My first public contribution to the web took place in 1994 at a Star Trek exhibition called Federation Science. The exhibition recreated various parts of the Next Generation Enterprise including the bridge, the transporter room, and sickbay. It was full of people in Starfleet uniform, and touch screen terminals illustrating scientific concepts. One touch screen was modeled after those used for subspace communication. I entered my full name and a redundant message: “I like Star Trek. Do you?”

A few years later, I metacrawled for my own name on the internet. I discovered the gold-themed homepage of a Scientologist who shared my name. I also discovered some kind of web forum or guest book. There, I found my message about Star Trek. I could not comprehend how it got there. It topped the search results of Metacrawler, Webcrawler, Lycos, Excite, Magellan, InfoSeek, Ask Jeeves, Alta Vista, Yahoo, Google etc for years, fading gradually.

The responses to my message were friendly, though in hindsight I’m not really sure. I want to look them up now, but I don’t remember the site’s name. It’s not coming up in my search results. It hasn’t for some time. I thought it would always be there, but whatever that website was, it has escaped from memory.

Jason Sigal is a musician, DJ, teacher, and web developer