Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Happy Anniversary, Baby! HNT

Got you on my mii-hiiiind...."

Ah, ya gotta love the Little River Band!

The picture shown above is the very first official HNT picture ever posted. My heel. Damaged, hurting, and fairly ugly. Gosh, how far we all have come!

Earlier during that week, I had chatted with both Rachel and Moose about posting half-nekkid pics. They were skeptical, to say the least. And who could blame them? That first HNT found 5 participants. Rachel, Moose, Juliepathouli, Darrel and myself. All tame, all done in fun, and I fully expected that the next week would see the end of it. By the third week, our numbers had more than doubled! And by the end of June, the blogroll was getting to be unmanangeable.

Obviously, we've all experienced HNT to its current incarnation. HNT is constantly changing. It certainly isn't anything like what I envisioned a year ago, but then again, who could have imagined this! If you look at the blogroll over there, there's 638 links displayed. 638!! While many of them are dead links, or have otherwise left HNT, they all joined in with HNT at one time or another. Some for only one time, others for almost all 52 HNTs to date. With all the memes, games, polls and such that are out there, HNT has lasted a full year. Imagine that for a minute--a full year! There's not many other things on the internet with that track record!

I've tried to keep HNT as "open" as possible. There is no "administration". There are no hard and fast "rules". There's no memberships to buy or fees to pay. Anyone can do it at any time. Sometimes that means that you get more than you bargained for. Both from pictures that you see, or in comments that you get. That's the glory of being that open. I get asked how much money I make on this. Not a dime. People think I'm nuts. For a variety of reasons, but because of that as well. I think that by tying money to it, it changes the whole feel of HNT. Above all, I don't want to see HNT becoming a sexblog. I don't think it will be thought of in that manner, and even the sexbloggers who join in on HNT are more HN than what they do on their own sites. They see the value in "half".

Looking back, what has HNT meant/done for me? For all of us? I think it's got to be the community that has developed. We've had deaths in the family that we've mourned. We've had the pregnancies and births that we've celebrated. Cancer has struck, job promotions have been offered. We've seen people come and go. We've seen people come and go and come back again. Granted, HNT isn't for everyone. Some people see it as just a skin thing--exhibitionism. Others see it as cheap soft-core porn, and are generally disappointed. Still others see it as a thing for losers to do because they can't find a life. These people just don't get it. It's not about the skin--it's about nekkidness. Of the soul, of the emotions, and yes, even of the skin. The picture of a woman's hand cradled in the hand of her father on his deathbed, literally just hours before his death, is one of the most nekkid, most beautiful pictures we've seen here.

But HNT is also about fun. We can't deny that. Rachel was the first to post a picture of her butt. Thank you Rachel! Soon after that, butts were poppin' up all over. Femi-mommy took it another step with her remarkable tattoos and poses. Crimson and Firefly both have shown us what can be done when you are your own photographer! Paul made a couple of series of HNTs. Kalani came up with the Mystery Guest concept when my camera was stolen. Lecram made movies and plays, and even took us to an arts festival! And HNT made the international press! How cool is that?? For me, the HNT highlight of the year was the trip to Nashville. Eleven people, none of whom knew more than 2 or 3 of the others, together for a great party! Well worth the trip! And the highlight of meeting other HNTers across the country--I highly recommend it if you get the chance!

I don't know where HNT is headed. I'd like to think that it could go on indefinitely. That's up to you guys, because ultimately, HNT is all about you. So celebrate it! Continue to have fun with it! Make "half-nekkid" mean whatever it needs to mean for you! It's been a great year--let's keep it up! Party on!

I had no idea that champagne would sting! One last note--there are a number of people I'd like to thank for the past year, but I don't want to single anyone out. You know who you are, we've talked, chatted, emailed. We've bitched, moaned, cried, laughed, gossiped. Some of you are still around to read this. Some of you are not. Regardless, I thank all of you for the friendships we've developed!

This week's Mystery Guest is taking things up a notch for herself. When she sent it to me, she wasn't too sure she wanted to use it. Since then, she's gotten a little more comfortable about her body, so she gave me the OK. She'll probably reveal herself on Thursday afternoon, but if you think you know who it is, go ahead and email her and she'll confirm it for you before then!
This week's Mystery Guest is totally geekalicious. Of course, that means it must be Vic! Stop by, and you get to see her butt, too!

Femi-mommy, as mentioned above, was a driving force in the creative shots that we now see. Her unique tattoos, and uninhibited posing, along with a willingness to share her thoughts and fears, made her a truly unique person. She's had to change blogs a few times, as well as her name, and has finally ended up somewhere that she feels safe. She's out there still, checking a few people out. She had hoped to do a celebratory post, but it didn't work out. But she still wanted to get in on the festivities, so here is her very first HNT. Hopefully she'll toss the new one over here if she can get it done! Femi, we miss you!

Lastly, be sure to check out "...the Other HNT". Once again, just a little more than what you might get on their own sites!

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