Close your eyes and imagine life in the 90’s. No Facebook, no iPhones, no YouTube. How would anyone communicate or find out what was going on in the world? The horror!
My friends and I lived and breathed rollerblading. We subscribed to all the magazines (of which there were two; Daily Bread and Box) and bought all the skating videos. We read and watched them religiously, emulating what we saw. But there was no real way to see what was happening outside our little world in the Bay Area between magazines.
I was really proud of the skating community in the Bay Area and wanted a way to share it with the rest of the world. So in 1996 I started working on the first issue of an online magazine called Sequence. The meaning behind the name was that instead of single photos we would focus on multiple sequence shots of tricks. This was before video on the web was really a thing and it was really rare to see that style in print magazines.
The first issue of Sequence hit in March 1996 covering the skaters in Alameda. It had an interview with my good friend Jason Marshall, who wasn't very well known at the time, as well as rumors and news, product reviews and an advice column. I’m pretty sure I spread the word through usenet, which was an old message board of sorts. Word of mouth spread pretty quickly and that first issue got a few thousand views.
The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive. I received email from people all over the world who loved what I was doing. By that time there were a few other websites with skating but plenty of demand for more content.
For the second issue I decided to head down to San Jose and cover the skating there. We had an interview with Tom Hyser and a bunch of pictures of local skaters like Jon Julio, John Starr and Jayson Reduta. For lots of skaters, this was their first exposure to what eventually would be known as the NorCal scene.
Over the next year, a new issue of Sequence hit the web every month. Eventually I took a job doing design with Fifty50 and my free time for Sequence slowly vanished. It's funny, I started Sequence with the dream of being part of the industry but it resulted in its death.
I'll get into more details on the other issues in a future post including the infamous Sequence Message Board and the unofficial parody site Sea-Quints. Unfortunately, my web host was horrible and deleted all my content when my credit card expired. To make matters worse, the Syquest SCSI drive I used for backup failed horribly so all of the original files were lost.
Thankfully archive.org has a pretty good amount of pages in the wayback machine. Sorry for the broken links and random images, I'm in the process of rebuilding Sequence from its scattered remains. I'll be sure to update you when I've got some news.
Most recent quality archive from 2001 with final design: https://web.archive.org/web/20001208080100/http://sequencemag.com
Oldest archive from December 1996 with early design: https://web.archive.org/web/19961220094903/http://www.best.com/~sequence/
The spirit of Sequence lives on with http://be-mag.com, which I believe has been going strong since the early 2000's. You can find me there on the message board if you want to chat, username 'law'.