Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

announcing overshare: the story

Hello, my name is Justin Hall and I've been sharing my personal life in explicit detail online for over twenty years. Starting in 1994, my personal web site Justin's Links from the Underground has documented family secrets, romantic relationships, and my experiments with sex and drugs.

overshare: the story is a documentary about fumbling to foster intimacy between strangers online. Through interviews, analysis and graphic animations, I share my motivations, my joys and my sorrows from pioneering personal sharing for the 21st century. In 2004 the New York Times referred to me as "perhaps the founding father of personal weblogging." I hope this documentary reveals that I was a privileged white male with access to technology who worked to invite as many people as possible to join him in co-creating an internet where we have a chance to honestly share of our humanity.

Get overshare:

overshare: the story is available free for watching and downloading at

In addition, I'm selling this video using a service called VHX. VHX allows for DRM-free downloads so you can watch this film on your device, on your terms. In addition, there's a "TMI edition" on VHX that has behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes and more. On VHX you can pay above than the minimum cost of the film if you'd like to encourage me.

The overshare titles and credits are both made as basic web pages, so viewers can follow up with my source material. In addition, overshare is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license so anyone is free to remix the material to help tell their own story.

What's Next:

Today is the last day of July 2015. I began this project in early 2014, around the 20th anniversary of Justin's Links. I'm now 40 years old; overshare has been a good chance to look back at decades of evolving myself online. Later this year I will be marrying Ilyse Iris Magy in California - she's an explorer and communicator herself who aided and abetted me making this film. Now finishing overshare and marrying Ilyse I'm looking forward to more decades serving my ideals around participatory human communications.

What's next for me creatively and professionally? I'd like to make more episodes of the Justin Hall Show to explore a long list of topics deferred whilst finishing overshare. I'm fielding ethical cannabis business ideas for Today I seek collaboration: I've spent a year or more largely alone editing myself talking about my past; I'm eager to work with other people to make a better present and future.

Ultimately, I hope overshare can help people understand more about the history of our internet and the tradeoffs we make as we work to be authentic to ourselves in public space with friends and strangers. Please enjoy overshare: the story and let's share the internet together with kindness and gratitude for the chance we have to share of ourselves and listen to other people.

Justin's Links video pre-release!

Today is a soft-launch for my "twenty years of" documentary, exploring the personal and social costs of my search for attention through explicit personal publishing on the early web.

I will spend July preparing the film for online distribution: finalizing the video's title, which will effect fonts and URLs in places throughout the film and web. I'll correct typos & errors, do color correction & a final audio mix. Then I'll slice this up into episodes and make trailers. Finally, I'll pull off the curtain by reaching out to media outlets, academics, web historians, artists and freaks who might find their cortexes or ribs tickled here.

So this is a pre-release release; by the end of July I'll be ready to release to the larger world. Feel free to purchase yourself a copy of this film to watch today, or whenever!

Over the next few months I look forward to reflecting and emoting a little more about the making of the film. For now, I'm excited to have the film itself testify to the absurdity of the project.


A moving picture is worth 1000 words a second. Those who share themselves with the public through the Internet using video accelerate their exposure to the minds of strangers.

JenniCam was a pioneer of webcams - opening her bedroom to anyone with a web browser. Jennifer Johnson, nรฉe Ringley explored the medium and personal transparency, reaching great heights of fame and exposure, before removing herself entirely from the web a few years later.

Bravo to the Reply All podcast for doing the legwork and tracking her down for a useful glimpse into One person's path through explicit personal sharing online: Reply All: "Jennicam" December 17, 2014.

I'm sifting through some of these sorts of recollections myself for my 21 years of documentary. Jennifer Johnson here wasn't ready to take on any role or responsibility for rampant public intimacy using technology but she does end the interview with an effecting testament to the social and personal costs for her therein.

Spoiler: she attributes some of her downshifted sharing to aging processes, in a portion of this interview that caused me to nod in recognition.

self-exploitation at re:publica 2015

I am honored that people want to hear about my early work on the web. I guess it's exciting that I've been introducing myself to strangers online for 20+ years! But I don't like being a "greatest hits" person who is telling the same old story. So I work to tell new stories, these days via the Justin Hall Show, and I work to tell old stories in new ways.

