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"Hello Loneliness" - Evan Ratliff on emotional spillage in an odd venue [View All]

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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 12:19 PM
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"Hello Loneliness" - Evan Ratliff on emotional spillage in an odd venue
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Issue of 2005-08-22
Posted 2005-08-15

On July 14, 2004, someone using the pseudonym Lonely logged on to, a Web site dedicated to the technicalities of creating, uploading, downloading, and viewing digital video files. Typically, the site's message boards carry headings such as DX 50 and DIV3 Codecs and How Do I Burn AVI Movies to DVD with Nero 6 Ultra Edition? Lonely, however, decided to create a discussion forum entitled I am so lonely will anyone speak to me. Ok so how are you, the first respondent asked. Are you a piece of pig's bollok? Before long, a different breed of visitor had begun to arrive. Dude, someone named wetfeet2000 posted a little over a week later, I typed in 'I am lonely' in Google, and your post was the very first response. Does that make you the most popular loneliest person on the planet?

By a serendipitous combination of the phrasing of Lonely's declaration and's popularity among people who are interested in digital video, the forum had indeed jumped to the top of Google's results for the phrase I am lonely. Visitors from around the world logged on with personal expressions of solitude, ranging from the adolescent (Spring break really fucking sucks) and the temporary (My wife is gone for the night) to the involved (I'm in the final year of my Ph.D., I have no life, and I am broken up with my gf because she joined a cult), the confused (I typed: 'why is abc bittorrent not working' and I got 'I am lonely.' Not too hilarious), and the existential (I feel like a floating piece of dust in outer space). Among the posters was's proprietor, a twenty-seven-year-old Danish computer programmer named Bjarne Lundgren. I'm the webmaster/owner of and I'm also quite lonely, he wrote in November, punctuating his message with a yellow frowny face.

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