Better than IRL: “Finding your people on the internet of the mid-2000s.”


Having small children is an incredible experience, it can take in your whole world. Years fly by and you can be so very focused on our family and work that, unfortunately, you can lose track of a lot of friends, and your social life pretty much disappears.

When we got to put our heads above ground again in the mid-2000s, I found Tumblr (via Sussanah Breslin) and it really helped me to put my cultural self back together. Sharing work, art and ideas, meeting so many amazing people, (and I didn’t even need to go outside!) it really was an incredibly important time for me and I am very grateful to all of those who made that happen. I suppose the GDSP project was one of the many high points of that.

I left Tumblr behind when they brought in the censorship rules in because it seemed it was leaving the people who made it cool and essential behind, but I have been working hard on keeping my internet positive and fulfilling in that tradition.
It is the history of this spirit and time that Katie West, photographer, writer and publisher is documenting in her new book project “Better than IRL” currently open to pre orders on Kickstarter.

“Better Than IRL is a collection of true stories about the years when the internet first started gaining traction as a place to build connections and community. With 20 essays written by pioneers and participants from online communities, this paperback (or digital book!) looks at how this specific time on the internet changed us, and how we can take the elements that made it so much better than IRL with us into the future.”

“The book will be personal and hopeful. It won’t be nostalgic moaning about how the internet isn’t what it once was—it will discuss how it made us into who we are now and how we can take the lessons we learned about inclusion and belonging to be better people going forward. With talented authors from Canada, South Africa, Pakistan, USA, Singapore, UK, and Liberia, the book covers a wide array of experiences with the beginnings of the Web 2.0.”

Katie began a chat group on Instagram upon the launch of the Kickstarter, last week, and invited many of us who found each other then and it has really brought back many special memories and friendships.

I really hope the book gets funded, I urge you to consider backing the project, and sharing with anyone else you know who might be interested. The money doesn’t go out of you account until the project is fully funded, if that helps.

“Brexicuted” by Chris Shepherd (2018)

My old college friend and prolific animator and mentor, Chris Shepherd made this short film last year about the political issue currently dominating British politics at the expense of literally everything else.

Wherever you fall on the debate it’s pretty funny. I was lucky enough to see it last autumn at the Encounters film festival, but it is currently available on YouTube.

Posted here in celebration of Withdrawal Agreement Day in Parliament (haha!).

(You might have to click through to watch.)

Charcuterie à gogo!

One of the great legacies of Tumblr was this huge international friendship group we’ve built.
Here is a picture of the excellent @jacquelinedear holding up a serving tray with my drawing “One Hour on the 11:30 from Bristol Temple Meads” she had just received from @society6. How wonderful is that?!
Thank you so much, Jackie, I hope you have lots of great times with the tray. ❤️🙏🎉

Tumblr Closedown

This is cross posted form my Tumblr:

This is officially my last post here, this was my first.

I will stop actively using Tumblr as of the 17th Dec 2018.

I object to Tumblr’s years of benefiting and gaining trust from the artistic community to then go on and remove and destroy a decades worth of work, archives and culture with impunity.

I have decided not to completely delete my page here, most of what I have posted is not at risk from being removed by the algorithm, and, besides, I am still proud of the tens of thousands of posts I have collected.

Tumblr was the first place I felt truly at home on the internet and I have found many excellent friends and collaborators through it. I am currently working hard to make sure I am following all of you/them elsewhere, preferably with RSS, but with whatever form they find most suits them.

Life goes on and I have been maintaining a blog over on WordPress for many years, it has two parts, one that showcases my own work & history and another that is much more like the scrapbook style of blogging I have been pursuing here collecting and collating things I find.

Both parts of the blog are at, you are very welcome to come and find me there and explore, I am active most days.

I am also very active on Twitter (@burningfp), Instagram (@burningfp) and Pinterest (@burningfp).

Pages at Facebook (@burningfp),  Ello (@burningfp), Mastodon (@paulgreer) update less frequently, but I am working on it.

I would like to thank everyone that has made using this site the magical, empowering and life changing experience it has been for me, and I wish all of you the very best for the future.

Kind regards,


Seven Black and White Photos.

Just over a week ago I got challenged by Jess to do the Seven Black and White Photograph challenge.

No context, no explanations, no people, no pets.

So here we are, all done. It was interesting working without the colour because that’s usually my fall back option.

I’m supposed to nominate some people now, which I’m not sure about. If you fancy it, let me know. I’ll pretend it was my idea or something.