Netdiver magazine

/ What's new in design
digital culture

A little (www) Story

In 1995, JF and I started a little company – Netdiver. It’s original mission was to uncover and report on the economic possibilities of the emerging www.

ndlr: JF & I in pixel regalia presenting a new logo. Still love it (/him too).


We were going to ‘dive’ to fetch the pearls – in opposition to ‘surf’ – which was then buzz word du jour.

We thought it pretty clever.


Remember vividly my awe upon ‘entering’ the infant web – wow – we are now connected to the world! To this day – still awed.

First search was this single word: Idea.

Landed on TWChiatDay – Idea Factory which posited on a ‘new’ approach on how to run a creative studio – horizontal instead of hierarchial.

The interior ‘spaces’ were amazing – and have now become the norm for all those Silicon Valley giants and startups: funky offices – team pods – free food – game – flexible hours, etc.

Exactly what I was envisioning.

I concluded – if there’s one maybe there’s hundreds??


ndlr: Netdiver site banner circa ’99. Diving not surfing ;))


I remember the early www to be barely above double-digits millions. The web was ‘small’ and somewhat.. uh.. intimate.

I theorized ‘freelancing’ to become the economic norm – clients to be landed anywhere in the world and the ‘disenfranchising’ of selling both creative skills and goods to be possible.

At long last – designers could change the world with ‘communication’, ‘exchange’ and ‘collaboration. The circulation of new ideas to be unbelievably faster than pre-Internet since new ideas always reached ‘culture’ – post-mortem for authors.


Followed 3 intensive years of stealth research gazing / gauging the ‘opportunities’ that would be afforded creatives types when they would settle in the then land of MiS, technologists and scientists.

I was mind-mapping infinite files to locate like-minded people who – as us – were exploring and building what today has become such a commodity – although an irreplaceable one as that.


In ’98, I decided to ‘share’ the results of the ‘likeminded’ research – aka bookmarks with small screencaps – our visual trademark 200 x 115 pixels and a bit of text to describe it.


ndlr: Wayback Machine archives


We hard-coded a ‘website’ with frames and attempted to emulate a ‘magazine’ look and started to post (lol) – what would later become Netdiver Mag.

Way long before blogs were even in the ‘pipe’ of extraordinarily talented visionaries.


ndlr: Netdiver vintage pins + postcard distributed at conferences / events.
Reissue TBA


Through the years I kept a directory titled ‘x_pired’ in which I saved thumbnails of websites either redesigned or gone offline.

I had this sentimental attachment. I remembered all of them. It made me sad when so much creativity (not counting the man-hours) was thrown out in the ether. Once bright lights. Now gone.


I chose to turn that sadness into a somewhat very unofficial web museum of what was new in design.

This is what Netdiver Vintage edition is about.

Since onset – I had and still have a very privileged overview of the web. When I went on hiatus – I don’t exaggerate stating having visited over 150k websites.

I have saved all the ‘archives’ pre-database years – and I am continually adding to it. So far 2.4k projects listed.




ndlr: Netdiver Vintage 2 columns interface.

ndlr2: Hard to believe it was once trendy to use very + very small fonts.

The Great Discontent #1

The Great Discontent (TGD) is a magazine featuring interviews on beginnings, creativity, and risk. Cofounded by a brilliant duo – Ryan & Tina Essmake – they publish a new interview every Tuesday morning.


On February 4, they launched a campaign to fund The Great Discontent Magazine #1 – their first printed version.

It was an epic campaign that was fully funded at almost minus 0.

Now, it is possible to buy or gift a copy.

Limited quantities of all items.

Noon -5GMT

Noon (-5GMT). Netdiver Mag has resurfaced. After 2 yrs hiatus from publishing – honey I’m back!

47 new posts + 2,236 posts in all + 50 thumbnails / page in the galleries.

Enough to feed your eyes??


The decision to do so followed a discussion with a friend back in November 13 – who hoped that after my sabbatical – I would relaunch it. His desire concurred with mine and since, much time was spent to ‘revised’ the original interface – whilest thinking – that a few updates would be.. ok.

On June 14, we were almost ready.

As for any good stories – and the usual last minute fudge-up that can arise – it wasn’t for any of these that we decided to extend ‘baking time’ to relaunch.


June 13, I quested Matt Woolhouse – a Creative Director at Super Mega Awesome located in Boston who lives and loves the world of design and finds inspiration within the walls of this site – to give me his take of then navigation – that I was not happy about at all.


He returned a few comps – and tada – navigation direction was finally settled.


Gregor Zakelj – whose firm VBG designed our ‘new’ identity – saw the navigation on our beta site – and came up with this comp for the index – throwing us a ‘huge’ unexpected curve – on June 16!


I was so exhausted and at first it was oh no – then JF – Netdiver Mag co-founder and my all time code hero – had a look and really liked it and – right then – we decided to ‘run with it’.

To say intense don’t even come close to describing the frenzy mode we were in – I sleeping 4-5 hours – pulling-in 22 hours non-stop yesterday.


Lastly thanks to Chris Mish – owner of Balboatech – who stayed-up to tweak and spruce-up our server till the wee hours this morning.

He is my long-time resident back-end geek – go to for anything LAMP – and now – our hosting provider for the past couple of years.

Our dedicated server runs at top shape based on his decade plus experience. He has worked for (Media Temple) + 2Advanced.


I’m so ready! Let’s do this. To infinity and beyond!

MADE Publishers

MADE Publishers, is a boutique periodical and book publisher of design and culture, including periodicals Process Journal & Made Quarterly — with offices in Melbourne (Australia) and New York (United States).


If you wish to submit work.

If you wish to buy.


ndlr: Sister company of Hunt&Co.


Hunt&Co. is an internationally recognised and awarded design consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia.

Excerpt: “Good design is about making connections. We believe good design doesn’t start with formats or platforms — but that it finishes with them. That it requires curiosity and bravery. We believe in the road less travelled. We believe in the hunt.”


Wow to both mission statement + signature minimalism design projects!! Wanna see a great portfolio?

Head-on there – huh – hunt-on there.

Tsto sublime

Tsto is a design agency which approach is thorough and hands-on. They tackle an assignment by first taking it apart to its bare essentials, and then building it in a new way that best serves the purpose.

They go deeper than the surface, to the hidden core of each case.


Love the over lapping of projects when using the forward / backward arrows which adds even more visual appeal to their stunningly beautiful portfolio.

Refreshed & ready

This is it! After 2 years on hiatus from publishing – I’m back in the fold. So much has changed in such short time – an yet – one thing has remained unchanged: my passion for finding – discovering – featuring awesome talents and inspiring projects. Hello to my family – fellows – colleagues and friends in the industry and culture of design – I’m ready to change the world.


via: Illustration by Keenan Cummings


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