30 years ago, I launched my first Bulletin Board System (BBS) called Thunderbolt. A BBS was essentially the first web sites where people could dial in (using their 300 baud modems!) Of course, these things were very basic with just text and forums where you could post message. In my particular case, people could also build fighters and build a castle and fight other people. It was all text, so lot’s of imagination was required.
20 years ago, I launched my first personal web page. I was in school at Washington University in St. Louis. I had to edit the page using a text-based tool called Vi. The page itself was mostly text, though I had learned a trick from another student to use a small image to simulate bullet points.
10 years ago, I launched my own web site. It was very static and had some pictures of myself and my family. Not terribly impressive, and I rarely kept it up to date.
And, in 2014, I helped to launch the new Thought Ensemble web site. It’s based on a web publishing tool called WordPress. Not having done a lot of hands-on work over the last decade of my career, I really enjoyed spending some time fine tuning the site and making changes. But it brought me back to 1984 when I first ventured online. Wow. The capabilities and sophistication of WordPress is incredibly impressive. It’s built with a very pluggable and extendable design. It can be used in so many ways, and it has created a commercial marketplace. As I compare with the tools I had back in 1984, it is really night and day. While I learned a tremendous amount back in the summer of 1984, I accomplished an incredible deal more in the summer of 2014. I’ve personally been using WordPress for about 6 years now, but until you really have a big project that you need to finish do you appreciate how incredible (and how fun) it can really be.