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My Web Development Background

Many years ago I built and operated a large fan site for an ‘A’ list celebrity. I got into it by accident and was drawn by the programming challenge rather than anything related to the celebrity, much to the chagrin of the many members and fans the site drew. It became the most popular site on the Internet and occupied the coveted #1 spot on Google for many years but it drew a lot of flak from script kiddies, obsessed fans and competing sites. We also had our fair share of copyright infringement cases and the number of young kids always made me wary of paedophiles that may have been lurking.

It taught me a lot about web site design, development, security, SEO and brought a lot of my skills and interests together. The only problem is that it was embarassing to tell people what I did and use it as a showcase of what I could do so I wanted out.

In the end, it came abruptly as my main hard drive and backup copy failed within two weeks of one another. I shipped it off to a drive recovery place as I’d lost everything. I then went through a period of instability and moved house around 11 times in 3 years. Sometimes I had Internet access, sometimes I didn’t and sometimes I’d sit in Starbucks all day as I had no place to my design work and access the Internet. It simply became impossible to maintain the site, keep it secure or even pay the monthly charges. It all fell apart and the stress of keeping it going was a blessed relief.

This was around 5 years ago and my life has changed. Stability has returned and I’ve continued to keep myself updated on every new technique and trend.

I once remember somebody telling me HTML had reached its limit. This same person had their boyfriend code up a new site for me, all in Flash but when I refused to replace the current site with their new design they objected. I wanted to run two sites; one for the adults and one for the kids and planned on using the new site for kids. That was the end of that friendship and another founding member was lost.

I find it funny that we’re still using HTML today and feel vindicated that I was right to stick with what I was doing.

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  1. July 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

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