My name is Steve, I'm
34 and live in Milton Keynes, about 50 miles north of London in
the UK. In my spare time I'm a musician, artist, writer and enjoy
dabbling in web design.
You can check out my other websites, music, art, writing and weblog
etc from the links on the left if you're curious.
Why is it called
The Octopus Files?
Several years ago I started
chatting on the net using an Amiga computer on various irc networks.
Most people on irc were using pc's, with a program called mirc which
featured the infamous slap. This feature effectively made
the user slap another chatter round the face with a large trout.
Not using mirc, and thus not having the slap, I decided to create
my own, but wanted to use something other than a trout. Visually,
I thought slapping someone in the face with an octopus would be
more funny, and after a time, Benway's octopus became quite
A few years later I discovered
blogging and started my own, with a really dull title. I knew I
needed something a little more interesting, and while chatting with
a friend, she told me she'd found a great little animal toy that
she intended to send to me... a Crazy Purple Rubber Squeaky Octopus.
I loved the toy, but just as much, I loved the name and it soon
became the name of my blog, while the toy itself is featured graphically
in the design.
Later, when I came to create this site, it seemed a good idea to
continue the octopus theme.
More About The Octopus
There has been some criticism
voiced on certain other websites regarding The Octopus Files...
mostly raising objections regarding the popups and the lack of a
dedicated domain name. I'd like to address those criticisms here.
Yes, there are popups, and no,
there is no fancy domain name, and the reason for this is very simple...
money. I've created this site purely as a hobby, with the wish of
making it easier to find good blogs without having to click through
countless links, only to find they're of no interest.
There are no financial returns from running this site, and as such,
I see no sense in spending money to remove the popups which are
required by the free webhost, or to add a few bells and whistles
which add nothing to the actual functionality of the site. To those
who would criticise the site on those grounds, I would just say
don't be so eliteist, and ask yourself if the site itself is functional
and useful. I believe it is. At the end of the day, if people hate
popups that much, they should install a popup killer. There are
plenty of free ones out there.
The policy of only linking to
blogs that include a return link hasn't proved entirely popular,
and certainly the number of people requesting links has dropped
off by a noticable ammount since including that policy.
I do however believe this policy is justified, as previously, I
recieved many link requests from people who were quite happy for
me to spend time and effort to link to their blogs, reading through
many posts to find suitable and representative excerpts, but who
couldn't be bothered to link back in return. Such an attitude was
not only unfair to me, but also to those other people who did bother
to link back. Quite simply, if everyone relied on everyone else
to link back, very few people would find this site, and thus wouldn't
find all the cool blogs listed here. It benefits everyone to include
a return link, and as such, that is now a requirement.
Finally, some people think that
for a blog to be listed here, I need to like it. That is not the
case. There are many great blogs listed here, and just as many that
I think are absolute rubbish, but that's not the point of The Octopus
Files. Just because I think a site is good (or bad) doesn't mean
others will. Hence the excerpts. The very concept of this site is
to let potential readers decide for themselves by giving them little
glimpses of the blogs listed.
I hope you enjoy using this
site, or at the very least find it useful. On a personal note, I
can honestly say I really enjoy running The Octopus Files, as I
get so see a lot of really wonderful weblogs that I very likely
never would have found otherwise. Thank you to all those who've
supported the site, added links, or just shown an interest.