Friday, July 22, 2011

What was the AfterNet?

The AfterNet preceded Good Cop, Dead Cop. I’d actually had the idea for an online community for the dead long before the popularity of the Internet, even before the creation of the world wide web.

In fact, my first ideas for the AfterNet involved modems and bulletin board software like the venerable TBBS, for those of you who go that far back. It even had another name: the EtherNet, a take off of the networking protocol. But it wasn’t until the world wide web arrived that an online community would be possible.

I think I developed the first prototypes of the EtherNet in 1998 but my web skills weren’t sufficient to basically create what we take for granted today: blogs, forums and chatting. So the next attempt came in 2004 when I could use YABB as the forum software, blogger for the blogs and my own patchwork quilt of scripts for the news server.

To be honest, what I was trying to create was impossible. I was trying to reproduce, by myself, all the postings and interactions of billions of dead people all happily communing at the AfterNet. So we had the lonely ghosts looking for love, the caveman who had seen it all and the world timeline that explained all the  history of the afterlife since it’s discovery in 1997.

So I would log in as different dead people making comments about the daily news of the dead, which I also wrote. I started gaining an appreciation of what it must be like to work for The Onion or The Daily Show.

I was quickly going as insane as the dead people in my universe, so I shifted to writing Good Cop, Dead Cop as a way to publicize the website, but could never find a publisher, so both the book and website languished until now.

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