The last time I set up a website for myself, I was exploring the many micro-blogging sites becoming popular after the rise of Twitter and it’s kin. It was the Fall of 2007, less than a year away from the 2008 NCDD conference in Austin and, like San Francisco the previous year, the plan was to share as many online and social tools with our participants as was relevant to our field. To this end, I was considering setting up a micro-blogging site for the conference and, to test this idea, I created a Tumblr blog for myself.
Sharing my doodles, cat pics, game reviews and a bit of my creative writing, I maintained “Thirteen Pennies Tumbling” for five years before succumbing to the allure of other social media. Now eight years later, I sit in the glow of my computer monitor once again exploring something new — self-promotion.
This new site is meant to be an online business card of sorts. Although built using WordPress, I don’t expect to be blogging about my life or sharing too many cat pics here (I’ll save Facebook for that). Instead, I wanted a little corner of the internet to encourage anyone interested in my work to visit and get a sense of who I am and what I may be able to offer.
I was introduced to the incredible potential of the internet ten years before the world wide web captured the imagination of geeks like me. As an Astronomy student at Penn State, I was conscripted into a computer science class, given access to the university mainframe, and provided the use of a very bulky email address.
It wasn’t long before I discovered another, far more casual, online world of bulletin boards, which in turn evolved into commercial sites like CompuServe and America Online. I still remember the day I used “Fetch” to download my first web browser, though I really can’t say which browser it was now. BTW, I just found out “Fetch” still exists — that’s him over there.
Before the web, I was basically a lurker, relying on online services for communication or research. But hitchhiking onto the information super-highway led me to start contributing my own work, including support of the first web-based database of speleological data (I wonder whatever became of that project) and the curation of an ezine about cave exploring.
And now — after twenty-five years, nearly two dozen websites, a national nonprofit organization and too many cat pics to count — I find that little of the process has changed, except for the technology itself of course. That’s always changing. You sit down at your computer and bang away until what you imagine in you mind manifests on the screen before you.
It still seems quite magical, really.
Thank you for stopping by my latest website. Maybe you and I can build one together. Shoot me an email and let’s talk about what we can create. We can even ask “Fetch” to help.