Back in 2003 I was very active on Introversion’s Uplink forum. The hum of conversation rarely ceased and life was good.

One thing stood out though – whilst the people were often lovely there was the slight issue that there was no connection to reality. The people were usernames and signatures, little more.

I thought it’d be nice to have little profiles for each person with a picture and a little bit about them. We were already communicating but it’d be nice to have a meta page for each user so we could learn a little about our fellow users.

Putting these thoughts into action I got in touch with another forumite, Stewsburntmonkey, and pitched it to him. Within a short space of time he’d setup a subdomain and built the system. It was called The Uplink Directory and went live in the first week of April 2003.

Here’s the announcement from Introversion’s Chris Delay from May the same year. The last time it was available seems to be Q1 2006.

So, that little trip down memory lane was lovely but why did I bother recounting it?

MySpace didn’t start until August 2003. Social networks were in their very infancy.

Remember me yammering on about hashtags in the context of NapierTV?

There have been various other occasions too with that sort of thing. It makes me wonder whether my dismissal of physical media for digital content falls under that banner too. People look at me strangely and don’t seem to understand. In five years are they going to have changed their tune?

Pioneering things is tough and generally disheartening. Should I persevere and try to learn how to make my ideas the next big thing? How do I go about crossing the bottomless chasm that is other people not understanding? I can’t empathise and understand what confuses them about new concepts. That’s not a skill I possess. Do I need to find someone else to do that bit for me or aim to find a different way of presenting things in order to create a group of people to do the championing for me?

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