When the internet first became available to regular folk, (for me it was about 1991 I think), I saw it as a new frontier, akin to what this continent was long ago ‘cept we wouldn’t have to kill all the current occupants to take hold of this one.
It was empty, vast beyond our imagination and ready to be filled up.
A place called *GeoCities sprang up which demonstrated this vision taking shape.
People from all walks of life built websites showing off everything from auto mechanic skills to knitting tips.
Unknown poets, writers, musicians, creators of every ilk had a doorway to the world and showed off their work. Many began new careers this way.
A woman from Canada (I think) woke up one morning to learn she was a celebrity. She had created the 3 millionth free website there.
This, in my opinion,
was a masterpiece created pretty much in anarchy, by people from around the world.
It was purchased by a *large corporation (b) and erased in October 2009. The whole world lost something in my opinion.
The big corporations did the same thing with this new frontier as they do every time. They allowed the settlers to build everything up for them, then began their money mongering.
When online payment services were just a babe, they gave us commissions on new customers we sent them. Later the commissions were reduced to first 6 months of new client’s use, then eventually dropped all together. We helped them build it, then they cut us loose. (One client I sent them did $3.5 mil the first year, $5 mil his 2nd. I didn’t get paid for that one because I called in and hooked him up personally with one of their directors. Protocal insisted that I refer new clients via email.)
Hosting companies did the same. When I built a new website, I referred the client to a hosting service with all the tools we needed to build the site. The hosting company then paid 25% commission each month, which is most cases would be a lifetime. We built them into internet success stories, then they cut us loose. Some people less fortunate than me lost $1000s per month. I only had a dozen clients at the time. The loss of money hurt but didn’t kill me like it did others.
I meet so many people now days who have Facebook and Candy Crush and think they are on the internet while the corporations farm them like sheep. Every moment playing or socializing here is making nickles for someone else when it could be, (should be IMO) paying you.
It has been my goal since first arriving, to fill this new frontier up with as much good stuff as possible and to help as many people as possible take a hold of these tools, see what they create.
The fight this turned into is a bit unbelievable to me yet.
I lost massive $ potential by refusing to build doom ‘n gloom websites. I amused many a tech geek by paying for and having proper licenses for all my software and lost massive $s due to being tricked by swindlers pretending to be doing God’s work. But, as the lady says in the movie, “… the true test of any choice is whether you would make it again, knowing what could happen …”
This is our internet.
We all should be getting something from it.
People stuck in Facebook should at least be told about the rest of the web out here to be explored.
For example, ***Project Gutenberg offers over 54,000 free eBooks: Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great
I guess you could say this is my last shot at trying to find some creators who want to play with me and build something the corporations can’t take away from us. Also an offer to show anyone who is truly interested, more of the internet, how to protect yourself and find what you want.
Company CEOs and fellow webmasters met laugh at how little I charge for my services. You’re a resource to be milked to them.
To the idealist in me, you’re a creator ready to be set loose.
* GeoCities http://www.archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Geocities
** GeoCities erased http://mashable.com/2009/10/25/geocities-closes-2/
*** Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/