One Year Of Dot Org - 07.17.00|
I was wondering what I should write about this week, when the answer literally dropped into my lap (or rather, into my e-mail inbox). It was a billing statement from my web hosting provider informing me that nearly a year had passed since I started with them and told me how much I owed for the next year of service. While I'd thought about it off and on, it had never really dawned on me that it had been a year since my site officially became "almostcool.org." Before that, I'd hosted my writings (including this section, a few movie reviews, and music reviews) on a rather silly geocities site (it's somewhat still there, pop-ups and all).
Just before I launched this new site, I had come up with the idea for Lesion Legion, and at that time I thought it was going to grow like crazy as soon as I launched. I reasoned that since nearly everyone had a scar of some sort, I'd get lots of stories. Although it didn't exactly happen that way, I've still gotten some excellent entries, and I think I should reiterate how easy it is for someone to submit. Cake.
It was also at that time that I wrote this piece about how I had designed a front page for my new site, then scrapped it all and re-designed it again right before putting it up. When the site launched, I had only four different sections, including the ever-present "about" trying to hold it together. The design was pretty simple and blah (not that it's changed any), but when I put it all up and typed in my very own personal domain name, it made me one very happy person. I wasn't part of an entity anymore there were no longer pop-up banners whenever someone wanted to read my writing, and I finally felt like part of the web.
After a couple months of the above, I came up with a new section that I wanted to launch and redesigned the front page as well into a double-rollover floating box thingy. It was pretty neat, and it was also about this time that I had some stickers made for my site so I could sort of promote it a little more (there are still a few left if anyone wants one). Although it would take me over a half year to add another piece to the In Other Words section, it's still one that I'm pretty happy with overall.
Around the end of 1999, I got the idea that I wanted to a daily section of some sort. I was having fun with the different sections on my site (and ramping things up in the music review area), but I didn't just want to do a blog or a typical journal type of page. It had to be something that would leave me nearly completely open in terms of how much I wanted to write, as well as be something that I would have fun doing. Come To My Senses was born on the first day of 2000.
Early on this year, I finally realized something that I should have noticed much earlier on. When I was looking through the access logs of my site one day, I saw that many people who entered the Lesion Legion section only let it load halfway, then they'd dump out of it again. With it being sort of my favorite one (in terms of concept), I did a little research with a couple people that had never seen the site before and realized that the problem was probably the design of it. In case you didn't see it, I used to have an animated rollover body that you could click on to go to the different sections (similar to the one there is now). Instead of being a wooden drawing model, though, it basically looked like an androgynous human with flesh colored skin and everything. For a lot of people, I think that it caused alarm (ala porn banners) when they loaded it and they instantly left and never came back again. Since then, I've noticed a lot more people staying to read at least one thing.
Still in the mode after rehauling the above section, I went ahead with another front page redesign and music review section revamp as well.
In early May, I finally re-entered the arena that I graduated from college with a degree in. Although I'd been taking digital photographs and doing different things for my website, I purchased a fun little camera and started taking real pictures again for the first time in nearly 2 years. I was so excited that I came up with a new section to showcase some of the work that I was doing.
As had happened previously, because I added a new section, I also had to redesign the front page, so I did that as well. Just because I wanted to add the clutter even more, I came up with yet another section to show some of the work that I do outside the site.
Looking back, the funny thing is that the only section on the site that hasn't changed in some way since I launched it is this one. I think that every time I've thought I was going to do something with it, I've gotten overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces in it and simply stepped away from the keyboard with my hands up.
So, the final key stats on my site from the past year are; 3 front page redesigns, 4 new sections added, several section redesigns, roughly 500 pages worth of writing added, countless interesting people conversed with.
If this coming year is even half as good, I'll be a very happy person.