My First Website - in 1996
Here it is February of 2019 and I’m still updating a blog and website. 1996 was the dawn of the internet . WYSIWYG was promised as the next big thing for those of us struggling with HTML. Programs like Freeway and Dreamweaver even back then promised simple drag and drop with little to no coding. Somehow over 20 years later there is still a learning curve to get a decent page put together, but yes it is a lot easier and pages can look so much better with little to no coding. Most importantly, as with back then, it takes a good designer to push the boundaries of what confines the web creates.
I remember sometime in 1996 going out for our studio’s weekly, sometimes daily, co-worker lunch at the local “all-you-can-eat” chinese restuarant, and telling everyone I’m building a webpage. It didn’t matter that these page building sessions were lasting most of the night, every night, fueld by 2 liters of Mountain Dew and late night talk radio, but I was figuring it out and proud of it. The page’s sole purpose was to showcase the plastic model kits I was building at the time in my other few available hours that should have been devoted to sleep. I was in my 20’s and sleeping was still a suggestion not a priority. My kit building hobby was mostly space vehicles and vinyl figures. Nothing groundbreaking but it was an opportunity to share my work with others who had a similar interest or maybe the million or so people that had limited access to see it and could actually find it first. I wish i kept those early URL’s and domains, or at least some screen capture of what my first pages looked like. I bet they had blue and yellow text on a black star filled background. No matter what the text seemed to have to be blue with a little animated sprite somewhere.
I remember getting my first email from Germany which quickly “devolved” into sending physical postcards back and forth. It took the internet to get me my first international pen pal. Then the one night using my little Mac microphone as a phone to briefly contact someone, I didn’t know who, in I think Japan. It was 10 seconds of “Hello’s” and odd reverberating echos before I gave up. I might had well been contacting Mars.
Building a website is still a small achievment for me. It’s still challenging when good design is involved and a little fun to stake claim to a small corner of a now vast Tron-like world where we still have avatars, GIF’s on endless loop, and the occasional flame war. I remember when “flaming” was considered very bad ettiquette, but I digress.
Enjoy my new-ish site. I’m always looking for feedback and new ways figure out how Google can find me better.
Out of pure 90’s nostalgia I leave with one of AOL’s classic and surprisingly funny commercials from the mid-nineties.