Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ten Years of OWARI Online!

Yes, you read that subject header correctly. It was a full decade ago that I tentatively launched the original OWARI website into the wilds of the Internet. I can't decide what is the most amazing part: that the old site still exists in some form, that it still has the same URL (CenturyTel merged with Qwest and is now CenturyLink), or that I had the foresight to note the date I initially uploaded the site.

As you probably have ascertained, that site is hosted by my ISP. In 2001, 5 MB of storage sounded like plenty to do something cool. I built the first incarnation of that site using (I swear!) a Cliffs Notes book. Actually, that book served me well for years, but it's why my coding prowess dazzled no one.

The chief lesson I learned from the original OWARI site is that I had no interest in maintaining an expansive website. I like a lot of stuff, but not really enough to devote the time to a site. I've learned that a time or two since then, and I think it's finally stuck. I eventually used the site primarily to promote the OWARI fanzine. When the 'zine went away for good, it became a gateway for other sources of my work. I have updated it periodically over the last few years to keep it reasonably current.

The glaring exception to the above paragraph's mention of "no interest in maintaining an expansive website" is, of course, Return of Jetman. I began ROJ as a sub-site in 2002, and it ended up growing beyond my expectations. I did my first truly serious Internet work with ROJ on that sub-site, and finished the entire original 14 episode series before moving the whole kit and kaboodle to its own domain. I have left the original Return of Jetman homepage standing since the move. This was partially done out of sentimentality, and partially because there were a few very popular links that still listed it rather than the domain name. I think those have all evaporated, but the page is likely to remain until/unless the site goes away. As an added bonus for sharp-eyed followers, I left the old version of the logo sitting there. Compare it to the one on the current site.

Other than that, the original site mostly just hosts a couple of image files for me that I've been using on message boards forever. I'll move them if it ever becomes necessary. In the meantime, I'll just continue to sit on the old site and remember the numerous false starts and poor webpages it included. Still, they say you never forget your first...

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