September 6, 2000 11:06 AM   Subscribe

E/N Everything / Nothing is a type of blog I've just become aware of, with the running theme buying young guys that blog porn and violence. What do you guys think?
posted by owillis (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The Internet gave a voice to the voiceless. The best they could come up with porn, stolen porn and fetish porn.

On the other hand, Stile really knows his audience and is a damn fine marketer. A number of bankrupt content sites could've used his advice.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:12 PM on September 6, 2000

Porn has always been the "canary in the mine" for free speech and free press. In any and every medium, when someone wants to start imposing censorship, they always begin with porn -- but rarely stop with it. That's why porn so often is the front line in First Amendment battles.

You can tell how uncontrolled a communication medium is by how much porn it has available on it. If there's none, then there is no freedom. People are naturally interested in sex, and there's never been an entertainment or communications medium invented which wasn't eventually "perverted" for sex.

It's also a major economic force. It's generally accepted now that the prerecorded video tape industry was bootstrapped by porn: men were willing to buy VCRs to watch porn tapes, and that increased the installed base of players, which made it economically feasible to release other things in that format.

Moreover, for a long time the only successful commercial web sites were porn sites. (All glory to Danni Ashe!)

posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2000 [1 favorite]

Yeah porn is the great technical innovator. These things wouldn't have reached the mainstream nearly as quickly without porn:

Polaroid cameras.



Accepting credit cards on the web/bombproof server security/extreme bandwidth handling routers/high-volume, stable web server software

I still don't see the draw of the stile project though. Tits and ass and alt.binaries.tasteless-quality photos just don't do it for me I guess.
posted by mathowie at 1:35 PM on September 6, 2000 [1 favorite]

On June 5, 1999 I noted that these weblog-like sites were popping up. Even back then there were quite a few of them.

I think the porn-centric theme(s) is more recent.
posted by camworld at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2000

Does it say anything that these are all young(ish) guys and don't think twice about 'blogging and showing explicit porn? Is "the next generation" more accepting of that sort of thing? (geez, i'm 23 and sound like an old fogey)
posted by owillis at 3:20 PM on September 6, 2000

Places like phester.org were aimed at young adults & teens in the US & Canada and had a tech' theme.
posted by riffola at 3:45 PM on September 6, 2000

Duh, owillis ... the next generation will ask "why don't you have a blog?"

E/N started up almost entirely independent of weblogging, which had strong literary-new media roots (e.g. Jorn, Cam ...). E/N is much more in tune with what most blogs are -- the kooky site list, the odd personal comment. I think the term "weblog" won, but there's still a bunch of E/N diehards out there.

Put it this way: Nobody ever designed a tool called E-Nner. :)
posted by dhartung at 5:31 PM on September 6, 2000

Nobody ever designed a tool called E-Nner. :)

Hmmm... ;)
posted by evhead at 6:00 PM on September 6, 2000

I'd been under the impression that "E/N" was just a term - and a slightly derogatory one at that - for weblogs that have no real purpose other than putting up whatever was on the owner's mind. Everything and nothing, indeed. Am I right or wrong on this?

>>Does it say anything that these are all young(ish) guys and don't think twice about 'blogging and showing explicit porn?<<

Who can say what we would have done if blogging had been easily available in the '80s? My guess is a number of us would indeed have gone right ahead with questionable content and porn. It gets hits, always has, always will. There's a reason that even back then, the most popular forums on CompuServe included the graphics forums (generally soft-core porn) and the Human Sexuality forums.
posted by aaron at 11:15 PM on September 6, 2000

From Stile's About... page:

"What's this site about? Everything... Nothing..."

Which is, I believe, the origin of the "E/N" descriptor. E/N sites consider themeselves E/N sites the same way weblogs consider themselves weblogs. Some embrace the title, some don't like to be labelled. Whether or not it's derogatory is a personal issue I think.
posted by cCranium at 4:18 AM on September 7, 2000

Tool for E/N: Grant Williams' News Publisher [in perl, needs SSI to display the news & headlines]Sites like NeoFlux, Roosh, etc. use NP.
posted by riffola at 5:57 AM on September 7, 2000

I'd been under the impression that "E/N" was just a term - and a slightly derogatory one at that - for weblogs that have no real purpose other than putting up whatever was on the owner's mind. Everything and nothing, indeed. Am I right or wrong on this?

I seem to recall from the early days when the term "weblog" was first being defined and the early sites were being categorized as such, at some point the "weblog community" discovered a similar set of sites that had also developed a community and which called themselves "E/N" sites. Or maybe the "E/N community" discovered the weblog community. I don't remember.

Anyway, it's one of those serendipitous simultaneous discoveries of the same concept. Two separate communities had defined the same phenomenon in two different ways.

I don't really visit any sites that call themselves E/N sites, so I can't tell you if there's a definitive difference between a weblog and an E/N. But given the generally all-inclusive definition "weblog" seems to have gained, I'd say that if there was a difference, it would be that E/Ns are a subset of weblogs.

But what do I know?
posted by daveadams at 6:47 AM on September 7, 2000

Jorn intended the term 'weblog' to be inclusive, although it's now used even more widely than he probably likes. The term 'E/N' is deliberately pointed at sites with a certain approach in their content. Neither term really encompasses 'journals', although E/N comes a lot closer. But the term 'blog' may be broadest of all -- at least the way I see it.

blog: type of site updated daily.
journal: type of blog devoted to personal writing
weblog: type of blog devoted to finding interesting sites on the web; may be subject-specific; generally less personal content
e/n: type of blog devoted to a mixture of links and personal content; deliberately unpretentious; often covers pop culture, tasteless humor, or sex.

I think the typical weblogger is a college graduate with an English degree. I think the typical E/N site is run by someone in high school or college. I think more than generational cultural differences set them apart.

Note use of word "typical".
posted by dhartung at 10:06 AM on September 7, 2000

I just heard the term "E/N" for the first time myself last week, from someone who found a link to me from Violet's Electralux, which is apparently an E/N site.

I wouldn't know the difference between that and a weblog either, given the wide range of sites that get called weblogs (whether they like it or not, heh), but the person I was talking with about this claimed the phenom has partial roots in the online gaming community...?

total hearsay, and who knows what that's worth, but there you have it.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:26 AM on September 7, 2000

E/N - "everything/nothing" to most, but alternatively labeled "entertainment/news" to others - is very much dominated by the 16-to-21 crowd, that's for certain. E/N sites are typified by a blend of news, links, observations, anecdotes, and personal commentary on all of the above, more often than not by a crew of multiple roughly like-minded posters.

At least, that's my stab at a definition. It's a deceptively difficult thing to qualitatively express. To wit, the E/N community seems to be in a perpetual state of discussion about "what is E/N?", and moderately heavy disagreement abounds. Some see the aforementioned StileProject as the "latest evolution of E/N"; many others feel Stile has transcended from E/N into a nature of its own. Similarly, some see all porn-based posters as "not really E/N", others are OK with porn but see Stile and his clones as "non-E/N", and yet still others fail to differentiate between the groups at all.

I feel like I'm doing a bang-up job of trying to put this explanation to words. I think it's one of those phenomena that's best explained by marinating in it for extended periods.
posted by youhas at 5:07 PM on September 7, 2000

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