Friday, January 19, 2007

Things I Did

You could consider this a sort of “Webfolio”. Over the years since I first tasted this captivating medium, I have been involved with some very popular and infamous projects. Below are my own memories of those years past.
My original “company” from back in 1996. This was my launching board into Internet commerce. My partner and I ended this project shortly after starting it; never launch a business with your girlfriend – lesson learned.
My first personal website, registered back in 1997 when domains were still $100 from Network Solutions. The only domain that I haven’t let expire from time to time. Also my current LLC – Vannatter Ventures – the place I make money from.
My experimental phase, when us “swanky kids” went through our David Carson-esque period. Sold this domain on Ebay to someone who I should remember, but don’t.
The domain that made Nunames (.nu Registrar) change their policy about the word “fuck” in domain names. This was mostly just for fun, but the free email I offered was pretty popular.
I remember getting an email from the band about me purchasing this domain. In retrospect, they were just as whiny in that email as they are in their music.
A domain I thought would be interesting. I abandoned it shortly after launching.
The umbrella name under which I launched all of the “OH” projects. At one point one of the top searched for phrases – “oh, hello” on Google.
One of the first journal / blog services on the Internet. Became insanely popular at the time, serving almost 100,000 users before it imploded from its success. I spent literally hundreds of hours tweaking our strained servers (two of them: one web server, one database server) to support an ever increasing load. I still receive hate mail occasionally wondering why I had to take this service off line. When you have to decide between paying your server bills or your rent, something has to give. Somewhere I still have all of the code and databases; I should get it back online for nostalgia.
At the time, and were the two most popular remote-hosted guestbook services. It didn’t help much that was running on the same servers as I had to redesign the infrastructure at least four times adjusting for a plethora of problems; an amazingly frustrating and beautiful experience.
A URL redirection service for people with long domain names ala This was another very popular project that I eventually sold to someone just so it wouldn’t slow down my servers anymore.
A web service built using Flash before Flash was meant to do inbound data: we had to do some very innovateive stuff with the limited abilites of ActionScript before they greatly expanded it in later versions. This was one of my favorite sites to build and I wish I had kept the code and content.
My first big hit. A web community for artists when no such communities existed. We got quite a bit of press – from LA Times, to Chicago Tribune, to New York Times. We even got airtime on an ABC show about the Web as well as multiple book references. We need a reunion for the old swanky crew. Swankfest 2010 anyone? /
The community repository of This was where all the members had their personal sites. Do a search for swankarmy, you’ll still find references.
My current previous LLC that I do any and all business through; software, engineering, bullshitting. Sena came up with the name, blame her.
A pet project that I started to alleviate my own personal frustration when gaming online – turns out a lot of people shared that frustration and the popularity of this site has really taken me back to pre-bubble dot-com explosiveness.
An expansion on the armorylite project, becoming the umbrella for quite a few upcoming projects.
Because sometimes, all you need is a little deep dickens.
A new gaming project focused on the upcoming BioWare MMO, SW:TOR. Yes, I’m one of those people.

posted by Dustin Vannatter at 12:19 pm