Web Masters

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Justin Hall tells the story of how he built Links From The Underground and helped pioneer personal blogging on the Web.

Show Notes

These days, kids grow up sharing everything about their personal lives in an effort to become Instagram influencers and TikTok famous. They don't know it, but their dreams of social media stardom were pioneered in the mid 1990s by a teenager who wasn't looking for celebrity status. His name was Justin Hall, and sharing his personal story online was, for him, less about notoriety and more a way to connect with people.

Justin ran a popular website called Links From The Underground -- Links.net -- with a huge collection of interesting links from around the Web. As Links.net got more popular, Justin decided he also wanted to tell his visitors a bit more about himself and his own life. Soon, he'd built a massive collection of stories and posts about his daily activities, and people were visiting his site as much to read about him as they were to discover his link collection. This turned Justin into one of the world's first and most popular personal bloggers as he became a pioneer of the online influencer industry.

For a complete transcript of the episode, click here.

What is Web Masters?

Web Masters is an original podcast that explores the history of the Internet through the stories of some of its most important innovators. In each episode, host Aaron Dinin, a serial entrepreneur and digital media scholar, talks with Internet entrepreneurs who created important websites, tools, services, and features. Some are hugely popular, some you’ve never heard of, and all of them have impacted everything you do online. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Internet has enabled -- and continues to create -- some of the greatest business opportunities in history from the people who have proven they know how to build successful Internet businesses.