November 21st, 2005

  The damndest thing…

So, like many geeks, I’ve experimented with the blogging, content-management, etc., thing for a while. I got onto LiveJournal when I was relatively new, because most of the people I knew were on it.

Then, one day, I decided I wanted to set up a version of LiveJournal for my then work company, PayPal (now a division of eBay), so that we could set up some simple work-blogging, so I could easily post up the status of what I’d worked on each day. I chose blogging software because it’s 1:many, where the many are self-selected. I chose LiveJournal because it was the only one I knew of (at that time) which was open source, and supported any number of users.

For a test, I set it up on my home computer, under a virtual host name that I had picked up a while ago. (I collect useful and interesting domain names, not to resell or anything, but because I have an idea to put on them.) The domain name has a meaning to (a specific subset)^3 of science fiction fans, but I didn’t think anything of it. I set up the basic install, configured it, tested it, determined what I would have to do to make it useful at work, and promptly forgot about it. I set the one up at work, nobody used it, management wouldn’t get behind it and encourage the idea, so it died.

That was roughly two years ago.

Today I’m setting up another virtual domain on the same host, this one for my wedding information. To my immense surprise, checking the logs, I find that people are going to that site. It turns out I left the registration system open (as it was how I intended the work system to be), and some people randomly typed the domain name AND were interested enough to create themselves an account. And validate their emails. And post. And bring other people on. And create their own little social network on this…test site.

I haven’t touched it in two years (didn’t even remember it existed!), it has over 250 users, and continues to be a functional community site, for a very small, accidentally selected community.

Some people say that the barrier to creating a successful service on the internet is high; I disagree. I’ve found that it’s possible to create a community site by accident! 😉

In all seriousness, though, it is a testament to the desire people have to reach out and connect with others who they feel are like them, that they would take the chance to create a user account on a system they know nothing about, that hasn’t been maintained in years.

I won’t take the site down; something in me just likes the idea of people connecting through something so random.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

1 Comment

  1. On Patrick Fitzmorris Says:

    where would this site of which you speak be located? If you could send me a link via email, it would be much appreciated (If i am correct in my assumptions, based on your blog, then i am a member of the sci fi community of which you speak, and would like to join this site)