a collection of rando projects
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(( About THL ))

In the mid-1990s internet, amid the Explorer vs Netscape browser wars, there were no pre-fashioned sites like tumblr or wordpress to use, and internet service providers could be small-town operations with a handful of nerds who understood the backbone and would come to your house to install Winsock on your home's 486. One incentive of these providers was to offer each user an allotment of webspace to tinker with, a a perk for choosing them. I chose Cyberstation and had dialup at 36.6k baud, although I come from the BBS era starting around 2400 baud.

In appx 1996, having finished high school, I decided I would build a little site with that space, and it would be a digital hoarder site with lists and lists of all things science fiction and call it "the homeworld" appropriately. Eventually I planned to go thru and review each one I had listed, but in even creating the categories, I soon realized just making the list of them would be so extensive that I wouldn't be able to keep pace even if I did eventually catch up. I got bogged down in the details.

In April 1997, I realized it was a lost cause, especially since IMDB was already on the scene. I decided to scale back, but still be a kind of digital hoarder, but instead opted to collect inspirational email forwards, since those were a rage in my circles at the time. "Chicken Soup For The Soul" type stories were forwarded over email, much like a cut-and-paste text status on Facebook is nowadays. I gave them each their own little HTM file and linked them all from the front. Since it was a scaled-back version of "the homeworld" I decided to call this version "the homeland" as if it still dwelled in spirit on the original project.

In Summer of 2000, just out of college and browsing the still-rudimentary web on a newspaper work computer, I found a webhost named HostYard out of South Africa, and signed up because it was super cheap, like $20/year cheap. I only needed a few megs space, so it was perfect, so thehomeland.org was born.

Since then it has always been a collection of loads of projects.

Sometime around 2002, I began the Dead Sea Blogs, and a short time later began a monspaced-text prayer-request email list called Voices Raised, before eventually backburnering those also. I actually had a pretty decent regular visitor amount that I only knew via a little "fast counter" visitor ticker, and some people actually emailed me saying they enjoyed it, but for some reason I gave it up.. perhaps to livejournal or xanga trends that I moved over to.

The site has undergone several massive overhauls over the years, mostly all nested as a subdirectory off root, such as the most recent version divvyry under the /blog subdir, but has now been backburnered like the others, but at least still exists.

Divvyry was an attempt to capitalize ad revenue on wildly popular articles on a wordpress blog I made in 2007 called "the ablestmage press" but despite getting 2000+ hits/wk, I could not run ads on it due to being a free account, and registering it so that I could would destroy its pagerank. I hoped to quasi- sitecopy it over into my own wordpress install, but it didn't really pan out. I have really huge chapters of memories with the domain, and this revamp of DSB is the next project in line.

One thing I learned about the ablestmage press, was that aggregators of almost any kind can gain loads of visits just by summarizing something that doesn't already have a text summary for it. For example, if there is a video service (like Tiktok) that isn't easily google-able, since search engines currently mostly rely on text matches, and Tiktok's posts generally don't readily feature searchable text, then someone who makes a post summarizing the video in a searchable text form will get a lot of hits from people conducting a text search. That is part of the motive for creating the Tiktok pages: as a short-summary Tiktok search hitgrab experiment.

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