State of Modified Mind Address 2003

Modified Mind started in late October of 1999 (yes, over 4 years ago!) and has evolved a lot since that time. I remember being extremely excited to see 10 visitors to the site on my counter back then. Hell, even if 5 people visited my site in one day I was thrilled! I started the site on Tripod, replacing my personal content -- what confused content there was -- with content that had a purpose. I had been interested in body modification since late 1997 and was a computer science major, so what better to do than combine my two interests and develop a site that would cover body modification. I tried to come up with original content, and still maintain that goal to this day. But I knew Tripod wasn't going to be a great home and that I'd eventually move to a place with more freedom to expand and cover content that I desired to cover. So I applied for and was granted a BMEWorld site and eventually earned a site hosted by BME with my own domain. That's the physical evolution of the site, but that's not what I really want to talk about here. I want to look at what has made Modified Mind a great thing in my opinion.

Back in that early phase of Modified Mind, I frequented BME's old BBS forums and made some good friends (many I've lost touch with, regretfully). If it was not for these people, the early form of Modified Mind would have faded away very quickly, without even being noticed. I have to thank these people with all my heart for inspiring me in those early days.

First is Shannon Larratt, the creator of BME. While I did not have contact with him personally at this point, his creation -- BME -- opened me to mods I never knew existed, a community that showed me I was not alone, and friends who inspired me to grow. I thank Shannon for this and for eventually offering to host my site. BME has inspired many people and I count myself among them.

Second is a group of friends who offered their knowledge, participated in the early Round Table (which was actually an idea mentioned in a late night Messenger conversation with several of these friends), and agreed to be interviewed. Even the ones I have been out of touch with for a while now are very important to me. Thank you, Greg Morgan, Jason Sand, Dustin Sharrow, p7tms, Daniel Löfquist, and Frances Bignall. These are the people who sparked my creativity and helped in many ways with the launch and early period of Modified Mind.

Third are those that contributed as time went by and Modified Mind began to grow. Thank you to J, who had already had an interview on BME, for agreeing to do a "Part 2" interview with me which went on to be published on BME. Already having an interview on BME made him the highest profile interview of Modified Mind at the time and Modified Mind having an interview cross-published on BME helped bring some needed recognition -- and momentum -- to Modified Mind. Thanks to Bryan Walker and Helen Lewis for volunteering to be on the staff, and Clive Matthias for creating a very unique logo (which also became my first tattoo). Thanks to all those who have participated in interviews and in the Round Table, I have learned much from all of you. The kindness and willingness to contribute to a small site has really helped Modified Mind to grow. Modified Mind might be primarily a one man project when it comes to maintaining the site, but it is really much more than is a project held together by all of those mentioned and all who have contributed to the site over the years with Jewelry Reviews, Custom Gallery images, Employment Line submissions, and suggestions on ways to improve the site.

Now, 4 years and a couple of months since its birth, Modified Mind averages 120 to 130 visitors a day...and recently had a week long stretch of approximately 160 visitors a day. A far cry from those days when 10 visitors was a busy day. But this brings me to the fourth group I'd like to thank: the readers. Without the excitement of knowing that somebody was reading what I published (whether it be 5 visitors or 1000) I probably would not have kept going. The Jewelry Supplier Reviews section is becoming a very well known and referred to resource in the community. Without the readers who have submitted reviews, this would never have been the case. I have plans for a few changes to this section, a small visual change to standardize the title graphics and a change in content to include a small area of opportunity for the suppliers to get involved. I also have plans for at least one new section this year...I hope the readers welcome it and enjoy it. I watched the Jewelry Review section grow from nothing into something significant, and I hope to watch the Custom Gallery and the newer sections like Employment Line and In The Shop do the same. Thank you, readers for showing me that you are interested and willing to help Modified Mind grow -- and even more to turn it into something for you.

The End of the Year Awards have been renamed the Goldminds, and they are also being published today. If you've already read them, you are aware that Modified Mind received two awards. I am honored beyond words to know that there are people who think so highly of what Modified Mind has become. I must say thanks to Sara and Shannon for recognizing Modified Mind with these awards and I hope to continue to bring something to the modified community through Modified Mind.

And saving the best for last, I'd like to thank Heidi, my fiance. Her support and constructive criticism with my work on Modified Mind, and in my life in general, is greatly appreciated. She has been with me through my own evolution into body modification and the evolution of Modified Mind, giving suggestions and another opinion to all that I do. I love her more than anything and thank her for being there for me. As some of you probably know, we've been engaged a long time, and I'd like to let everyone know that we have finally set a date. We're getting married May 22, 2004. I love you, Heidi, and look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Thank you,
Bryan Henderson
Modified Mind Editor/Creator
[email protected]

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