Heads up, this content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

If Google (or god forbid MSN) is still the first page you see when you open your web browser, it’s time to catch up with the Web 2.0 revolution. You can use that “Home” page so much more efficiently by loading it up with what’s important to you. And as TechCrunch just pointed out, if there’s one thing Web 2.0 is creating for you, it’s start pages, desktops, homepages… whatever you want to call them. I just started using Netvibes because they were included in the list of Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005. They’re incredibly easy to get started with, and so far I’m pretty happy. I think they could stand for a little more customization in appearance (I’d like to be able to play with font size, color, and spacing to increase readibility and affect emphasis), but in general, they’re as smooth as baby’s T-1 line. And I love that they have a flickr module so I can add a rotating series of photographs to brighten my day. But wait, there’s more. TechCrunch gives us the following list (these links will take you to more in-depth descriptions about the sites):

Go pick one and customize it with your news, weather, bookmarks, and favorite rss feeds. And say goodbye to someone else’s predefined portal to your web experience. Oh yeah, and of course, this is free.

Heads up, this content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

I’m proud to announce the launch of (and my contribution to) the new sex advice website, DearAmy.net. Amy André is a San Francisco sex educator, and this site holds her weekly Q&A column for sex questions, from the most basic to the most outrageous. Amy herself has a range of self-taught web development skills, so she was a lot of fun to work with. She designed and built the site concept herself in HTML, and I integrated blog software so it would function dynamically. She even took the initiative to learn to edit some of the more advanced files and settings in the software so she can maintain it entirely on her own! Amy’s a great example of a strong, self-directed, and confident creative professional living her dream. Go check her out! (And feel free to ask her your anonymous personal questions while you’re at it…)

Heads up, this content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Occasionally, I run across a piece of literature that embodies the tone of a chunk of my life. I don’t go looking for these; they just arrive and surprise me. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about–that moment of recognition when realize your perception of reality isn’t isolated. Some writer out there went through it, too. This happened to me recently on The Writ. Nicole Elizabeth Chapin’s Tiger Chai describes my late teenage years–if not word-for-word, then at least in intention. If you identify at all with the path I took to get to where I am, you’ll probably see a piece of your own experience–genuinely inspiring and fashionably constructed as it was–in this reflection, too. I give you the piece in its entirety:

Tiger Chai There was a time in my life that I actually felt I had a little something special over the next person walking down the street.I drank my tiger chai. I read my Kerouac and Bukowski. I sang poetry in my room late at night.The smell of Nag Champa eases the burden of my discontent.Inquisitive, I was. I was a writer. I played guitar. I belted out sensual blue from the depths of a bari sax, man. I wrote at his computer with my legs crossed. I smoked cheap cigarettes. I had to smoke to write. And smoke the other so sleep. I drank cheap beer. I wrote cheap lyrics. Wasn’t I nineteen?I spoke Japanese in the park. I studied symbols and people, nestled deep in my special cafe booth. I was invisible. I served coffee in that cafe. I had a red bow and a black apron. I loved tips.I loved road trips. I loved a late afternoon drive to a polluted lake with a thousand other people watching. I loved changing in the car. And a cooler full of snacks. I miss getting lost. On purpose.I am lost. Without purpose. I work. I play. I get high.I have lost me. A cloud of smoke, my memory, me. Exhale. Go drifting by, bye.I stopped reading. I stay at home. He took my guitar and the sax and her car keys. I have a real day job; I don’t think. I still smoke. I smoke too much. I stopped to think; stop thinking. No inquiring mind here.I think I’ll go read. Get me my wine. —Nicole Elizabeth Chapin