Matte Elsbernd web publisher. writer. photographer. 23 years experience.
Ah, The Electrical Socket - one of my oldest sites. One that most people associate with me, but a site I haven't done much with in years. With so many sites that I have now, I realized that some people might not be getting the most complete or accurate picture of my work. If you look at one of my old sites which gives outdate information, you might not know it's outdated. This happens every time a recruiter from Boston contacts me - I don't live there anymore! So, I decided to consolidate my sites. The most accurate information about me and my sites is on my personal site matte.elsbernd.net. That's the site you're seeing now. Some projects still remain on electricalsocket.com, some older ones have been moved to archives.electricalsocket.com and some newer ones have sites of their own. You can find them all here.
It's amazing to think I've been doing this for so long that I have to worry about so many old, legacy sites... Who would have thought.
The Electrical Socket: Since 1996
electricalsocket.com is home to my web projects going back to september, 1996 when I registered the domain. Since 1994 I had been building websites under the name MatteNet, when I decided to get my own domain and try and build other people's websites as well as my own.

I did end up building a lot of websites for others, but they never made it to electricalsocket.com, rather it became home to quite a large collection of independent projects. This was where I explored my own ideas, played with the new technologies, and got to where I can hand-code complex HTML in my sleep.

Sure, lots of people have "personal websites" but very few people have such a wide range of projects and certainly not many who have projects that have grown as large as some of these.

First there was The New Baby Name Index which was a site built around my interest in words & their meanings. Started in 1996, this site quickly grew in size and audience, with more than 100 pages and up to 2.5 million hits at its peak. This project and its unexpected success taught me that one's personal stake in a project needs to be constantly evaulated. If a project becomes successful it will take up more & more of your time, so you need to make sure you get something out of it, and I don't mean money necessarily. You must be energized by interacting with your audience and watching the site grow. That is why I shut down The New Baby Name Index in December of 2001 and focused my energies on my other large site, The Firm List.

The Firm List started out quite accidentally as well, with my bookmark file growing too large to handle and a decision to make a site with links by topic. Well, only the topic of web design firms ever was built, and that's what became The Firm List, a site with more than 10,000 listings in more than 150 countries. With thousands of pages and millions of hits each month, this site is larger than many of its competitors, many of which are businesses, have staff and have/had budgets. And this site takes up the bulk of my "spare-time" and that's fine, as I am interacting with my peers, in my chosen professions and I genuinely enjoy making that site the best it can be.

The rest of the websites, writings, photography and other projects you'll find on electricalsocket.com are not quite as big, are perhaps snapshots in time, and don't see that much traffic but they are all examples of my work since 1994. They are experiments following the growth of this industry and my movements through it. It is never easy to be on the ground floor of a profession. It is certainly not easy to stay abreast of everything that's going on. But it would be next to impossible for me to be where I am today without the experimentation and hard work that is reflected here.

I try to find time to explore new ideas, start new projects and update old ones, but there's only so much time in a day. A lot of my time is taken up with The Firm List and I don't see that changing any time soon. But it's important to me to keep exploring. I have binders full of ideas for projects I've never had time to build. I have had more than enough domains for websites I never had the time to build.

I used to tell people back in 1995 & 1996 when I was still in college than I had removed more things from my websites than most people will ever put on theirs. I've come a long ways from that point. Now I can honestly say I've built more stuff than many businesses have ever built, let alone any one person.

I hope you enjoy and keep coming back. Who knows what's to come.

- Matte Elsbernd
The Electrical Socket v1 September 1996
The Electrical Socket v2 June 1997
The Electrical Socket v3 October 1997
Sites/Projects of Matte Elsbernd
> Alphabet Stew -w
> American Freak Show -w
> Anyways...* -iw
> apocalypse -w
> Archives -m
> As Searched On...* -m
> Behind the Firm List Blog -w
> BehindtheURL -r
> Bloom -w
> Books I've Read -m
> Browser Wars* -a
> The Burroughs Proceedings -w
> Death of a Moth -w
> Dr. Woolittle -h
> 8Track On My Mind* -i
> The Electrical Socket* -m
> The Filmsite Graveyard* -m
> The Firm List -ir
> Formulaic* -a
> fotomatte -p
> HexHues -ir
> I'm Dreaming of a Wool Christmas -h
> If I Had But 1/2 A Brain* -i
> LinkArt* -a
> MatteNet -aim
> No More Web* -iw
> (Not So) Used Ideas -hiw
> Periodically Coherent -f
> The PhiloMOMA -a
> Ransom Letters -f
> Society of Postmodern Archaeologists* -hw
> Socketboy in the Land of Splish* -ah
> Soiled Wool -h
> SteelWool -h
> Talking : The Dialogue Series -w
> Touch Tone TT -f
> The Tribe of Woolgatherers -h
> 2001 A Wool Odyssey -p
> Waking Up To Find You're Still Dreaming -hw
> WoolFest '99 -p
> WoolFest2000 -p
> Words Never Spoken -w
> Work, the Wool & the Web -h
a = art   f = font   h = humor   i = interactive   m = misc.   p = photo   r = resource   w = writing
* indicates archived project (frozen in time with no planned future additions)
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