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Has it really been ten years?

March 22, 2006, 11:38 PM

Scary to think about it, but it’s true – it’s been ten years since I first created The Schumin Web. And now I’ve got the site all decorated up for the tenth anniversary. The photo feature is a collage of old site designs, and the URL beneath the logo at the top of all the pages has been replaced with the phrase “Celebraring ten years online”.

I still remember the day that I first created this site way back in 1996. Of course, we didn’t call it “The Schumin Web” back then. Back then, I called it “Ben Schumin’s Home on the Internet”. That then changed to “Ben Schumin’s Internet Command Center” (I was big into Power Rangers in 1996). That then changed to “The Great American Road of Ben Schumin” and then to “The User-Friendly World of Ben Schumin”. That last one’s being such a hideous name, by the way, gave rise to the current “Schumin Web” name in late 1998, which ended up sticking.

Still, that first day was something. I was playing around with NaviPress, which was a WYSIWYG Web page designer – a good thing, since I’m more of a visual designer than a coder. I was playing around on there at our old computer down in the living room, trying to figure out how to make the program work, and I actually got something to work. I ended up uploading it to AOL’s “My Place” where you had a little Web space. Then the next step was showing it off. I was so proud of my little URL, which was http://members.aol.com/BenSchumin/. Nowadays, I would be embarrassed to have such a URL, but this was the mid-90s, and the Web was still young.

The one thing I wish I’d done in those early years, though, was more archiving. Back then, I wasn’t nearly as much of a pack rat on the computer as I am now. Anymore, I keep everything. And if I don’t keep the direct article, I take screen shots of it. That’s how I save site designs. I take screen shots of various parts of the site. Still, much of my site work in the 90s doesn’t exist anymore since I didn’t keep records of it. I remember a few versions of the site from then. I remember a blue and white version with menus that “reset” themselves (how tacky!) when you selected a menu item. I also remember redesigning my site right after I got accepted into JMU, giving it a purple and gold color scheme at that time.

I was big into frames in the 90s as well. By the end of 1996, my site used frames, and didn’t escape them until September 1999. Nowadays, I look at frames as bad Web design.

I remember when I first introduced my current logo back in July of 1999. I was big into rainbow fades back then, as evidenced by other stuff I did around then. My notebooks in high school had the rainbow fade on the text on the front (which I did on the computer). The original logo I did for The East Coast Price is Right was rainbow-fade as well. So it only made sense to make the URL in that same color scheme, since I was kind of digging that style at that time.

What’s funny, though, is the font that I chose. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the font I chose is the same font used on the sign for The Inn at Afton near Waynesboro. See what I mean? The only difference is that my site slightly narrows the font.

Then once the 90s turned into the 2000s, I started finding a style, and unconsciously built a “brand” on here. In 2000, I introduced sections for the first time. They were “Main Event”, “Archives”, “Web Cam”, “College Life”, and “Major Areas”. Since then, sections have been added, renamed, and retired, but sections are great.

Funny was that back then, my Online Store was too small to be its own section. That would soon change, as I got better at doing the CafePress thing.

2000 was also when I introduced the world to www.schuminweb.com. I actually didn’t intend on doing that quite yet, but it was kind of forced on me. My Web provider at the time was SimpleNet, and they gave me notice that they were ending the practice of giving subdomains for sites. Thus “simplenet” was out of my URL. SimpleNet would register the domain, and that was that. I’d thought that “schuminweb.com” would be an appropriate potential domain name (“ben-schumin.com” was another I’d thought was nice), and now, with the need to get the domain thrust upon me, I took schuminweb.com for myself. It turned out to be a wise idea.

Then there are all the things I’ve done through the years for various reasons. I ran LinkExchange ads for a number of years in the 1990s. In 2001, following 9/11, the gray header at the top of the pages at that time was changed black for a week as a small memorial. I also watched the rise and fall of affiliate programs, as I had an affiliation with AltaVista for some time, before that program folded. I also had a run-in with the real world when I did a fan site about Hollywood Squares and received a letter from King World lawyer Marci Shuster in early 1999. That was a surprise, to say the least.

All in all, I’m probably more surprised than anyone to be looking back over ten years of Schumin Web. But here we are. And you know what? The next ten will be even more fun and exciting as the first ten.

Web site: Recreation of the original Web site for the fifth anniversary. Look at how young I look in those photos!

Song: "Together Again" from The Muppets Take Manhattan

Quote: Ten years... wow...

Categories: Schumin Web meta