The First-Ever Viral Video (which, naturally, was of the “weird news” variety!) was shot a half century ago today. This is its story, with a higher resolution video than most have ever seen.
Last weekend, I saw someone post that Eric Ward was dead. The name rang a bell for me — someone from my past in online circles — but I couldn’t quite connect it, and asked an online friend from the 90s if he knew him. The name didn’t connect for him. Still, it was really familiar, but I couldn’t quite figure it out.
The 11 August 2013 issue — Issue 1000 — brought a new look to This is True: as promised nearly two years ago, plain text is out, and “simple HTML” is in. I introduced it to the Premium subscribers this way:
Last week I spoke at yet another Mensa “gathering” (convention), this one a regional affair hosted by the Northern Nevada chapter. I happen to know several Mensans in Nevada: some are readers, several are relatives of good friends here in Colorado. They really begged and pleaded for me to come and talk at the first Regional Gathering they were doing, and I finally relented.
I’ve added a new weekly feature to True: the “Bonzer Web Site of the Week” has been added just above the Honorary Unsubscribe. I accept site suggestions for this feature only from Premium subscribers (yes, I’ll be checking).
Without any announcement, the first “Honorary Unsubscribe” runs in True.
The daunting task of using poor-quality email software finally make it too hard to publish True by email every week, so I came up with an idea: publish it every other week.
The first This is True book, This is True: Deputy Kills Man With Hammer — And 500 Other Bizarre-but-True Stories and Headlines from the World’s Press, is finally off the press — the third leg in making the publication profitable enough to continue (and enable me to quit my Day Job).
The term “Zero Tolerance” appears in a True story for the first time.
Nearly a year old, This is True didn’t even have a web site until this week.
The first charitable organization plug in TJI was for earthquake relief, after a 7.2 shock hit Kobe, Japan, on January 17, 1995:
The second income stream called out in my business plan gels with my first newspaper client carrying TJI as a newspaper column.
This Just In carries its first paid ad — for long distance phone service. The revenue begins.
It’s really hard to coin a word. I tried it in the 17 July 1994 issue:
Once I had the business plan set, I looked at the pile of upcoming bulletin board items and decided how I would format them — and started writing. Over the weekend, I designed what I thought a “plain text” email newsletter should look like, including how long I thought it should be, and finished the first issue.
I “invented” for-profit email publishing on Wednesday, June 22, 1994. I’m not aware of any others who claim to have invented it before that time [but see the update below]. This is a brief description of what I came up with, and how.