Five Years -- 09/26/01

I posted my very first jimsjournal entry five years ago today -- September 26, 1996.

I had been wanting to have my own website for at least a year and a half, probably more like two years. I thought I would probably had a variety of contents on my webpage, probably some photographs, maybe a collection of links to various interesting sites, etc.... but I also had been fascinated by the phenomenon of online journaling and I wanted to be able to post my own thoughts, experiences, opinions, and occasional rants. I had first gone online at home using AOL. I wanted to switch to an ISP but I knew we would be moving soon from upstate New York to Rhode Island and I figured it made sense to wait until we moved. So we moved... but then I was busy with this and busy with that, etc.... I did sign up with an ISP but still didn't seem to be able to find the time to build a page, even though space for a webpage was included in my ISP's package. My daughter discovered Geocities -- which hosted about one hundred thousand websites at that time. She set up her own page, then we set one up for my wife -- actually, it was for the soccer team she was coaching (I was assistant coach). Okay, no excuses left, set up my own webpage.

Five years later... this is the 237th entry I have posted... the 50th one so far this year. More statistics? My most prolific month was January of 2000 when I posted 25 entries... and the least productive time was 1998 when I only posted four entries all year. Readership.... I don't really have accurate numbers.... Geocities has changed counters a number of times... So my original counter reset to zero... and then I signed up for the $4.95/month geoplus package which let me put hidden counters on each page (and also elminated those annoying advertisements) but I got tired of adding those counters to each page, too much overhead, so I dropped my geoplus membership (sorry 'bout the ads coming back). I put two counters on my home page (actually, at one point I had three or four, interesting 'cause they never quite all agreed) and now Geocities automatically provides statistics for each .html file. So... how many readers? I don't know for sure... When I post an entry I send an email to people on my Notify list and include a link directly to that entry, so if they click on that url they'll bypass my home page and go straight to the entry. Any given entry may have from a dozen to eighty or more hits (although that only applies to entries since Geocities began accumulating stats for individual .html files... last year's counters went away when I dropped geoplus and when Geocities added stats they began at zero.)

Here are a few links to various entries:

My first entry ... talking about watching a lunar eclipse from our deck (09/26/96).

My 100th entry... on the thirtieth anniversary of the Kent State shootings (05/04/00)

One year ago today... I was writing from Oslo, Norway (09/26/00)

My 200th entry... Nancy and I had just gone to see Chocolat (02/25/01)

The Online Diary History Project"> This is a history of online diaries and journals. (I've got an entry under the section on personal recollections.)

From time to time I grumble about leaving Geocities and its various advertising banner, etc. and getting my own domain but, as you can see, five years have gone by and I'm still on Geocities. Yes, inertia and habit and lack of time... and right now I have cable Internet access and my cable company is my ISP and provides space for webpages... but they use excite@home and I think excite is on the verge of bancruptcy, although the cable company may just buy the parts of the service they use... and the domain name I would prefer to have is already owned (and I'm not about to pay the six hundred bucks the current owner is asking)... and the task of moving almost three hundred .html files (plus various .gif and .jpg files, etc.) is a daunting prospect... so I'll probably still be on Geocities for a long time.

And yes, there are six candles on that little birthday cake .gif -- but when I was a kid we always used a candle for each year plus "one to grow on" so I thought that was appropriate (besides, that's what I had available).

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