In 2019, two decades after its inception, The NIN Hotline relaunches as an independent site, recalling the weird
web it was born into.
Content above all, stripped of tracking pixels, built for speed and accessibility, guided by minimalism and the unexpected.
Two months after the word "blog" was coined, The Nine Inch Nails Hotline was created by members of the DALnet IRC channel #nin99 in June of 1999 during the lead-up to the highly anticipated release of The Fragile.
It had a revolving volunteer staff from many states, provinces, countries, and continents. In alphabetical order: amishhacker, Anita, anXdiety, brad, crimsonplague, disarray, disinfonation, drunkpoet, Exit Domina, dizzy, Greg, Haze, heroicraptor, hysteria, icklekitty, ItsJustDave, JessicaSarahS, londyn, lou, Lt. Randazzo, maelina, mamoulian, meathead, mokeejc, mormolyke, mycah, n0thing, Naut, nodie, Paul, pimpfdotnuffin, quasar (kind of), Saturnine, static, sweeterthan, swindley, teknolust, Walter, whitechapelmolly and undoubtedly others that I've missed.
As audiences moved to social media, we pivoted to posting news on Twitter in addition to the website. The site remained active up until 2014, when a hosting failure hobbled the content management system administration. In 2017, shortly after getting the sytem back online, the webhost completely lost the database in a server upgrade. The site remained frozen, while staff continued to remain active on Twitter and Facebook.
As the Social Networks and corporate media all but replaced the independent web, the set trap was sprung. Open integrations were shut down, free content syndication removed, non-linear timelines were introduced, advertising was interjected, human interaction is monetized. Self-proclaimed "influencers" rent designer clothes and exotic cars in the hope of getting a free meal in exchange for a hashtag. Facebook, Twitter, and Google track and analyze everything you do online, in order to trigger "engagement" and drive more ad exposure. Content becomes secondary to promotion.
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