Thank You Al Gore

Avatar Jim Macdonald
August 10, 2015
Part 1 of 3
I was thinking about how much, in my experience, websites have changed over the past 20 years (I actually built my first website in 1995). I decided to do some investigation into the past PLUS make some predictions for the future. I really do think that eventually we will breed a race of super humans who are Bluetooth-ready, but that’s a different blog.

Back around 1993, I was working on a software project with a company in Kentucky and my friend, Jason Kirtley, told me about this amazing thing called the Internet, and how I could create code to build something called a “web site.” (Yes, back then it was two, separate words). I’ll admit, it was a little scary at first – and Al Gore had JUST become Vice President. So I buckled in and prepared for the ride!

I remember sitting in my living room with my 20 pound laptop computer, writing some awesome code that made the word “TEST” turn the color red. Then I thought I was the king when I discovered “blink.” Wow! (Hint – don’t EVER use blink… This is the 21st century.)

Direct Connect MarketingSo that was it. I was working for “the man” and messing with HTML at night. A few years later I quit my job, put together a web site using NetObjects Fusion, and opened a marketing company. It was amazing. I could create a web site using NOF in a couple of days, buy a $100 domain name, post the site, and be one of the top listings in Yahoo! within a week or two. Ahhhhh… Memories. By the way, Google didn’t even exist until 1998 and Amazon was still known as a rain forest (or a warrior woman) at this time.

It was a kinder, simpler Internet at that time. Web sites were mostly text, and were nestled in the upper-left corner of your CRT screen, usually in a browser called Netscape Navigator. If you got 1,000 results for a Yahoo! search, it was a lot. And most importantly, the Internet wasn’t really being used for marketing as much as sharing information. But that would change…

In 1997, the one millionth domain launched and in the 2000’s, I started pitching an idea to potential clients: Your website doesn’t have to be a static brochure – it can actually be a real marketing tool! That’s right, now you can do cool things like show better pictures, have online contact forms, and collect email addresses. The graphic design of the website started to actually matter. Plus, in 2006 there was a startup called YouTube that might eventually gain some impact.

Understand that only a small percentage of businesses even have websites at this point, so companies have to be forward thinking in order to embrace the idea of being found on the Internet. Imagine that. There is still one small problem… Clients are still dependent on website developers to make changes to their websites. But something is changing. We find this product called Kentico CMS (Content Management System). Other open source CMS solutions begin popping up and the “Age of Web Content” is born.

Part 2 of 3:  " Tablets, Phones, Watches, and The Terminator " (2006 to 2014)
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