A letter I received today has me thinking about the web and the world again. I had asked LMichelle permission to use the SPT graphic from my submission to link to her Stupid Penis Tricks site which generated the usual "sure, send me the URL so I can take a peek" response and then generated a rather unexpected response today. Basically, she told me that she really liked my site and has added me to fem mass. I have to confess I hadn't even known about fem mass, but on scoping it out, I was extremely flattered. I thought to myself, "How cool! That's not a terribly easy listing to get into and here this really neat woman has went through my site and picked a picture and quote of mine she liked and added me in without my even asking!" It made me feel all proud and touched by her kindness.
Anyway, I went surfing through more of her site, reading the history of her pages and some of her thoughts on the web and so on and so now here I am thinking about all that again. I discovered that SPT started in late 1995, which helps me date when my pages started. I think. I'm pretty sure that when I started my pages it was warm and that I then switched over to the name "Ginkgo" in my correspondence also. So I'm guessing that Ginkgo's Pile of Leaves started in early to mid 1996. I'd thought it was longer than that, but I'm pretty sure I found SPT before I started my own pages.
I do know that Ginkgo's Pile of Leaves sat around gathering dust for a long time while I was busy with other things and didn't really become interesting until about May of 1997 when I got back to it and added a cyber pet adoption agency and thus "invited" the world to come visit. It's doubtful anyone found me earlier because my site had been in hiding. Then I got busy again (falling in love, getting married, and buying a house will do that to a person) and didn't mess with the site again until late August of 1997 when I added a few small things and started this journal. Still, GPL remained a dusty corner, an index page which I rarely even thought of. In late December of 1997, I got a digital camera and Untitled was born. Still GPL gathered dust, unloved. But in April of this year things finally started happening with the server and I cleaned up GPL and moved the entire site. So now in May, I think I'll be spending a little more time developing some more of the things I have planned. GPL is finally coming into its own. I'll probably submit it to the search engines soon. So far its history has mostly been one of neglect.
But despite its history of neglect, apparently it has touched a few people. Mostly through its sub-sites which received a lot of individual attention, but here and there I'm finding links to GPL itself. The other day I found a site through my stats which had a thank you note to me on it for inspiring a 15-year-old to start her own page. I was so touched. What a neat thing to be able to inspire others. Over the last year various parts of my pages have inspired others to start their own cyber pet adoption agencies, journals, and photo projects. What an incredible feeling it is when someone writes to tell me this. Makes me feel like a card-carrying member of the Family of Man. I used to want to be a teacher so that I could inspire others; now I find that I can do that just by playing in here. And there's no faculty meetings to sit through here. Very cool.
I wonder what the web will be like in ten years. We should all have satellite uplink by then, I suspect, and hopefully technology will keep up with the increasing traffic of the net. Will most of the proto-sites which exist today have become mega-sites and have been replaced by thousands of times as many new proto-sites? Will we see the new technologies of today making simpler sites like mine look primitive and antiquated, or will I have added tons of VRML and Shockwave and who knows what else by then? I like cgi, perl, java, and HTML, but will I like other new things, too? And will the overall quality of the web improve, or will we all drown in commercial and porn sites? The spam from these sites is incredible already. (It's the spam I'm opposed to.) My vision of the future is that we will not drown in spam, and that we will change the world by offering an unimaginable wealth of information and art and expression--something which started when the web was first born. I see more creative people and more people who love knowledge for knowledge's sake continuing to enrich the web, and thus the world. I've always preferred positive hopes for the future. And I really want to be a part of that. I guess I already am in my small way.
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
of the rice-paddy.
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