Venom and Diamonds


0:50 August 30th '03

There seems to be an endless stream of aspiring young web designers around, all with an equally inexhaustible supply of practice material: aspiring young musicians.

What enthusiastic new band wouldn't want to publish and publicise themselves to a worldwide audience, when their everyday performing life entails little more than endless 'intimate' and 'characterful' back rooms and basements?

And what designer could ask for more than to find the undiscovered stars of tomorrow and imbue them with the massive marketing power of the internet, all thanks to their visionary tech-art wizardry?

Things naturally aren't that perfect, as struggling musicians are by definition cash-light. Many musicians in fact seem to think it a positive favour to offer their valuable marketing account to their web-bound acquaintances for free. Because working for free is everyone's dream, isn't it?

Even if money isn't an issue, few designers are savvy enough to make their news/tour/discography/gallery site stand out from the crowd.

There are wonderful unknown artists out there, whose sites seem to have been designed in 1994.

Then again there are wonderful unknown bands out there, whose sites are clearly professional.

But they still end up on the same bill in the back streets of London, unbeknownst to all but their friends and curious punters.

Rhyme and Reason

1:15 August 28th '03

Venom and Diamonds is finally online, and its time to put it to work... telling the one story I can tell without a plan: mine. So we set the scene.


We start in London, because that's where I started in 1979, and it's where I start now. It is the real - the brick and asphalt and ozone - that surrounds my every move. Next month I will finish City University's Electronic Publishing programme and step both feet, for the first time, onto another terrain, altogether less concrete and far more dream-filled, called career.

I've never walked there before, only ever glimpsing it vicariously through the stories of well-travelled friends and the public picture postcards of those who've gone before me.

So I intend to add this, a journal of my future rambling journey, to the access of those who wish to read it. As the pieces come together, this is where they'll click. And perhaps one day we will all be watched over by machines of loving grace.

Five hundred and eighty thousand one hundred and one

21:52 August 26th '03

In today's The Times, David Rowan cites 'the most authoritative census' on blogging (which he then declines to name) as saying that there are currently 878.940 weblogs, 580.100 of which are active.

Then again, according to the NITLE Blog Census there are 1.113.149 'likely weblogs'. Even better.


Dragging my heels

15:50 August 26th '03

It seems that yet again, I've missed the boat... or perhaps I'll yet manage to catch a later departure. I mean, starting a weblog in the latter half of 2003 hardly feels like a pioneering, avant-garde effort, does it?

Yet, nonetheless, here I am, blithering away like the worst kind of fad-crazed fool.

Aw, what the hell. Can't really lose much in the effort, can I? (What? Self-esteem you say? Nope, that went years ago..)

So this is the start of what might be a long, fruitful undertaking, during which I get to share my revolutionary opinions and breathtaking achievements with an audience of thousands. I look forward to it.

Equally, it might just be boring. But I look forward to that, too...

So welcome aboard the ride. And try not to yawn too often, I've got a very fragile ego.

we are eternal / all this pain is an illusion