with their personal content. More well known sites like Makeout Club, Friendster, MySpace, etc, to the smaller ones like BME:IAM (One of the first, real, networks. Sadly, currently in it’s death-throes.) and DeviantArt (though I’m not sure DeviantArt can be considered “small” anymore), and the millions in-between. We all know these stories. We live them every day, for the most part.

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Hi there…

My camera.
My Canon EOS 60D: II

Whoops, I went live.

Well, not really “whoops”, I suppose. Anyway, so you’ve found your way here. Now the question is, “Where is here?”

This is //dropslash[dotcom], though you may have found your way here from dropslash.net, dropslash.org, and/or KyleMercury.com. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. They’re all the same thing.

I’ve been running this site for about 12 years now, 10 as it’s own domain. The archives go all the way back, so if you get really bored, dig away. There are some chunks missing, mostly from when I stopped using Blogger for a while and manually updated the entire site myself. I’m currently in the process of restoring all that content. Not everything is formatted and displaying at 100%, but the bulk of it is all here. As for the rest of the site, it’s about 85% here. I’ve always relaunched at about that and then worked around while the site was live to fill in content, make design tweaks, and edit existing content. This is probably the most expansive and ambitious redesign I’ve ever attempted. I’ve basically ported every drop of content from all the past versions of the site, and my satellites, into this one monster via WordPress. I come from the old school of design and I’ve always coded everything by hand. This is my first WP attempt and my first step away from that “all by hand” process, but I’m working hard to dig in and really make it my own.

As always, this new redesign (version 28), was inspired and themed by a song that I have found particularly applicable to my life at the time of the relaunch. That song, this time around, is “Iron” by Woodkid.

The odds are also good that you found your way here by one of about a billion social media outlets, probably Twitter, or maybe About.me. I’m not difficult to find with any real effort. dropslash is Kyle Mercury, Kyle Mercury is dropslash. You can look for either across the internet and probably find your way back here. If you really want to know more, you can click any of the navigation links up above or any of the other social media links to the right.

About… again.

This is dropslash.com, the home of Kyle Mercury. This is the 27th version of this website and I will get around to refilling in the content as best I can, as time allows.

Following design tradition, this new version is inspired by music. In this case “I Am” by Hednoize from the album “Searching For The End”. It was originally based on the song “The Road”, and progressed to “Woven”, both also from “Searching For The End”, before being finalized as “I Am”. The plan I had for my life mirrored “The Road” very closely but, although it continues to reflect my general greater mindset, like all good plans, it changed. I found myself somewhere unexpected, playing a role I hadn’t anticipated. “I Am” fits that theme nicely.

While I work to put all the content back in place here, you can find me at all the typical social media outlets.

Like I said, the content from the older versions of the site will slowly make their way back here. If you go digging you can probably still find bits and pieces, here and there. There is a lot work ahead, but the site needed to change as my personal priorities change. I hope the redefinition of things here will provide a bit of clarity.

So welcome back, if you’re a regular, and welcome, if you’re finding this site for the first time.

Portfolio building…

Edit 2: Well, i fixed the worst of it, but it’s still there. Something in the way Chrome and Firefox are handling the text in the menus is forcing the widths, through defined, to stretch. It’s fine in IE8 and looks even better in IE8 Compatibility mode, but it’s bugging the crap out of me.

Edit: Something i just posted is breaking my nav and it’s driving me nuts. No pics for now.

I’ve been meaning to convert my resumé into my website for, well… years now. I finally got around to starting it and it has turned into a hell of a task. It’s going well though and i’m glad. It’s now linked to the “portfolio” tab above. There’s still a lot to get done on it.

My resumé has always been an object of contention for me. I’ve always wanted to work on a multimedia presentation just due to the nature of my work. I can try and describe how i traveled the West Coast building, managing, maintaining, a 2-tier, 8 player, LAN’d, Mario Kart Double Dash! deck complete with multicolor’d go-kart frames each with their own working pedals, steering wheels, and 15in. LCD screens, all linked to a 42in. race overview screen, and even MC’d a whole series of tournament races on them.

Or, i could just show you a picture like this:

…and say “I built this.” (Ok, i’d elaborate, but you get the idea.)

