Prior to the TOYSREVIL-blog, there was my toysrevil.com (I no longer own the dotcom), and even before then, there was the TOYSREVIL MULTIPLY!
"Multiply" was a online platform concept that mirrored a lot of what Facebook does now, actually … with the ability to have and host multiples of photo albums with free uploading of images - which folks used with aplomb featuring personal snaps (which you could set the privacy of whom gets to see what), and as well t became a gateway for me to see artists and practitioners work, as it also became a pseudo online portfolio / gallery.
And the ability to upload and (later) download image files were a boon! But it was a real pity (and utter bitch) when Multiply was to close, and images uploaded had by then shrunk in size and I am left with mini-pics of my cyber-life before … sigh…
Other nifty functions include private chats/messaging/PMs, areas where you could post links and descriptions to your recommended online visits, and a "journal", which essentially functioned as a "weblog" - all of whom folks could reply to and comment on, AND you'd be able to see who said what, as their profiles would automatically appear with the comments. I cannot remember if Multiply had a "Like" function tho … someone remind me, please?
Truth be told, I missed my Multiply quite a bit. Besides it being a record of your life time, it became the by-default journal chronicling our daily lives, where hand-written diary could have had before, now comes along with digital images to remind you of what you had forgotten (on purpose, or otherwise :p)
As well I miss quite a few online friends I had made then, but never gotten in touch with, nor followed into other cyber social media like FB, Twitter etc - not because I was arrogant not o hook up, or anything like that, but had actually just thought that we would cross paths sooner than later, thinking how "small" the circle is round the world hahaha
In that respect I would heartily acknowledge my ignorance and lack of scope nor foresight for cyberspace then! My worldview was so myopic then … *shudder*
I remembered when I first started my blogspot and bothered to monitor my site hits stats, and being overjoyed and excitable when I had over 300 visits! Whatever naivety and innocence I have had has since given way to cyber-cynicism and jadedness, a decade later hahahahaha
My life had revolved around Multiply, and of the response I had with fellow Multipians. I could find an audience who enjoyed my rudimentary toy-pics! I posted a heckload of personal on-toy-related images whose passion for was brought out by the ability to share them on Multiply.
Made awesome friends online, some of whom became offline friends, whom we shared tears, love, and a fondness for amateur photography … somehow the memories seemed more enriching then …
I suspect (but cannot know for certain as I do not think much about them until typing this post now) that notion of fulfillment was determined by my interaction with a smaller group of peeps. A finite number of folks, who had bothered and/or taken the time to comment and start up online convos, especially total strangers-turned-friends.
My friends list numbered in the hundreds (I think) but folks chatting daily or often hovered around 20-40, maybe? Some of them were real-time offline friends, most I've never met in my life till now.
"Collecting friends" was fun starting out, ya know? (Like MySpace was hahahahaha), but sorta hit the curb when Facebook became something as intrusive, and as well more folks become more vocal online - the armchair critic generation, weaned on reality tv talent shows had come to fore, and descended on cyber-kind like an out of control vehicle speeding down the highway, burning up diesel and fumes, and tearing up the tarmac - careful you don't become roadkill!
I've never been on IRC chats, and started Messanger very late in the game, and only participated in online forums when I collected 1/6, so my online experience might somewhat be unimpressive to say the least, but hey, that had been my life then and now LOL
On hindsight, having and "managing" a Multiply account prepared me for the starting a blog, as well gave me courage to.
I had read blogs before, and had always felt daunted by the need to fill them with words and images, whereby Multiply afforded me the chance to "showoff" my words and pics, but with not that huge a notion of burden of attention or expectation, I think … and reading sites like Vinyl Pulse showed me that I could also "report" on genre-related news - from toys, to movies etc - essentially sharing my fanboy geekdom as I have had on my Multiply!
I actually had multiple Multiply accounts back then, each focusing on specific things - like "trading cards", "1/6th hobby", and my self-made videos, and my previous worklife online portfolio was also Multiply-based!
When I started the TOYSREVIL-blogspot, I collapsed most all of them into one single locale that which was my blogspot, and very soon Facebook … Funny now that a decade later, I am returning to the multiple-online-locale format and notion again … on both blogs and FB hahahaha
Regardless of whatever platforms on cyber-space we/I use now, the one constant that has not changed, is "myself" … but then again, the one thing that has changed through the years, is also "me".
Even after I launched my blogspot, I continued to use my Multiply as a photo-dump for when there are too much to host on my blog (which I not use Facebook for heehee). It was a boon and a bane. I am unsure if folks where clicking out of my blog (and of course I as worried if they'd log back haha), and also all sorts of online nonsense happened, like when multiple albums were "blocked" because they "infringed" on leaking the movie Wolverine? WTF? Moot point now (although this was the only time I'd screengrab my Multiply pages, for which these posted here are the only records left of how they looked hahaha) - and all of it brought to light a glaring issue which all of us might just have chosen to turn our heads to: None Of These Online Platforms Belong To Us.
Yes, the contents are ours, but even that may be in question (do you normally read your "Terms And Conditions" of use before "agreeing"?). Even the website host you paid cash money for, is victim to whomever runs it. Can we ever say anything online belongs to "us"? I personally think nothing is, and will ever be.
We complain about Facebook changes and policies, we worry about online blog-content and who is allowed to read them … but at the end of the day, none of these platforms are "ours". We just provide(d) the contents, which apparently also now belongs to the platform (and you wonder why I watermark loads of my pics :p), and what if one day we leave, or they are taken away from us? We will still pick up the pieces and find the next available soapbox and roadside gallery to share our lives, passions and art, wouldn't we?
Wherever we go, wherever we lay our cyber-hat, is our home for as long as we choose, or could afford to. And if there's anything I learnt through loosing my Multiply (and my hardrive crashing yaddayaddayadda) is to back up your stuff!
Ironically, I backed up tons of work before my harddrive crashed years ago, but they were on ZIP disks, and my disc reader has since gone kaput! hahahahahahaha
"tis oft said about the inherent evil of "influence". but none so alluring as the all-consuming passion lured and set-upon thee mortal desires by plastic or vinyl in the form of toys & action figures. and if influence is evil? then toys-are-evil. in my waking dreams, they are my masters and i am but a humble servant to serve."