I am an Internet pioneer for Malta. I first heard of the Internet in 1987. I was impressed by the idea of a network of networks, and left it at that. My first email account was activated in 1994 when I was an international exchange student at Virginia Commonwealth University. I subscribed to a handful of newsgroups related to my personal interests and was utterly fascinated by all that my fellow Internet users had to say about topics ranging from Theatre to Buddhism, and beyond…way beyond! It was also at this time that the World Wide Web was starting to catch on with the introduction of the first graphic browsers. The first graphic browser I used was Mosaic, but I clearly remember the first version of Netscape, which seemed better than Mosaic. That was the winter of 1995. The Netscape browser remained my favorite until I switched to Firefox in 2005.
I really took to the Internet in 1995 and by the end of that year I was producing a TV series about the Internet in Malta. The following year, I used the Internet as a projected backdrop in a theatrical production based on Aristophanes’ The Frogs, and I also became an Internet consultant for the National Tourism Organization of Malta. The result of that early work can still be seen to this day in the success achieved by the website VisitMalta.com, which has been online since 1997.
In the summer of 1997 I spent sometime focusing entirely on making theatre. I was among hard-working experimental theatre-makers in Madison, Wisconsin. I was away from electronic technology, for the most part, and away from everything else too. It was during this time that I realized that what I really wanted to do was work on and with the Internet full-time. My academic and professional interest in the Internet turned from peripheral to predominant in 1998. That year I founded my own Internet venture: MaltaMedia. Since then, I have also been teaching about the Internet and joined the University of Hull as Lecturer in Performance & Creative Technologies in 2004. I currently hold the post of Director of Research at the University of Hull’s Scarborough School of Arts and New Media in the beautiful seaside town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire.