The following graphic dates back to September 1996, a couple of eternities in Web time. At the time, I'd had a Web site of my own for five whole months, and this was the sub-spiffy new logo, my third up to that point. (The first of the infamous "bird" logos was version 4, which debuted that December.) You almost certainly don't remember it, and there's no real reason why you should.
(Actually, this is a new copy of the file; the original version was a .GIF with the background set to transparent, which would have made it less easy to read here. If you really want the original file with the 9/15/96 date stamp, go here.)
By September '96, I'd had about 700 visitors, of which half were very likely me, looking to see that everything was okay. (I was using a different counter service back then, which didn't allow me to exclude my own visits, and anyway I was on a dial-up, so I didn't always know my IP address.) The site, which had started with seven pages, had grown to about thirty; Vent #21, my recollections of erstwhile teen-dream Debbie Gibson, had just gone up.
You might be wondering why I'd put up a Web site in the first place. There were two reasons, really, of which the first was a variation on "Because it's there": my ISP of the time offered a whole megabyte of free space and a dumbed-down FTP tool to simplify matters, and why wouldn't I use it? More to the point, though, 42nd and Treadmill was making noises about some day having a corporate Web site, and somebody on staff, I decided, ought to know how the silly things operate.
In 1999, I bought the dustbury.com domain, moved the site to a full-fledged Web host, and set up a SiteMeter account starting with 6445. (The old site had had 6,444 visits, according to the old counter.) But the biggest change came in June 2000, with the introduction of actual daily updates. As I wrote then:
Version 7 (you're soaking in it) introduces my Sort Of Blog, a way for me to get some stuff on the table without regard to the semi-regular Vent schedule or the ongoing necessity to update the other sections. Mos