My Views On Online Community Haven’t Changed Much Since 1998

Part of buying a Mac Book Air a few months ago, my dad picked up one of those all-in-one printer, scanner, fax machines.   In my parents basement there are tons of box of amazing old photographs.  I’ve been encouraging him to scan them and throw them on Flickr, as kind of a family digital preservation strategy.

It’s been a blast watching my childhood and family history flash before my eyes as my dad has loaded up the photos one after another.

Yesterday, he loaded up a scan of something, which is slightly blown my mind.  It was a newspaper clipping from an article that the Lansing State Journal did about me back in 1998 when I made the Web site for my school, Our Savior Lutheran (obviously the site has changed a lot since I made it in 1998).

The school bought me a copy of Microsoft Front Page, which at the time was top of the line software.  Still, I wrote most of the site by hand using HTML.   The Web server was a computer in the school principal’s office which I often edited the Web site on directly. 🙂

A perk of my current job is that I’m out there talking everyday to folks who are trying to use the Web as a medium for getting their message out to the world and keeping their community in touch. It’s scary to think about how similar the concepts I consult folks around today are to the things we were talking about 10 years ago.

Seeing this article has definitely reminded me to the extent which the Lord has blessed me with amazing people in my life who’ve encouraged me to step out into the vast unknown and try new things, like making Web sites in the early 1990s.

I still vividly remember the day when my dad called me into the back room of the house, where our family kept the computer.  It was 1996-ish (maybe) and we used AOL 2.x.   My dad told me that there were these online classes in HTML and encouraged me to give it a whirl.  The rest is history.

I guess I can say that the AOL online class in HTML was a turning point in my life.  It helped to set the direction for what turned into a career.  God’s hand was definitely at work.

Looking back, what’s one turning point you’ve had in your life, where your like “wow with out this I’m not sure this would have gone this way”?

4 thoughts on “My Views On Online Community Haven’t Changed Much Since 1998”

  1. I’d have to say that a “major” point is two-fold…

    When I was a Sophomore in college and snatched up a advertising/promotion internship with the university’s office of public relations. At the time I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do, but had an interest in web design – I had used different WYSIWYG editors (AOL Press, FrontPage, and Dreamweaver) and messed around with Photoshop.

    Combine that with me taking a marketing course and then realizing that I could make money marketing things online, is probably the turning point where my life has gone the way of the web as opposed to other forms of marketing.

  2. Heh… I remember when I got my first check for making someone a Web site. I was thinking “it’s unreal that I can get paid for doing something this cool.” Of course, that was 1999. 🙂

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