The story of ModernRomeo.net started as a seed that predates its existence. It evolved from an idea, not an idea of my own, but of a high school friend back in the early Millennium. I was an aspiring singer/song-writer/dancer/actor/model and she was a Backstreet Boys lovin’ nerd. She came to me one day and said, “If you’re going to be a singer, you need a website… Like the Backstreet Boys!” I was young, hopeful, naive and figured it could not hurt. She was only in the early stages of learning how to develop websites. She introduced me to creating a basic HTML website with basic frames, embedded images, simple text and colored background. It was challenging to understand at first, but it was all so fascinating to me. The moment I realized possibilities for artistic creation and expression are endless was when it became an obsession.
Together, we learned about CSS, simple java scripting and utilized trial versions of early Corel Paint Shop and Photo Shop to poorly create graphics and manipulate photos. After a few prototypes, my first website went live to promote my early singing career. It consisted pages of my biography, demo music, photos and even a links exchange page with the online music artists’ community. I did not have my own domain at the time because we were not knowledgeable enough to even know what a domain was. My friend, however, was knowledgeable enough to host my website at: Angelfire. As I surpassed my friend in web development, something that started as a team project, my website became mine to solely shape and mold it as I please. I worked day and night, making revisions after revisions. The more advance and knowledgeable I became the more it reflected in my work.
When Angelfire began placing ads on free accounts, I decided to move my website to another free hosting company. My website was bounced from one free hosting company to another throughout the course of its life. When I decided to abandon my coming of age dream, the website followed that dream to it’s resting place. For a period of time, even though I did not have an active website, I never stopped creating them. I continued to further my knowledge in web development which led to learning about programming, branding, identity development and it became a profession of mine for a period of time.
Sometime, in the early years of college, I retired from pursuing a career in such a saturated field during the collapse of the economy. I relocated to Yosemite National Park in search of a change of scenery and pace. From that solitude, I was inspired to begin journaling. I knew keeping a traditional journal did not interest me. I had terrible penmanship, notebooks took up too much space and writing it all down was more of a frustrating task than therapeutic release. I resorted to digital medium, manually saving my journal entries to my computer, I consider Microsoft Word to be my first blogging platform.
Adjusting to the wide open space in Yosemite was challenge, but it became easier after I befriended a co-worker who later became my roommate. As our friendship progressed, I confided in her about my journaling. Sometimes I read selected entries to her before bed, other times I would email them to her and ask for opinions and advice. It became a nightly bonding ritual for us. One day she mentioned that she admire my creative writing skills and thought my eloquent words should be showcased on my own blog instead of hidden away on a hard drive. “What’s a blog?” I asked. Halfway into her explaining what a blog was and the emerging cultural phenomenon behind it, I quickly denounced the idea. The thought of displaying my life on the internet was foreign to me. It sounded if not intrusive then certainly ridiculous. Little did I know, that idea not only silently grew as time went by but came to fruition when I realized that happiness is real only when shared. I had a change of heart to start blogging.
I needed something more creative than my birth name as a domain but wanted to remain true to my identity. Luckily, my high school nickname: Romeo was creatively appropriate. Unfortunately, Romeo.com was taken. So was: Romeo.net, Romeo.us, or Romeo.(anything). My excitement to get my own domain was suddenly filled with disappointment. A memory of being refereed to as a “Modern Romeo” came to mind but even ModernRomeo.com was taken. Ready to abandon the idea that I had mixed feelings about to begin with, I warned my friend: “If ModernRomeo.net is not available then it wasn’t meant to be.” On November 14, 2005, ModernRomeo.net was purchased.
Originally, ModernRomeo.net started out as a manually hard coded HTML blog that was mostly kept private to myself. The blog eventually transitioned from HTML based to a GreyMatter platform. As I matured so did ModernRomeo.net. Eventually, the blog transformed into a personal website that includes photos and some of my creative work. As the blogging community evolved, support and further development of GreyMatter ceased to exist. ModernRomeo.net transitioned to a WordPress platform in the late 2010 and still remains in use currently.
ModernRomeo.net chronicles my life and is the artistic means in which I choose to pay tribute to anything and everyone in it.