John Halcyon Styn

  • lifestyle artist
  • video blogger
  • digital explorer
  • ordained minister
  • radio show host
  • web designer
  • community builder
  • public speaker


Sometimes I think of my work as a digital letters to my future children. What would I want them to know about me once they are grown up?

And sometimes I just like to view myself as the protagonist of my own epic myth. Recording the journey forces me to think about living actively (vs. passively.)

And sometimes I admit that its all just a little bit narcissistic. Just a little.
Because I'm simply celebrating my journey. I'm not saying I'm any better than anybody else. On the contrary, I think EVERYONE has the capacity to be truly great. I strive for greatness and encourage everyone to live their epic myth.

Yes, I believe I deserve to live on a throne...but it is not an exlusive throne. There is room here for all of us.



born: 5.28.71 (3:20 pm, san diego, ca) 36 years old
fav color: baby blue and pink
fav sounds: hard house / big beat
faith: self-defined. (Burning Man influenced)
clothing: textured (and often pink)
style: flamboyant
piercings: ears and nipple (8 gauge)
body hair: rigidly groomed
greeting: hug



Details from my Life Story


  • I was born in 1971, in the cultural wake of the Vietnam war.
  • My brother was born when I was 2.
  • When I was in grade school, I thought I could hear the silent ends of screams. Not so much the sounds, but the feeling of tense, expelled breath. I thought they might be ghosts.
  • I was given an IQ test and did well. The test administrator told my parents that I could do anything I wanted to in life. My parents passed that statement on to me often as a type of loving encouragement. Unfortunately, I heard it as “You should do everything. And anything you fail at is your fault”
  • When I was 13, I complained about my teacher on the first day of school.
    On the second day of school my mom drove me to a special school with all new kids.
    At the new school, filled with nerds, I was athletic and cool for the first time in my life.
    I also felt stupid for the first time in my life.
    I became suicidal and went to counseling for the first time in my life.
    The therapist and my parents decided to take me out of the special school.
  • A couple years later, I quit little league mid-season. Mid-game. I threw my bat and started walking home in my cleats.
  • When I was in Jr. High I drew screaming faces over and over again. I wrote dark poetry about nuclear war. I listed to Bauhaus.
  • From ages 6-10 I took Aikido with Martin Katz. It planted powerful seeds of non-violence and taught me about the flow of aggressive energy.
  • I was in a fight once in my life. In 4th grade. At soccer practice.
  • My second surge of violence was at a high school football game. I punched a stranger in the face durring a fan brawl..

growing up
  • Lost my virginity or Prom night, right before my 18th birthday. Neither one of us climaxed.
  • I wore turtle necks every day for a year (10th grade) because I thought it made my ears smaller and my 'pencil neck' not-so-noticable.
  • I wore makeup (foundation) during jr high and high school because of my complexion.
  • I was heavily into underground rap in 1988-89. My rap name was "Def Mane"
  • My first car was a beige Volvo Station Wagon.
  • I Helped start a fraternity while in college.
  • Bought first URL in 1996,, to migrate my xeroxed “zine” to this new worldwide publishing system I heard about.
  • Sued by Fruit of the Loom for a parody piece called “Meat of the Loom.”
    After grassroots protests and press in Wired magazine, FotL back down in one of the first demonstrations of web as tool for collective action against evil (corporations).
  • Launched to publicly explore inward using this new medium.
  • Won the 2000 Webby for best personal website,
  • Employed as Spokesperson and Community Voice for the 2 million member college web community from 1999-2001
  • Shot a TV Pilot "Hot Tub TV"
  • Employed Kaycee Nicole and promoted her weblog enthusiastically. (Her fake persona and death was one of TWO highly public times when I was played a fool.)
  • Coined term, “digital intimacy” to explain the real connections people have over the net
  • Explored webcams as a tool for connecting via the web. After developing CClive at collegeclub, created and ran, experimental webcam community.
  • Hosted and ran “live audience” interactive webcam events (MEANING THE VIEWERS HAVE CAMS AND ARE ALSO PARTICIPANTS.) like Virtual Grace, HugNation, andthe FeelTheLove call-in show.
  • Lived for 2.5 years in a 24/7 webcam house with night vision and audio.
  • Subject of an MTV documentary about living publicly.
  • Sam Donaldson said "Get a load of that guy! What an ego!" about me on the air at the 2001 Webby Awards.
  • I MC'd The SXSW web awards (live event) from1999-2003.
  • Won a second webby with my grandpa in 2007 for our video podcast, HugNation.
  • Did the first ever "Hug Tour" in honor of Grandp Caleb.
  • In 2002, I was named one of the 10 most hated sites on the net by Yahoo Internet Life Magazine.
  • In 2007 Yahoo featured me & Grandpa as notable "People of the Web"
  • Sometimes when people are explaining things to me in a warm way, I get a blissful tingling sensation. I’ve called it “the feeling” since I was a kid. Sometimes an interesting accent can trigger it. Sometimes a cold chill, or foreign accent helps maintain it.
  • I cut off my hair on a TV makeover show.
  • Had my first “real” date on the Gameshow STUDS.
  • Burning Man is a central part of my spiritual practice. (participant since 1998)
  • Pierced my right nipple in 1991 and my left in 2001.
  • I have no tattoos.
  • My best friend is my brother.
  • I tend to be very good at being in the moment. But much worse at remembering moments.
  • I forget everyone’s names.
  • I love dancing in places where you can take your clothes off if you want. At least your shirt.
  • I *heart* nudity.
  • My skin complexion is my weakness. I pick at my face and then get depressed when my face is a mess.
  • I enjoy self grooming more than I should.
  • I like the ritual of separate pre-sex showering. Like preparing the temple.
  • I believe audio volume is the most under-rated element of a good sex life.
  • My personal mantra is, “love more, fear less. float more, steer less.”
  • I had a spiritual experience on a mountaintop in Turkey in 1991 and have been changed ever since.
  • I’ve given seminars at internet conferences and the national Lifestyles Swinger convention.
  • I hosted a weekly call-in radio show for almost 2 years.
  • I’ve never been in a romantic relationship that lasted more than 2 years.
  • I've had the personal licence plates: DEF MANE, C*CKY, HUGABLE, and HUG NATN



The Pink Broadcasting Company - my experimental one man TV network

-CockyVision Vlog - self-produced Interviews, Humor, vlogging

-Hug Nation - WEBBY AWARD WINNING (2007) weekly digital love podcast (previously co-hosted by Grandpa Caleb)

- March of the Hugmobile - my weblog - WEBBY AWARD WINNING (2000) personal website. Now a hub to projects listed here. - burning man tales & vids

Prehensile Tales -Humor writing. (on hiatus)

"Feel The Love" Radio Show (defunct)

TheRealHouse (Closed)

CitizenX (closed)

interviews with me / press

"News to Me" profile on CNN TV

Jeffrey Zeldman's 15 Minutes WEB

Derek Powazek's "Design For Community" BOOK (Chapter 7 is an interview with me)

"HugNation: A Living Legacy of Love"

Austin Chronicle 2003

Austin Chronicle 2001

"Online HUgs Soothe Lonely Hearts"


Ben Brown
Derek Powazek
Jeffrey Zeldman
Caleb Shikles
Jacob Glass
Zadi & Steve
Casey & Rudi
Chuck Olsen
Mr. Rogers
Victor Frankl
Eckard Tolle
Martin Katz
Hunter S. Thompson
Woody Allen
National Lampoon
Mad Magazine
William S. Burroughs
Robert Nesta Marley
Alex Grey
John Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Robert Rodriguez