History of the TimePage – Pt. 1

Back in the early ’90s William Strauss and Neil Howe published a book titled Generations.  I read the book and I was captivated by its ideas.   At about that same time I was getting drawn into the computer world that was exploding around me.   I built a little set of tables in a new-fangled piece of software, called a spread-sheet, that illustrated the ideas that I had read in Generations.  That little spread-sheet sat on my computer for a couple more years until, about ’96, I ran head-on into the internet.  As soon as I understood what the world wide web was all about the first thing I wanted to do was get my little spreadsheet out there so I could find out what others thought of the ideas. 

You have to remember what the world was like before the internet.  We weren’t connected.  No email.  No Google.  As far as I knew, I was the only one who had ever read Generations.  It took me awhile but I learned how to use the web and how to build a simple web page and sometime in ’96 I posted my first version of the TimePage onto the web.  It wasn’t called the TimePage then, of course, because I was using some complicated personal URL that was available from my ISP at the time (I think it was a Seattle ISP called SEANET).  It was only one page, a single html page.   That is where it started.

Over the years the content grew and by ’98 or ’99 it had become a multipage monster.  I had to make a decision because I was running into a lot of difficulty keeping up with the ISP’s constantly changing web server protocols and couldn’t really complain as it was a free account.  So I decided to commit to the project and, after picking the TimePage as a name, I signed up for a web hosting account and bought a domain name.  timepage.org became a reality.

Up until that point I had not spent much time worrying about the esthetics of the TimePage.  I wasn’t a computer tech guy in my day job so I only learned enough to get the information out on the web, not enough to make it look pretty.  The web was changing, though, there were some pretty sophisticated sites starting to pop up.  So I spent a year or so trying to come up with a better presentation for the TimePage.  The final result was not fancy, it was still just me after all,  but at least it looked like I had thought about it for awhile.  That version went onto the timepage.org web server about 2001.  That is essentially the same version of the website that is on the web today.  I have had several mini-mods through the years and I changed web hosts once but in the main it is the same package that I put up at the turn of the century (I like the sound of that). 

Today the site is old fashioned, to the point of corny, and many of the links are old and gone.  It is technically unsophisticated and inefficiently designed.  It seriously needs work and inspiration.  Part of my purpose in starting this blog is to start thinking about getting the TimePage back on its feet.  But it has enough useful content that it has held it own and actually generates quite a bit of traffic, mostly from the schools.

I will talk more about the  history of that content in a later post but what you have just read is a pretty good timeline for the site itself.

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