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When the Internet was for strangers

The Internet of 2006 was not much different than it is today, mainly less: a bit slower, sparser, less open for business, like your hometown before the strip mall got put in. It was on this Internet that I met my best friend, Austin (not his real name). I was taking some time off from college in Portland, Oregon and had become an active member of a Portland-based online DIY community called Urban Honking. Urban Honking featured a stable of blogs about studiedly eclectic subjects like rap music, vegan cooking, and science fiction, but I spent most of my time on the message board, where a few dozen mostly twenty-somethings traded music recommendations and outlandish project ideas. At the time I was making stupid comedy videos and I’d share them with Urban Honking as I finished them. Austin was also an active Urban Honking poster, and a few months after I joined he sent me an email from his Yahoo! Mail account.

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