In March of 1995, two friends/colleagues (1 2) and I launched our first commercial web production – a movie site for Warner Bros. Not only was it our first success, it was also our first brush with HTML. Staying awake all night to get batmanforever.com launched, I at last knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.
HTML was empowering technology in more ways than one. What it meant to me was that I could publish independently, without client or backer approval. To one with a creative urge, it was paradise.
Ten years ago today I launched Jeffrey Zeldman Presents, featuring crude entertainments like The Ad Graveyard, Fifteen Minutes, and Pardon My Icons. The latter was intended as a Warholian spoof of the free icon sites of the early web, but the people who came to my site took it at, uh, face value, thus contributing to and changing its meaning. (That’s one reason they call it a two-way medium.)
Almost immediately and for some years thereafter, the site also sported a longish tutorial called “Ask Dr Web,” which contained some good and some bad information about designing websites, and which apparently was some people’s introduction to the general principles of web design. After publishing my first New Riders book, Taking Your Talent to the Web, which offered mostly good info, coherently presented, I laid Dr Web to well deserved rest.
Initially published at a tilde address, the site moved to zeldman.com within its first year.
Barely noticed by readers or me at the site’s dawning was a chatty, continually updated page called coming.html. Hidden at first behind the era’s customary splash pages, it eventually migrated to the top of the hierarchy, becoming, I suppose, a blog and my site’s focus.
Thanks for ten years.