Part one of a special hyperlink trip down The Tim Times memory hole, made possible by the Internet Archive. using their web archival search engine, aka The WaybackMachine. If not for the courage of that fearless crew, The Tim Times would almost certainly be lost.
The Adventure Begins
I figured it might be fun to look back at the history and development of my website over the last decade. My online scribblings begin somewhat earlier than 2001, but that is the earliest I can document via the WaybackMachine at this time. I cannot explain my early fascination (nor my present obsession) with blogging, but it seems to serve as both a way of preserving my ephemeral experiences as well as a vehicle for practicing and improving my personal writing and blogging skills. I have invested a lifetime acquiring a broad category of expertise in a wide range of subjects, and then blogging it into the sui generis salad you see in your browsers today.
A Blog is Born
My first foray into what is now called blogging began using server space provided by my original internet service provider back in the 1990’s. My web address included the very clumsy inclusion of a tilde symbol in the URL, making it an obnoxious blotch of a thing to try to easily disseminate. All web posting was done through FTP protocols, and all web design was primitive. Bandwidth dribbled. Lack of blog management software exacerbated an already complex process. Particularly challenging to me was the proper archiving of old posts and display of new blog posts. Each new blog update was so difficult to incorporate properly into my existing mix, that it limited my ability to update my blog. Databases? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Then, along came Pyra Labs with the very blog management solution I needed. I was blogging on Pyra Labs software long before Google bought them in 2003. As early as 2001, I was an already an official dot commie, self-hosting my own web domain at http://www.thetimtimes.com.
The Tim Times 2001:
From top to bottom.
The Birth of a Logo
My home-made logo incorporated a silhouette profile that obscured my radiant youthful beauty ( I didn’t want to be successful just for my ruggedly handsome good looks) and doubled as a link to an actual profile photo of me (that fully supports my self assessment. The Gravatar-ready silhouette portion of the header served as my online avatar until I replaced it with the caricature than Bob Pennebaker drew for me. Here is Bob working his magic in a YouTube video.
My Profile Picture
There’s just enough of a touch of gray in my hair to exude the proper gravitas necessary to be taken seriously, but the carnival background belies my true spirit.
The Birth of a Slogan
I coined the phrase: Sensibility Without the Static to use as my web slogan.
This was a link to a long abandoned forum that I set up back then. Those were the days when having your own web forum was sorta like having a mini-Facebook. It was also another way of offering a web service that was outsourced to a free third party provider.
The Nasa Moon Hoax
Given the “tinfoil hat” nature of the early internet, is it any wonder that this link got the most traffic of any of my early on-line postings? Click the link or the graphic to see evidence I presented to back up my claim that NASA faked the moon landings.
Those permanent links running down the left hand side of the page allowed me to incorporate the features of automated Pyra blogging without having to update my website (via FTP), while simultaneously adding a nice stylish column design to my site.
My early attempts at site branding are obvious in my selection of blog names. I still have all those early blogs. and I often tag posts these days using #timplates for food and #timages (or #timpix) for photos.
Since most all my actual content was being hosted by Pyra, my homepage loaded like lightning, even in the days of “Timmy and the Tin-Can telephone” internet speeds.
I embraced the visual panache that animated gifs brought to web design, but I used only a few small ones to keep my page-loads fast.
Missing Antler Publishing
Version of logo I plan to use when I go into the retail book writing business. “Antler” is an amalgamation of last names. Mine, and an early writing collaborator friend from high school, John Antolik, who was killed (re: “Missing”) working his way through college at a factory job.
End part one.
Stay tuned (subscribe) so you won’t miss Part Two of the series wherein The Tim Times continues the move towards the big time.
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