Twelve years ago, my brother Adam and I threw together a website and the beginnings of a book called Whirrled: A Survival Guide for the 21st Century. “Whirrled” sounds like “World” — it was a pun on the fast-changing nature of the environment we found ourselves in.
The whole thing was something of a lark, an exploration of the technological and social trends surrounding the emergence of the Web that was itself web-like and open-ended. I almost got a book contract out of it, without even trying. In the end, Adam and I moved on to other things. I left the website up, but it hasn’t changed since 1996.
So imagine my amusement when I read last week about a casual virtual world called Whirled, announced at the Game Developers Conference by a company called Three Rings. The guy behind it even contacted me about my Supernova conference, unaware that I’d done something with a similar name.
It was nice to have an excuse to go back and look at that old site. For all the changes since then, our wild predictions and theories retain a certain freshness. It’s important not to lose that sense of wonder at what we’re all experiencing and creating online.