Design for the Fediverse and French Paper.

After I devoured Anil’s article in Rolling Stone, I had similar feelings as I did after attending my first SXSW in the spring of 2002—Pure excitement. I got to meet so many folks who were behind the Internet that I loved. SXSW ’02 was a three-day conversation on how the indie web got to be so cool and how important it was for those who remain to continue working on pushing technology, creativity, and community. It was like the Deathstar that was Dot-com had just blown up and we were all in the Millennium Falcon shooting out of the explosion.

Years later web 2.0 came into the world and that changed everything for the better or worse. You know, you were there. And then, similar to 2001, the House of Capitalism propping everything up crashed in 2023. Hard. You know, you are here.

This time around, I see a glimmer of light and it starts with Anil’s vision. People are fed up and tired of being tied to platforms controlled by delusional bros. I genuinely love to see all of the signs of a resurgence in independent publishing on the web. That’s the Internet I contributed to building in the 90s. The Internet that Airbag as a studio designed for time and time again. This is the Internet I want to see more of in the world.

Meanwhile, a similar independent movement has taken place in the world of print publishing—my original passion. My intent in college was to become a graphic designer for a newspaper or magazine until I picked up an early issue of Wired magazine and my world was forever changed. I love print like most of you love your vinyl. I spend more money on magazines and zines annually than I do on anything powered by the Internet.

So, it feels like the universe is starting to speak and I'm primed to listen. While I have other business interests in flight, I think it’s time to take Airbag back to its studio days. This time with a laser focus on publications, either in the Fediverse or on French Paper or both. A few irons are already in the fire so, stay tuned. And if you love this idea, say so.