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I wandered into WebmasterWorld a few days ago while doing some research on what? I forget now, but I'm sure I found the answers I sought. I've gotten practically none of my planned work done as I've been reading and reading and reading. What a great set of forums this is! The professionalism and kind manner of the contributors is inspiring. And thanks to the moderators for ensuring that it remains that way. I plan to earmark a slice of my next commission for a subscription.
I've found that if new visitors do a little searching, most of their questions are already answered in one thread or another--often many times over--from a rich variety of perspectives.
By way of introduction, I've only been around long enough to remember being in awe of the blazing speed of a 1200 baud modem but could rarely justify using it because the CompuServe connection fee at the time was $27 an hour, so I usually stuck with my old 300 because it would deliver info as fast I could read anyway, and it had a lower cost per hour.
I missed out on the early days of the Web, however, because for about 30 years, until 2001, I focused practically all attention on my brick and mortar/small manufacturing business. (I'm 52.) I'm a do-it-myself kind of guy, so in '99 I built a Web site for my business. In retrospect, it would have been much more economical to have hired it done, but I learned a lot, I enjoyed the hell out of it, and the site received many kudos from clients and friends.
The last thing in the world I ever considered at the time was changing professions, to develop sites for others. But one friend in particular twisted my arm to build a site for his business. At first I refused, and just did some "technical" stuff like registering a domain name and setting up a hosting service for him and offered advice to his son who was going to do the actual building and maintenance of the site. In the end, I wound up doing it all, however. He was enthusiastic about the results and began promoting my work--much to my chagrin at first.
He, and others, kept encouraging me to pursue the subject professionally, but it didn't figure for me. In my old business I was accustomed to being a big fish in a small pond, and I just didn't see how I could be competitive in something as large and relatively foreign to me as Web development. However, I finally identified a niche--or, rather, it identified me--where I thought I could be competitive. So far, I have done zero promotion, but my client list keeps growing, and it's all been by word of mouth. I've closed my old business, and I'm now actually starting to make a living doing this! And I love it!
The last couple of years I've kept myself mostly isolated from the community, not by intent, but just because I've been focused on writing scripts for client sites and my niche in general, based on what I already knew and did best. It's time, however, to get up to date, and so here I am!
Reading through the fora, my interests seem to nearly run the gamut, and I may occasionally imagine that I have a worthwhile perspective of my own to offer on one subject or another. In the meantime, I'll keep reading the wisdom of the sages.
See you around.
I've already earmarked you for a chat at the next PubCon ;)
I only hope you will not be as shy about posting as your first post indicates. All perspectives and opinions are valuable, and just as I have seen many seniors gibber incoherently, I always expect to learn from and be dazzled by the opinions and perspectives of fresh posters, and I believe your posts will be valuable to us all.
So please join in and be generous with your posting.