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The Octopus Files, by Benway

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The Octopus Files is a completely free service, though Benway will always be very happy to accept any donations you may wish to give.

About Benway and The Octopus Files

About Benway

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 infamous.

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 Files

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.