My web site is 10 years old

I suppose that, like most non-technical people, I first became aware of the Internet around 1995 when world-wide the number connected to the network doubled. Besides e-mail, for me the great benefit of the Internet was the Web (I’ve never been interested in social networks, newsgroups or gaming).
The more I used the Web, the more I thought that I should like to generate my own content on my own site. Indeed I was convinced that soon most Internet users would want to have their own site and I’ve been surprised at how few people have a site.
So, on 2 July 1999, I started my own site with the help of my wife’s nephew Martin Rowe – the first piece of content was the Darlington newsletter for Christmas 1998. In succeeding months, I taught myself Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) with the aid of my then CWU colleague Jane Taylor and developed the site with the encouragement of my good friend Eric Lee.
From the beginning, I have believed in the principle of simplicity, so the site is designed that any part of it can be reached with one click from the home page. Also I firmly believe that content is king, so I have concentrated on adding well-written material rather than decorating the place with spinning symbols. Finally I’m a great believer that the Web is all about links to other sites and therefore throughout my site there are lots of links to other sites relevant to the particular topic under discussion.
I confess that my site has now become something of a passion and I’ve asked myself why I love the exercise so much. My answer involves the four Cs:
* It is creative, encouraging me to develop my IT skills and my knowledge of the Internet, the links especially taking me to corners of the Web that I might not otherwise explore.
* It is continuous, enabling me to work on it whenever I have time and incrementally to build up the content and develop the format.
* It is comprehensive, allowing me to bring together all my interests from aviation to the cinema, from technology to literature, from trade unionism to travel.
* It is cohesive, permitting me to bring into one place previous as well as current work, such as extracts from my book “Night Hawk”, book and film reviews, and of course the famous Darlington Christmas letters.
Ten years ago, my web site was literally one page and had no visitors. Ten years later, it is a huge site with 120 sections and two blogs and it has between 5,000-6,000 visitors a day. Thanks for visiting.


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