7 May 2015 I had the opportunity to talk for 30 minutes at re:publica, a large technology culture & politics conference in Berlin, Germany. I looked back at my history, and I imagined four archetypes for personal sharing online:

re:publica 2015 - Justin Hall: Self Exploitation on Today's Internet

There's never been so many cameras pointed at me speaking before, and there's never been such a polished final edit. Big thanks to the organizers of re:publica for hosting me and putting out this video the same day I spoke!

After my talk at XOXO last year, earnest Americans approached me with business cards or emotions and wanted to connect for a spell. After my talk at re:publica, earnest Germans kindly mentioned my remarks on Twitter; fewer face-to-face discussions.

I'm pleased to present this month's Justin Hall Show episode, an interview with Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast. Kenyatta describes how our fandom and media consumption serves as media production and skill-building for community organizing.

Patreon: Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast and YouTube: Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast and Facebook: Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast

I met Kenyatta in Spring 2006 and we taught a class together: CTIN 499: Portable Video Production and Internet Distribution within the USC School of Cinema-Television: Interactive Media Division. Here's a high-dynamic range photograph of us 9 years prior:

Kenyatta Cheese and Justin Hall - HDR

Long before Vine and YouTube, Kenyatta worked bring video to the internet, at the intersection of art, activism and technology. This has lead him to study viral and meme content, as a co-founder of Know Your Meme, a pioneering popular internet studies service. Early in his career he helped people get video cameras working with computers in backpacks, to allow for live-broadcasting from protests. Now Kenyatta has a company Everybody at Once helping fans of television shows express themselves online.

Kenyatta is playful; it was fun to interview him. And it was good to be able to feature Kenyatta on the Justin Hall Show because Kenyatta directly improved my work. In October 2013 I was just starting to ramp up on making Justin Hall Show episodes, Kenyatta insisted on loaning me his overclocked Lumix GH2 camera. I've learned over time how to make good use of it and it's been a serious upgrade, one that I'm very grateful for. Kenyatta Cheese in the credits of most all Justin Hall Show episodes; and now people watching the series will know the face behind the credits!

Kenyatta and Justin in October 2013

For most of my recent flicks, the plug for Patreon comes at the very end. So someone only sees if they stay past the credits - that's a lot to ask, and I want to see if I can get more folks to sign up if the message comes up at the front. I listened to National Public Radio news here in the US recently, and there was sponsorship reminder aplenty. So up front I put together an updated, integrated promo in the first 30 seconds; we'll see if I get more than the usual 2-3 signups in the next month!

This video came out at the same time as an upgrade to the software I use to edit my videos: Final Cut Pro X 10.2. I dove into presentations from Steve Martin's and Mark Spencer to learn the new capabilities. I allowed myself a fair profusion of 3D titles here. It was fun to play off the spirit in all our online totems - I enjoyed nerding-out on the visual presentation around Kenyatta and his talk of internet folk art.

Episodes are better shorter; I'm aiming for well under 10 minutes these days. Kenyatta and I had a broader discussion lasting 50 minutes. There's some good insights and a broader sense of the arenas in which he's served. I'd like to make a podcast out of it and some of the other conversations I've had! If you would enjoy working with me to make a podcast out of the longer Justin Hall Show interviews, professional or amateur, let's see what we can work out -

As ever I'm eager to continue interviewing and exploring and meditating for you through these videos. If you enjoy this one and/or want to see something different, email me I am grateful for the chance to be animated in cyberspace together in the same era!

BTW - to answer the question at the beginning of the video for myself, I'm not sure I know how to get strangers on the internet to join up with you and do what you want, but you can write & record your experiences and you'll find people who are already doing what you want and together you can see what's next.

Kenyatta Cheese: Internet Enthusiast

๐ŸŒŠ an episode of The Justin Hall Show
๐ŸŒž filmed on location at Orbital, NYC - thanks to Gary Chou

๐Ÿ“ฑ thanks to Ilyse Magy for use of her iPhone 6 to record the interview
๐Ÿ“ท thanks to Kenyatta Cheese for use of his overclocked Lumix GH2 camera to record the introduction
๐Ÿ’ก thanks to Howard Rheingold for studio lights
๐Ÿ“บ thanks to Tom Wiltzius for the studio monitor screen
๐Ÿฐ thanks to Ilyse Magy for editorial feedback

