Justin Hall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Justin Hall
Justin Hall in 2008
Born (1974-12-16) December 16, 1974 (age 49)
Alma materFrancis W. Parker
Swarthmore College
University of Southern California
Occupation(s)Recruiter, Director of Culture & Communications
Known forBlogging, The Nethernet

Justin Hall (born December 16, 1974, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American journalist and entrepreneur, best known as a pioneer blogger.


Born in Chicago, Hall graduated Francis W. Parker High School in 1993. In 1994, while a student at Swarthmore College, Justin started his web-based diary Justin's Links from the Underground, which offered one of the earliest guided tours of the web.[1] Over time, the site came to focus on Hall's life in intimate detail. In December 2004, The New York Times Magazine referred to him as "the founding father of personal blogging."[2]

In 1994, during a break from college Hall joined HotWired, the first commercial web magazine started within Wired magazine.[3] There, he began a long-term working partnership with critic, writer and teacher Howard Rheingold.[4] Later Hall would become a freelance journalist covering video games, mobile technology and internet culture. He published analysis from game conferences such as E3 as well as the Tokyo Game Show. He chronicled the first Indie Game Jam in 2002. From late 2001 and 2003, Hall was based in Japan, mostly Tokyo and Akita, authoring a guidebook Just In Tokyo.[5]

In 2007, Hall graduated from the MFA program in the USC Interactive Media Division. His thesis project was an attempt to make surfing the web into a multiplayer game: PMOG, the Passively Multiplayer Online Game. Hall went on to serve as CEO of GameLayers, which raised $2 million to turn PMOG into The Nethernet, a MMO in a Firefox toolbar.[6] The Nethernet failed to turn a profit, and GameLayers closed down as a company. The server and client software for the Nethernet was released as open source[7] and Hall went on to publish A Story of GameLayers, "open-sourcing our business process".[8]

At present, Hall lives in San Francisco, California. He served as a Producer on ngmoco:)'s Touch Pets series, and then became ngmoco:)'s Director of Culture & Communications.[9] After working for ngmoco:)'s parent company DeNA as a Recruiter, Hall left the company in mid-2013. In 2015 he released a self-produced short documentary Overshare: the Links.net Story exploring his "extremely personal blogging".[10] In September 2017, Hall began work as co-founder & Chief Technology Officer for bud.com, a California benefit corporation delivering recreational cannabis, built on a domain name he registered in 1994.[11]

Selected works[edit]

  • Playing a Life Online - an audio recording March 11, 2006 (speech at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas USA)
  • "The Fantasy Life of Coder Boys", April 2003, Wired
  • "Where the Geeks Are", August 19, 1999, Rolling Stone
  • "Today's Visions of the Science of Tomorrow", January 4, 2003, New York Times op-ed
  • "Hire This Boy To Play Your Video Games", October 12, 2000, Rolling Stone
  • Just In Tokyo, 2002, Garrett County Press. ISBN 978-1-891053-50-4


  • J. Goldstein & J. Raessens, Handbook of Computer Game Studies, MIT Press, 2005: Chapter on "Future of Games: Mobile Gaming"
  • T. Fullerton & C. Swain, Game Design Workshop, CMP Books, 2004: Sidebar/chapter on "The Indie Game Jam."
  • V. Burnham, Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age, MIT Press, 2001: Essays on the Apple ][, Burger Time and Spy Hunter.


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Harmanci, Reyhan. "Time to get a life -- pioneer blogger Justin Hall bows out at 31." San Francisco Chronicle. February 20, 2005, retrieved on July 20, 2006.
  2. ^ Rosen, Jeffrey. "Your Blog or Mine?" New York Times Magazine. December 14, 2004, retrieved on October 31, 2007.
  3. ^ Hall, Justin, "Justin Hall @ HotWired", Justin's Links, retrieved 6 December 2012
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Scott (2009), Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters, Crown, retrieved 6 December 2012
  5. ^ Hall, Justin (May 2002), Just In Tokyo, New Orleans, Louisiana: Garrett County Press, p. 66, ISBN 1891053507, retrieved 16 October 2011
  6. ^ Arrington, Michael (3 February 2008), "Play A Multiplayer Online Game While Surfing The Web: PMOG", TechCrunch, retrieved 23 February 2013
  7. ^ PMOG Open Source, Github, retrieved 6 December 2012
  8. ^ Hall, Justin, "A Story of GameLayers", Justin's Links, retrieved 6 December 2012
  9. ^ Walker, Joseph (November 15, 2011), "For Tech's Elite, Mobile Gaming Is a Big Play", The Wall Street Journal, retrieved 21 February 2013
  10. ^ Wickman, Kase (August 25, 2015), "One Of The First Webloggers Shares 6 Things He's Learned On The Internet", MTV News, retrieved 8 February 2017
  11. ^ Colbert, Mitchell (20 March 2018). "bud.com & the Power of the URL". Cannabis Now. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  12. ^ Home Page at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ Blood
  14. ^ Radio Free Steve at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]