The Evolution of a Website

Somewhere I think I have pictures or GIF's of my original site logos... I wonder if TheWayBackMachine has it... LOL They do! 2001, July - The original EvilDawg.com, my first Hosted Site Ever! (Technically I think there was another one and I made and hosted myself when PacBell was giving Static IP's out like candy.) I had made other sites using GeoCities and AngelFire before this, also Yahoo Pages. I was reselling Netscape at the time, haha... I have had other ones along the way too, Sinistermods.com (My first attempt at e-Commerce), Atomicuser.com (Another, different attempt at e-Commerce, this time for an Internet / Web Design site.) SCK.US (Originally for my Return to Castle Wolfenstein Guild - The Subhuman Combat Klan. This has seen many iterations as I got into Unreal Real Tournament and Battlefield then became the website for my son, Atom, who was a Southern California Kid in the US - I missed the email to renew my only three letter domain so I don't own it anymore.), DarkMatterProducts.net (My "One Site to Rule Them All" site..., plus a few others that never made it out of design. At the moment I only have three domains all iterations of EvilDawg (.com, .net and .me)

I remember this time of my life fondly and I have recently thought about that time and the tech bubble and work and a lot of other things. The mid-to-late 90's; LAN Parties, living in Humboldt County, my first job in Tech - Working for a regional ISP - Northcoast Internet. Watching great movies like The Matrix, Dark City, etc... I was so enthralled by Tech and the Internet that I just absorbed it like a sponge! I learned Linux (Red Hat) for work related tasks. I got bumped up fast too! After a month of being the Tidepool Internet Store Manager in Arcata, CA I was promoted to Broadband Director for their DSL roll-out, then Regional Member Support Manager and Business Sales Director. Sound impressive? LOL Corner Office but only $11 / hour. Living in Eureka, CA at the time, the cost of living was pretty low and my Ex worked too. We did okay. Lots of trips to the movies and a lot of buying better gaming gear. Tidepool's next door neighbor was MegaByte Computers. I met Patrick Moon who was a Sales Associate at the time and we came up with some kewl promos to benefit both stores and he is still a good friend of mine.

Anyway, I was given the name EvilDawg at a LAN Party that was being hosted by me and my next door neighbor, Crasty (Craig I think, always called him Crasty which was the name of his Ultima Online (UO) character and he was the leader of the guild I was in called The Iron Vine). We were playing the original Unreal Tournament (UT) and I think we were playing the Face to Face map with the two towers, low gravity and a lot of head shots. In fact it was the head shots that earner me my moniker, EvilDawg. I just kept sniping people (I was not a camper) and eventually one guys says, "You're Evil, Dawg. Evil." I changed my in game handle right then via some quick line commands and I have been and forever will be EvilDawg. Very shortly after that I purchased the domain name and have never given it up, though it did go un-hosted for about a year recently when life got busy.

I was so into computers, video games and internet that I wanted to create an online community, one that revolved around games, science (astronomy mostly) and anything else that I couldn't think of at the time. I thought of the idea of using EvilDawg.com but didn't want to invest the time to start from scratch, I wanted this thing ready now so I could promote it. I hooked up with a guy who owned a registrar and hosting service. He hooked me up with a Linux server and a bunch of scripts that I could run to make the site look exactly how I wanted and I did it. I was, and still am, a fan of SlashDot.Org; "News for Nerds, News that Matters." They had a great site that scrolled well for updating news stories. I did that. Slashdot-style site that could have any number of modules like newsletter, gallery, just about anything you could want at the time. I had lofty goals.

I kept up with gaming by playing games and reviewing them on my site. I would post any little tidbit of gaming news I could find as often as possible because even then I knew the importance of content. Fluid Content. My Ex was a gamer too so we could convince ourselves that it was okay to buy a game when it came out. Then there was no DRM or Hardware DRM, just a license key and a whole internet full of websites and newsgroups and Usenet groups that would have other keys to use so we could both play online at the same time.

Looking back it seems like such an uncomplicated life. I loved my job and gaming and could do it whenever I wanted, mostly. I started building my own PC's from that point on and have never looked back.

Then, Tech TV came on the air. actually, I think it was G-4 for half of the day then Tech TV... Something like that. I know they shared a channel for a while. This TV Channel was made for me specifically and it really came at the perfect time for a lot of people. I remember watching Leo Laporte, whom I still listen to on TwiT.tv. Leo was on a show called The Screensavers. It was a live call in show that ran for something like 3 or 4 hours on the weekends, if memory serves. People would call in and ask their computer questions and questions on anything else like cameras, AV / home theater, viruses, etc... This show made me want to change the format of my site, or create others sites, because I could what he does, right? I went the Custom PC Case Mod way and did some web design for money. EvilDawg.Com became, for me, a way to keep up with science by posting mostly science and astronomy news stories. At one point I had over 30K followers, 30K unique visits a day. I was advertising like crazy with banner ads and clickable GIF's, I was promoting it via the beginning of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and things were good. I wasn't making any money really, just enough to keep the site up but hey! It's better than nothing.

I kept it as a sort of specialized news aggregate but I knew that one day it would make sense. This is that time. Well, this is that time for me, I guess I should say. Sites don't build themselves do they?

Over the years I have written many stories and I share them all at Writing.Com, but now I have my own space carved for my blog and my writing. I plan on selling an eBook with a collection of my stories in the future, but I'm not quite there yet.