๐Ÿ˜ป photos of Kenyatta Cheese by Tricia Wang and Amit Gupta
๐ŸŽฌ excerpts from Lying Down Game, Numa Numa - Know Your Meme
๐ŸŒ 50,000 particles random walk - Atsushi Tadakoro
๐Ÿ‘พ animated GIF keyboard for iOS - PopKey
๐Ÿ™ˆ Crasher squirrel photo by Melissa Brandts
๐Ÿฑ Nyan Cat by Christopher Torres
๐ŸŽฉ GANGNAM STYLE (แ„€แ…กแ†ผแ„‚แ…กแ†ทแ„‰แ…ณแ„แ…กแ„‹แ…ตแ†ฏ) - PSY
๐ŸŒ Study for Glitch Synthesis - Atsushi Takadoro
๐ŸŒ Experiment of Attraction 2 - Atsushi Tadokoro
๐Ÿ”ฎ crucial.conflict (loop) - Switzon S. Wigfall, III
๐Ÿ”ฎ Empty conference room flip.dream 700.45 (loop) - Switzon S. Wigfall, III
๐ŸŒ Cinder particle test. - Atsushi Takadoro
๐Ÿ—ฝ A Day in Congress - an E.W. Hullinger Production
๐Ÿ”ซ American Troops March Off To War (1943) - US Army Signal Corps

๐ŸŽต Tech Talk - Jason Shaw
๐ŸŽต Laundromatted - Lawrence Grey
๐ŸŽต Fat Caps - Jason Shaw
๐ŸŽต Mastoid (2007) - The Gasman, from Archive
๐ŸŽต Dr. Who Theme - Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire
๐ŸŽต Rockitship Long Light Years (Version 2) - Blevin Blectum, from Talon Slalom
๐ŸŽต Vaxin (2013) - The Gasman, from Archive
๐ŸŽต Wrapped in Aw - Blevin Blectum, from Emblem Album
๐ŸŽต Vivaldi's Autumn Mvt 3 Allegro - John Harrison with the Wichita State University Chamber Players
๐ŸŽต Wataridori 2 - Cornelius

YouTube: Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast and Facebook: Kenyatta Cheese: Professional Internet Enthusiast

Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser

New video: my interview with Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser (YouTube) and Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser (Facebook)
shot in San Francisco, March 2015
an episode of the Justin Hall Show

Footage and Images:
๐Ÿ™Œ Supermarket footage from Casa Lucas Market, Five Markets, Bristol Farms underground, Whole Foods Noe in San Francisco, California
๐ŸŒ€ brand matrix from Behind the Brands, Oxfam,
๐Ÿช Keebler Cookies Commercial, 2011,
๐ŸŒฑ Green Giant Swedish Commercial,
๐Ÿ‘ต Betty Crocker Marble Cake Mix Commercial, 1958, starring Adelaide Hawley Cumming,
๐Ÿผ "Food for America" 1941, Prelinger Archives,
๐Ÿป California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch Food Safety Training Program: episodes: Produce 2 Regulations, Juice 6 Processing and Packaging, Produce 5 Storage and Transport,
๐Ÿซ "Snickers Bar World's Biggest Recipe 5lbs HOW TO COOK THAT candy bar" by Ann Reardon,
๐Ÿ‘พ "After Effects Preset: Bacteria" by EJ Hassenfratz,
๐Ÿ“š covers from Food Technology magazine, IFT 50th Anniversary Issue September 1989, published by the Institute of Food Technologists,
๐Ÿบ "Miracle of the Can", 1956, by Caravel Films, Prelinger Archives,
๐Ÿž The Baking Industry, 1956, by Holmes (Burton) Films, Prelinger Archives,
๐Ÿซ Chocolates photo by Justin Sewell,
๐Ÿฝ Truffle photo by Dennis M,
๐ŸŒฟ Olive Oil footage from Al Majd TV,

๐ŸŽต "Kleasy" from Talon Slalom by BlevinBlectum
๐ŸŽต "Suspiria" from elevenandtwelve by nisei23, Free Music Archive
๐ŸŽต "Nothing Like Captain Crunch" from Slam Funk by Broke For Free, Free Music Archive
๐ŸŽต "Our Ego [Feat. Different Visitor]" from Slam Funk by Broke For Free, Free Music Archive
๐Ÿ“ท Kenyatta Cheese for overclocked Lumix GH2 camera
๐Ÿ’ก Howard Rheingold for lights
๐ŸŽฌ Ilyse Magy, Rachel Cassandra, Howard Rheingold for feedback
๐Ÿ’ช My Patreon patrons for encouraging support

๐Ÿ”ฌ Rachel Zemser is and @culinologist
๐ŸŽค Justin Hall appears courtesy of