5/15/2008 – New York, NY
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been running this site on and off for almost eight years. It started off as a simple site called Mindrot on October 8, 2000. I envisioned it as a humor site/blog (before everyone and their pets had one) which would allow me to learn more about HTML and web design while entertaining the masses. The site was a hit, mainly due to a page called The Sunshine Boys, which chronicled my adventures exploring the subway tunnels of NYC with a band of daring rapscallions. The site also served as a journal of sorts, and I wrote about everything from Menudo to snow to Post-It notes. Finally, in March 2001 I decided I had to redesign the site.
I wasn’t done there, however. As my design and programming skills grew, I decided to embrace CSS (which at the time wasn’t as widely accepted and implemented as it is today). I redesigned the site once again, adding fluid design elements which allowed the site to be viewed on different browsers and screen resolutions. Since I was pretty new at CSS, the layout was simple, but it pleased me. I unveiled this new design on 6/12/2001 and called it Lootcorp v2.0. I officially changed the name from Mindrot because it was hosted on lootcorp.com and I got sick of the site and the domain having different names. Mindrot.com was taken, so Lootcorp it was (The story behind the “Lootcorp” name is a whole story in itself, better told over some cold homebrew).
The highlight of 2.0 was a feature called Americana, which was a travel journal detailing a month-long cross-country roadtrip I took in July of 2001. I think August of 2001 was the high point of my web career. I had a lot of visitors, was churning out some good content (or so I liked to think), and was gaining a steady audience. Then those damn terrorists had to come mess everything up. I posted early in the morning on 9/11/2001 about putting up a story about a trip to South Carolina, and posted late that night about how my world had been torn apart. Driving back to NY from that SC trip along the NJ Turnpike was the last time I ever saw the World Trade Center standing. I remember it well.
Needless to say, my sense of humor was not in working order at that time in my life. I wrote a couple of entries from late September through October, but the site fell by the wayside. I got a job helping a company which had been dislocated by the attacks setup their new office, and the hours were ridiculous. The last entry in the archives of Lootcorp v2.0 was, ironically, posted on my birthday, 11/8/2001. I know there must’ve been activity since there are some parts of the site timestamped in January and February of 2002, but I can’t find them. There is also a renamed index.html I found dated 6/18/2002, which indicated I had plans to turn the site into more of an essay and music related venture. The single post on the page, which never saw the light of day, read:
I’ll be updating periodically with essays and updates, and maybe even some music, too. I want the site to be a place you check once in a while to see what’s new, not a place you check every day.
I can’t find any actual content after that point, but the homepage had been edited to state “lootcorp 3.0 – coming ?? june. I need more time…..”
The site languished for quite awhile, standing as a deserted testament to happier and weirder times. My life went on, in strange directions, and I wound up ending a long-term relationship and moving into a new apartment. My new surroundings and newly single status inspired me to write again. I was going to start a new site and document my adjustment to bachelor life, but instead wound up revamping Lootcorp once again. I scrapped all my carefully written code (saved first, of course!) and installed the pMachine blog engine – I didn’t have the time or the interest in coding and maintenance at that time, and wanted something I could just log into and post. On 10/18/2002, Lootcorp 2.5 was unleashed upon the public, sporting a new layout, color scheme, and a fancy mySQL database to hold the content.
That blog rumbled on for awhile, capturing the ups and downs of my struggle to make sense of my upside-down world. It had some posts I was happy with, but I knew it wasn’t anything like the old Lootcorp. It was sad and a bit depressing while thinking it was edgy and interesting – the electronic equivalent of my telling everyone, “I’m OK!” when I wasn’t all that OK. I never did get back my old readers, although my friends checked the site every so often and dropped me comments. It was short-lived, however, and I lost the will to keep the page going. The last post in the v2.5 database was from May of 2003, and it looked like Lootcorp was down for the count.
Almost five years went by. I renewed the domain and paid my hosting fees every year, and the site still got traffic – mostly going to the old Americana and The Sunshine Boys pages. I never had the heart to pull the plug on it, but I also never found the determination to start posting again. I did post a random message in June of 2006 saying the site was under redesign (once again mentioning the art/music concept), and then blogged a handful of entries about personal finance in 2007, but that was it. Until now, that is.
About two months ago, I was reading a financial blog I like to check out from time to time, and realized how much I missed writing webpages. I dumped the old v2.5 database and started from scratch, this time using Blogger to push content to the site. I wrote several financial articles and posted about market conditions, until I realized I was bored as hell. Updating the site had become a chore, and slowly but surely I stopped writing. Was that Lootcorp 3.0? Guess so, it was a pretty major departure from the old incarnations. However, assigning a major release number to a site that was around for a few weeks seems wrong. So let’s call it Lootcorp 3.0a, an experiment that never made it out of alpha development.
So, welcome with open arms to Lootcorp v3.0! Hopefully it’ll stick around for awhile. I’ve changed hosting companies since the support at my old one was getting worse and worse (I’m using Hostgator.com now, and so far, they rock!). I’ve also switched to WordPress as my blogging engine, and will be designing a custom theme and layout down the line. The site will be brewing related for the near future (I think keeping it focused on a topic I love will help get me back into the swing), but I can easily see the site morphing into more in the near future.
If you were an old Lootcorp reader, please, drop me an email or comment and let me know you were here! If you’re new to the site, welcome, and let me know you were here! Heck, if you got here by accident, let me know you were here!