And a site was born
Hello (and welcome back?). I'm still getting into the blogging groove, but I wanted my first few blog posts to answer some of the questions I'm most often asked. In keeping with that theme, this one is going to focus on when ice-dance.com (IDC) was created.
In the late 1990s, the internet was becoming a booming place for fans of any sort - television, movies, sports, etc. Through an online forum, I became friends with Emma, a fellow skating fan, and we quickly realized that we were not only fans of figure skating, but specifically ice dance. At that time, Emma and I had individually built pages that were housed at the free hosting services Geocities and Xoom. The photo at the right is Emma and I in 2016.
After several conversations in early 1999, we decided to invest in starting a website devoted to ice dance. Both of us had become disenchanted with the constant issues that came with hosting on a free service and knew that purchasing a proper domain name and hosting would be the way to go and the new website could house content of our original pages. Another of the focal points was that we were looking to create a place where we could post links to pertinent information, so that WE could find it, thus unintentionally creating a link compilation point for ice dance information online that could be utilized by others.
Though you can now purchase a domain name for anywhere between $8-25, at that time, the cost to register one was $75. I'm not sure who we hosted with in that first year, but I remember we pre-paid for the year and then we quickly learned that paid hosting had its own hiccups. We navigated them as best we could. We launched the site on June 19, 1999 and were thrilled when we had 80 visitors on the first day. The look of IDC in 1999 was very representative of what design on the world wide web looked like during that time and when we created it, neither of us realized what the site would grow to become. Emma and I didn't have anyone to advise us when we started. We didn't have a plan and it was very much a 'one day at a time' concept. If we developed new ideas, we ran with them and it was hit or miss. In 2004, Emma moved on to pursue other interests and I continued to maintain and grow the website, which I am still doing today with the help of others.
After nearly 19 years, I have learned a lot about how to build, launch and develop a website including conceptualizing the design, mining the content, determining the audience and marketing the finished product. Like photography, it has been a learning process and I've either figured it out on my own, taught myself, or learned by trial and error. These are all skills I'm hoping to share with others and am working on a plan.
As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time,