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How Do You Pick Your First Topic?

Topic #1
How do you pick a topic?




My original personal web page had been "under construction" for maybe 6 or 9 months before we started working on this one. It seemed so cool to pick out a background color, throw a few animated gifs on it, then let it sit there gathering virtual dust while lightly thinking about what should make up THE ACTUAL CONTENT of the page. During all those months, I fervently surfed the web, deluding myself into thinking that I was in some way conducting "very special research" on other people's web page formats and content. The more I did that, the more paralyzed I became, unable to write anything at this point for fear of a&#41 making my page too personal, bitchy and whiny, or b&#41 subconsciously copying a page that I love. I saw what I thought was great web publishing and I saw what I thought was terrible web publishing, and not wanting to fall into one trap or copy another, I sat here mildly panicked. Do I not have one original idea in my head?

I feel disenchanted and bored with life more often than not (hence the "Scowl"&#41, but I've seen enough pages that, although they are crafted with the best intentions, end up as personal hate lists. There are a lot of people (and other things, but mostly people&#41 whose actions bug me, but I want my annoyance to be interspersed with a little humour. So, how do you pick your first web-page topic?

How do you pick the first topic for a brand new website? Two weeks ago, I would have picked some sort of rant about the goddamned tourists that clog the streets every sunny weekend, making it impossible to run errands downtown. If you asked me last weekend, I would write about morons in airports (Ok, it's just a Burger King, like every other Burger King… just order your goddamned Whopper and get the hell out of my way because I have a PLANE TO CATCH!!!&#41. The scary thing is that when I sat down to write this evening, while watching an endless marathon of advertisement filled Real World premier episodes, I'm not all that grouchy.

It's a scary concept, especially with a project named Scowl, Nu? (which, for the Yiddish impaired means "Scowl, why don't you?"&#41… Here I am and I have nothing to rant about. Even the dreaded trip-to-the-laundromat was not nearly as bad as I expected. I just feel too damn un-scowly today.

So, tonight, as we sat here trying to think of what to say, we decided to create a topic where we could essentially say whatever the hell we wanted. And you know what? Now that it is over, I feel like scowling a little less.

However, there is always a bright side to my feeling of general contentment… tomorrow I will probably feel like my scowly self again.

Posted in Topics of the Week (1990s).

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