Warning: In order to find this blog entry exciting, you must have been on the web for at least 81 Internet years (nine in human reckoning).
A decade ago this July, the New York Times published a profile of Heather Anne Halpert, a charmingly offbeat writer sharing her stray thoughts and experiences on a blog. But nobody called them blogs back then, so reporter Katie Hafner had trouble explaining Halpert's site, which she described as an "intellectual layer cake." (If that name had caught on, we'd all be called cakers.) From Hafner's piece:
Once in a great while a Web site appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and casts a spell. Such is the case with Lemonyellow.com, an on-line intellectual diary that makes the reader want to dig deeper and deeper.
Ms. Halpert began the site, at www.lemonyellow.com, last April as a repository "for all of the ideas and ephemera that would otherwise pop off the top of my head and float away," she said.
Every evening, she writes down whatever may have crossed her mind or happened in the course of her day: a book she once read, like The Names of Things, by Susan Brind Morrow, or wants to reread, like Feminism and Deconstructio non, by Diane Elam; the surrealist poet and artist Georges Hugnet; her encounter with a scrap metal dealer, a design project she is working on. Whatever she writes that seems to lend itself to a hyperlink gets one.
Halpert's cake disappeared in April 2001 -- the domain's now a graphic design company in Miami -- but you can find some slices on the Internet Archive and an amusing piece quoted by the early blog Alamut:
It makes me howl when people assume this is me -- laid bare. I once had someone tell me, to prove a point, that she'd gone back through the archives and mapped my writing to specific personal events. It was hard not to laugh... Naturally. This is the extent of me. Exposed. You can turn me over and prod my soft spots, stick your fingers into my orifices and smell me. Each bit of what you think is my soul corresponds to a point on or in my body defined by three coordinates. Click here to browse them.
For years, I've wondered what became of Halpert, who renounced blogging so thoroughly she never turned up in Google searches. So I was pleasantly surprised today to discover that she's back, sharing her thoughts in a medium even more lightweight than blogs, Twitter, as BlurryYellow.
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