I think I was about 7 or 8 years old when I created my first website. I was in the 2nd Grade and was one of two students selected for a project to create a website. Admittedly, this was quite a long time ago, and the details are a bit fuzzy. However, I do clearly remember that I wanted to create a website about volcanoes.
Why volcanoes? My best guess is that I was really into volcanoes when selected for the project. The more important question I ask today is, why would you ask a second grader to create a website? Furthermore, why the hell was I chosen? Other than being in the advanced spelling group with the third graders, what made me a good candidate for such a project? Keep in mind that this would have been around ’95 or ’96, so the web was nowhere as crazy as it is today. However, even back then I am sure there were hundreds of pages dedicated to the subject; so what, if any, additional value could I have offered to existing scholarship?
For the project, they took me and the other kid down in a room full of computers. I’m not sure if it was at our school, but our teacher came with us to help us out with general design and content. I sat down in front of a big white Macintosh with a clunky keyboard and a mouse almost bigger than my little hands could mange, and after a few minutes of instruction and examples, I started plugging away.
I decided almost immediately that the background should be dark blue and that the text should be white. I pillaged the web for photos of volcanoes spewing lava at night, and scrounged for diagrams detailing the different layers of the earth’s crust, writing captions as clever as “lava at night,” and “the earth’s crust.” The idea of citations, photo credits, or blatant plagiarism never held me back, and before I knew it I had created a rudimentary webpage about volcanoes.
Looking back I don’t really know how the story ends. I don’t even know if I actually finished my work, or if they even published my page to anything on the internet. I don’t even know for sure if any of this ever happened. All I know is that with the exception of modifying the color codes and fonts on my high school Myspace page, I have never truly created anything on the web that I can call my own, nor have I been able to capture that childlike feeling of complete creative freedom. Until today.
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