Anyway, hopefully as i get more work done on it, it will evolve into something i feel will accurately represent my experience beyond black text on white paper. We’ll see how it goes.


I still have a lot i want to write for this blog, i need to just sit down and get it all organized. I also need to figure out how to incorporate a lot of additional elements into this site, like my Xbox 360 Gamertag, my Twitter feed, and a bunch of other stuff that gets updated more regularly than this blog.

 

Anyway, i just made myself a huge bowl of shells with bolognesé and sausage and i want to eat it, so i am. Then it’s back to work. I still have to test this out in FireFox (i worked all day today in Windows 7) and beat up Chrome for making the text too small. Amoung other things…

Glory days…

Typically when i sit down at my computer in an attempt to type out a post or entry in this space i pretty much just lose everything out of my head. If you’ve ever met me in person, you know that i’m fairly adept at articulating a stream of consciousness rant and can run simple ideas into grand architectures. Unfortunately, until the technology exists to record my thoughts, my written word will never accurately represent what’s really going on in my mind at any given moment.

I’m working on this though. Thanks to Nathan over at greybucket, i was able to get my mitts on the Twitter handle, @dropslash. I’m hoping that lots of micro posts can help get me accustomed to a kind of thought documentation. It’ll be a while before it ramps up and i’m working on integrating my Twitter feed into this site.

This site, in it’s many and varied instances, has been around for over ten years now. //dropslash[dotcom] has been around for over eight. My first ever Blogger post was on February 8th, 2001, the Internet Wayback Machine’s first entry for dropslash.com is April 5th, 2001. It’s funny looking back of the history of this site. The internet was a different place back then. Google had just really started to climb, Yahoo was the search king. Wikipedia was a month old. MySpace and Facebook didn’t exist.

They were the glory days of the “independent web”. A rag-tag community of frontier mentality independent content producers blazing trails across the internet. Blogging was in it’s infancy, camgirls were on the news (and cam-portals divided the community), and people were designing for design’s sake. Remember, no Friendster/MySpace/Facebook/Etc, not everyone had a place on the web. If you didn’t know how to run your own domain, or yet, design your own website, you were just a spectator. Design was the key here.

Back then, Flash was just starting to get it’s legs and it was no where near what it is now. The design of your (indie web) site was like your signature, your calling card. Content was almost second place to design and for a lot of us design was what we were really in it for. Design for design’s sake. We overhauled our sites constantly, i changed //dropslash[dotcom] nearly every month. Nearly all of us were self taught, learning as we went. We consumed new technologies as they emerged and believe me, there were plenty of them. We all scrambled to integrate new pieces of web architecture into our sites in order to stay ahead of the curve, to trump everyone with our designs. It was during this time that Web Standards really started to take hold. Some people, like myself, embraced them and used the constraint to push our coding in new directions. Some people just flat out ignored them. A lot of people i know dove headfirst into Flash to totally bypass them. In any case, the imagination of the time (i feel) was unmatched.

That’s a fairly abrupt and unromantic summary of a time that i look back upon fondly and i feel shaped who i am in profound ways. I met so many brilliant people who i’m thankfully still friends with today. Anyway, all of this has lead me to my current musings on aspects of the internet, more specifically how much it’s changed in that time concerning the “independent web” and “design for design’s sake”.

“Social Networking”, i usually cite MySpace specifically, has really destroyed so much of those times and what was built. Webspace for anyone, no design experience or understanding necessary. Now i certainly won’t decry social networking, especially this day in age. It’s definitely a useful, and almost necessary, tool in keeping in touch and current with how we’ve evolved in our digital lives (I actually like Facebook for it’s design simplicity and uniformity).

Anyway, i could go on forever about all this but i’m going to cut it short. I need to get back to redesigning this site. -_-

Ordinary Pain

Yay for title and date in the same cell. too bad it took forever (thanks to a frigging typo) and still doesn’t look right. oh well, i’ll fix it later when i have some time.

Speaking of time, only a week left on my tour. the long haul from new york to seattle. it won’t be too bad though, as we’ve dropped Ari (yeah, the guy from the last post) and Andy has taken over as tour manager. believe it or not, things actually get done correctly now, and on time. our past few shows have been fairly awesome thanks to the way Andy handles things, and these last 4 should be just as good, if not better.

Anyway, that’s about it. rock and roll and all that.