Hey, what’s up?
I figure I might as well introduce myself. My name’s John and I write & run this here website. I’ve turned 30 recently, so I’m just young enough that “online” is something that has almost always been there – and just old enough to feel like I’m not so young anymore. When I was about 15 or 16 my favorite BBS allowed us to build user pages on the actual internet (think Geocities, but much much worse) and it seemed like the coolest thing ever. Imagine my enthusiasm for all the things the web can do now, after more than a decade of mind-blowing technological progress!
My actual educational background is in the social sciences. I graduated from the University of North Florida in 2005 with a degree in political science on the economics track, and I minored in history. If they’d have allowed multiple minors, I also would have picked them up in international studies and literature. But to be honest with you, I hate politics and politicians almost as much as I love the web. So I guess that degree doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, except that it is pretty useful in terms of marketing, demographic studies, and understanding the context of the political economy that all businesses have to operate in (whether we like it, or not!)
After graduation, I bounced around jobs at a few soulless banks, but I didn’t really find something I enjoyed until I got a job researching, copy-writing, and editing for a scholarship website. We helped people – without charging them a penny – and we still got paid. How can you beat that? While I’d built some personal websites before that, it was the first time I really got in to the business side of things. Oh and the banks? They’re all out of business now; victims of the crash. Quitting those jobs for the web was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.
Within a year or two of my first web-based job, I was inspired to start publishing my own sites again – but this time I had a focus on monetizing my long-time hobby. I learned quickly that there isn’t much money in political blogging even if you have a lot of traffic, but my second and third sites picked up right off the bat and it has been a nice ride since then.
So my approach to online business might be a little different than what you’re used to. I didn’t spend much time in school programming or studying network protocols, but I’ve picked up more than enough to survive just by taking advantage of all the resources out there on the web. As I learn, I try to share those coding and development tricks I pick up, but I’ve also got an interest in identifying trends, legal and political issues that impact the online economy, and all aspects of marketing to different demographics and cultural norms. Of course, it all comes down to getting your content online, so hosting issues are another big focus for me here at WebsiteBuilding.biz.
If you’d like to keep up with what I’m up to on the web outside this particular domain, I’m going to be trying out this Google Profile thing at John McDonald.