December 31, 2013

Dark Side of the Net's 20th Anniversary

This year was the 20th anniversary of Dark Side of the Net. (That makes me feel super old!) It started off as a little email newsletter, covering the handful of gopher and FTP sites, Usenet newsgroups, and listserv mailing lists that existed for goths at the time. (There wasn't a Web yet!)

When I started Dark Side of the Net, I lived in a painfully boring small town, far from my friends, so I had tons of time to spend building the database, adding and researching new links. Now, 20 years later, I live in the suburbs of Seattle, busy with a full time job, a small business, four foster kids, two dogs and a cat, and a busy social circle. I don't have as much time to devote to my favorite hobby, Darklinks, as I used to, and it shows in the lack of updates.

Lacking alone time, quiet and privacy to write and research, I think often of Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own."

As 2013 began, I was full of plans of ways to celebrate the 20th anniversary (and forget that this now means I'm an eldergoth in my mid 40s!)

I suffer from a bit of telephone anxiety, so my brief notion to throw a 20th anniversary party for Dark Side of the Net at some club or restaurant here in Seattle seemed like it would be difficult to arrange. (Also a bit self congratulatory, yuck). Maybe I will have conquered my anxiety in time for the 25th anniversary in five years - let's have a party!

So instead, I celebrated by opening Dark Side University, a project I've been dreaming about attempting for the past 10 years. It's still in beta, and I'm hoping to somehow carve out the time to devote to it regularly, as I'm really passionate about it.

I'm looking forward to all the new dark blogs, websites, bands, dark artists, and shops that will appear in 2014 for us to explore and enjoy together!

Happy New Year!!

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net

Blog of the Year Pick for 2013

My pick this year for Blog of the Year is The Curious Professor Z. I've so enjoyed reading Mary Frances' (Franny's) various blogs over the years, including Le Professeur Gothique and The Dancing Maenad.

Her Bat Fit fitness challenge has inspired so many goths to get fitter and more healthy. I see her Bat Fit banner everywhere I look when I'm out exploring the dark corners of the Web. (Check out the 2014 Bat Fit info and the Bat Fit Facebook group if this sounds interesting to you).

I also am so impressed with her challenges she used to pose on her Professeur Gothique blog. Goth bloggers around the world would accept her "homework" challenge and answer her questions on their blogs, sharing things about their lives, their goth fashion stylings, and their hobbies.

I loved reading answers to "How do you relax?" and "Post something related to an artist who inspires you" or "Draw fashion inspiration from India and post a picture of yourself" and "Find inspiration in snow and ice and produce something creative."

Currently, she's blogging about her passions: art, academia, and fashion. She's letting us peer a bit into her personal life, with posts about her holidays and how she decorated her home; her Winter solstice; a bit about her life in academia and a peek at her Christmas lights; and some cute pics of her in adorable gothy outfits. I don't have her courage to share so much about my personal life, that's really gutsy of her given all the weird stalkers out there on the net!

Hope you enjoy browsing The Curious Professor Z, if you aren't already a regular reader of hers!

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net - 20 years of darkness