To Stephen Truax for mentions in his post Artists on the Internet. Will give this a closer look and report; am happy to be included as an artist but wanted to say a few words about self-promotion. Truax was the email correspondent I referred to earlier, and I am still uncomfortable with "minor leagues" and the idea of promotion in the Mad Men sense for artists.
Have written more press releases for myself and others than I can remember but they were always addressed to critics and editors of "art beat" writing for general circulation media. The goal was to communicate an idea that the artist was trying to get across, with some kind of story hook, as opposed to promoting the artist as a character or personality. When I started blogging I briefly used a photo of myself but then settled on that dot pattern because I wanted the personality of the blog to be words and pictures, not me me me.
Truax mentions several recent social media art histories, including this one by An Xiao, which, like many others', starts with the creation of Facebook. But of course before Facebook there was the "art blogosphere," which arose in tandem with the political blogosphere in the aftermath of 9/11 and Bush's Iraq invasion. Was just perusing a specimen from that era (which I still had in my browser bookmarks), the blog "Thickeye," by Benjamin Godsill, who later became a curatorial associate at the New Museum. He blogged regularly from '04 to '06, and instead of an instant network provided by Mark Zuckerberg, readers found him through links and Google searches. Here, for example, is a report he did on the Beige collective's 2004 lecture/performance at the Whitney (BEIGE was Cory Arcangel, Joe Beuckmann, Joseph Bonn, and Paul B. Davis).
Was also recently re-reading this post (with comments!) from 2005, where I was complaining about the art world's lack of awareness of the internet. All that changed a couple of years later when Zuckerberg's "internet lite" made it easy for everyone to get online.
Have been toying with the idea of a book documenting the blogosphere period, to be called The Lost Years: Art on the Net Between the Dot Com Crash and the Rise of Facebook.