dot-com failures, skim.com & obsessive bag collecting

This could so easily have been a “My Life in Bags” post. Maybe it sort-of is. I’ve always had a thing about bags as long as I can remember… rucksacks/backpacks, messenger bags, satchels even briefcases, holdalls, duffels & suitcases. A new bag is full of such possibilities; what can be carried in it? where and how many are all the pockets/compartments? the ritual of filling it with all those personal things… In a parallel universe I am the Imelda Marcos of bags. My cellar is overflowing with old bags I just can’t bear to part with… after all I’ve got keep all those old laptops somewhere 😀 Overflowing even after I’ve lost count of the many I’ve already sold on eBay…

In the gender-binary world in which we live I haven’t yet found any explanation/exploration into fascination/obsession with bags that isn’t about handbags/”purses“… apart from the world of EDC (“Every Day Carry”) that’s more focussed on knives/axes/survival & outdoorsy/boy-scout/preppers (sure, of course, I’ve got at least one of those bags in my collection too).

skim.com – 001 973 – internet enabled backpack

So the subject of this post is a real beauty from the bag archives, from 2000/2001 & skim.com – more than just a bag, a bag emblazoned with a personal ID (translated to an email address for those in the know). The epitome of stalker chic. All the problematic things about the whole concept got lost in my technophilia, “fashion” sense and a desire to be in with the cool kids. And it was start the new millennium right? Anything seemed possible…. we’d just survived the Y2K apocalypse, the internet was going to fix everything, even with passive/aggressive “Hey stranger, talk to me!” cryptic messages on clothes & bags.

I was an early adopter of the Orange PCN network and the inclusion of “973” in the bag’s ID number was not lost on me either…

skim.com was a Swiss Internet start up (including the Freitag founders apparently) and a band of fashion designers that had the idea of creating cool clothing products & accessories with unique IDs on them that translated into personal email addresses used by the wearer. At the time I registered this (bag) product and had the address “001973@skim.com”. Sadly now defunct but a fascinating piece of internet/dot-com era history. I suppose I should really use the bag to carry my retro Psion laptop (and all the accessories needed to make it actually useful in the modern age).

skim.com website & concept

Check out http://bit.ly/skimcom for the story of what happened at skim.com from one of the founders when the internet bubble burst or search for skim.com in the “Wayback Machine” Internet archive at https://archive.org and look at 2000/2001 snapshots of skim.com to see what the original concept looked like 😁

I think I owned 3 skim.com email addresses in total, the bag, a pair of trousers with skim.com ID/email address on the hem by the bottom of one of the legs (typing that out just now has really brought home to me the ridiculousness of the whole proposition!) and a lanyard. Halcyon days!

Published by zedstarr

Chilled out human being, doing techy stuff.

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