After more than a 2-year hiatus, Internet Girlfriend Club is finally here with a new volume. Welcome … at long, long last … to Volume 9!

I didn’t forget about this site! Although I will admit that at times I worried I would have to end up writing a “goodbye statement” on the front page. It’s not from a lack of wanting, because I get a lot of joy from working on this zine. But it requires a specific effort and skillset to repeatedly aks for contributions from friends, friend-of-friends, and strangers that I found, for a myriad of mundane reasons, to be especially challenging in 2019-2020.

I did work on a few similar projects in the meantime. I gave a talk and wrote about how video used to live on the web and what to do about it now. I created a network-based performance art project, called Throttled (and there’s a blog post about it, too, if you want a more technical perspective). And recently (assuming we have been in March for the past 8 months), I wrote about MTV’s foray into the virtual worlds community in 1996 for Screen Slate, with a copy you can read here.

Ashley, this isn’t LiveJournal – what about Volume 9???

That’s right. Volume 9 follows a general theme of communal computing. (Excluding the first story, which is more about of the traditional middle/high school antics, except (very) online.) I probably have a dozen stories where having a shared “family” computer got me in trouble (cookies, crashes, messages meant for me and NOT my dad, my little brother’s friend downloading porn and getting a virus…)

For the majority of North Americans today, the idea of having to share a phone and computer with your entire family sounds like a total nightmare (Isn’t Facebook bad enough?).

This volume contains exploiting autodialers for love, a sweet little love letter to the internet itself (and some sneaky shoulder-surfing), sharing computers and computer space with fellow library patrons, a mom speculating on who is on the other end of the internet (and phone), and church pastors getting a taste for how educational the internet can be sometimes.

This volume has furries, this volume has hentai, this volume has Gatorade Frost Arctic Breeze, this volume has pyramid schemes. Really, this volume has it all.

(Except primary sources! This volume features a full suite of narratives.)

Finally, like always, please submit snippets of your past for future editions, so we can have another volume before 2022! (although I have a feeling it might be just around the corner..!)

Your editor, Ashley