I was introduced to the Internet
early in the 1990's by my brother who is always ahead of the
curve on techie things. I worked as a flight attendant at the
time and carried a laptop around on my travels before most
people even had a desktop at home. There were no hotels offering
free Internet access in those days. You were lucky to be
able to hook up at all, and when you did, the charge might be per minute.
The Internet was the
wild wild west,
unexplored territory with very little security, the land of personal websites with
and all the text centered down the middle.
People all over the world created informational websites -- just
so you'd know, not because "Content is King." On
IRC, you could chat with a
Brit in the evening and be
"slapped with a large trout" by a South African before breakfast.
available as well as
McDonalds.com. I remember
specifically checking the
domains one night and wondering
when everyone else would finally discover our amazing digital
built my first website at
Despite losing the password long ago, my site was still online,
suspended in time, cheesy animated gifs and all
until recently when Yahoo bought it and closed down
our little virtual neighborhoods. Always trying to improve
my Geocities site, I would study the source code on other sites
so I could duplicate the features
on mine. After spending an enormous
amount of time trying to decipher code, I became fluent in
and later CSS. Knowing the
design languages, I am not bound
by the limits of today's editors. I can manipulate
the code if needed.
My days of building sites with animated gifs and flashy
features are gone. Being involved with online sales
I've learned what works and what doesn't in terms of both
website design and small businesses. I build sites with
functionality in mind. An attractive design is a must, but
ensuring visitors can find what they're looking for is the most
important thing in website design.
These are the days of
great opportunities on the Internet. I remember in the
early days thinking if only I had the ability to accept credit
cards, I could try my hand at selling antiques online.
Today we have
PayPal as well as many other business tools
available to the average person and I have learned -- if you build
it, they will come.