It’s been a long time. Nine years and then some. In Internet years that’s nearly forever. Before the Dark Ages when the bubble burst. What am I speaking of…this site, of course. What did you think I meant, Chinese Democracy?
Designed in the time when 800×600 was considered high-res, and 1024×768 was for the special people. DSL and Cable connections a rarity, and 56K modems were the norm. It’s an Internet that many never experienced and the ones that did try to forget. Since then the Internet has expanded into every facet of modern living. The most obvious are entertainment, communications and hell, dating. Who would have though that dating online would something one no longer denies doing. Now one can even watch their favorite TV shows the next day online as something bigger then a postage stamp (ie Fancast). Even the mobile web experience is richer then anything available back in 1999.
What was available was this site, as it looks today (well not today as I’ve finally replaced it) with only the barest of changes. It stood as a testament to what once was. There were attempts to replace it with bigger better fast more. These replacements never made it through all the production needed to give it life. They got close, never all the way and then forgotten.
So what happened?
Well back in 1999, I started working at an Internet start up out in Wayne, PA. There we attempted to connect entertainment and commerce. Allowing fans to purchase the very items that the stars were wearing in the photo. We did this for some big names too of the time (Everclear, Korn, Blair Witch Project, Stewart Little, and Radiohead to name a few). This was the start of the band microsites featuring viral opportunities (“send to a friend” and “add this to my site”) and dynamic content. The big money said forget entertainment and provide all this dynamic content and tracking to the Fortune 100. And so we did, till the whole bubble bursting thing happened.
I took this opportunity to go solo and provide my skillz to the highest bidder. Except I realized I’m not such a good pimp. Slowly I gravitated back to the 9:30-5:30 world. Finally re-joined the full time workforce at an interactive agency here in town called iFrontier…then AvenueA|Razorfish, now just Razorfish (a Microsoft Company). Regardless of the name they created websites, web campaigns and all sorts of web based analytics and media buys. I was there for the creative side of their business, designing and building Flash based thing-a-majigs. This led me to CIM, where I am today, doing more of these Flash thing-a-majigs as part of their internal creative department. Work with a good crew, bringing this Web two thing to Comcast.net.
As the Interweb is changing I thought it was about time change RobertFrancis.com as well. This time there will be changes to the content, as the backlog has grown deep and I keep moving forward. Welcome back world.