Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Centennial Celebration


This here post is my 100th since moving the site to Blogger.com, barely 14 months ago, and we've come a long way, baby! A lot has changed, in front of the scenes and behind them. To celebrate this, and our next 100, and because I've gotten several questions about this lately, I'm going to tell you a little about the story behind the story.

In 1995, I joined the Navy. It was great for a while, but things slowly got out of hand, and it was starting to get hard to maintain a sense of humor about everything. Finally in 2000, the powers that be finally had enough sense to put me in the computer repair department, which was where I was supposed to have been put in the first place. By then, though, I was pretty sick of everything - I wasn't nearly the positive person back then as I am now and didn't fully appreciate all the good stuff I had going for me - and needed to blow off a little steam. What better idea than to register a really cool domain name?

So I cranked up the internet, which was still pretty new back then, and found register.com. There was only one name I wanted to register. It was a name that was cool, that I'd been using for some time on the internet elsewhere. So I tried to register theds.com.

Unfortunately, it was already taken.

I had checked it out, and taken a few days to think about whether I wanted to go through with it or not, but when I came back to do the deed, the name was taken. Who would take a name like theds.com? No, Nintendo was still many years away from creating their DS gaming device. Rather, it was a for-pay cracking group known as The Damned Souls. I don't have any problem with people unlocking my games for me so that I don't need no stinkn' CD in the drive to play; I've really got better things to do than carry my CD collection with me everywhere I go. But those guys didn't do it for the love of the work, they did it for money. Worse, they sold copies of the games they cracked, an act that until recently was considered downright despicable.

Crushed, I had to think of another name to register.

What to use? What would say "squid"? What would allow me to rag on the bad times I had in the Navy, or celebrate the good times if I wanted? What described my experience best?

It was then I hit on mopjockey.com.

Immediately I had grand dreams to fulfill. I'd created several parodies about the Navy and the Bataan and my time there, and was itching to post them up for my friends to enjoy. However, in my desire to do things perfectly, I never got around to getting my stuff posted. I just had some piddly three-page thingamabob barely one step above "Hello World". For the first several years, the site was pretty well neglected. I probably got 100 hits that weren't mine in the first four years.

A few years later, I got sold some web space and decided to revamp the site. I posted up a lot of cool stuff about myself and my knowledge about computers and everything else I'm good at. I had about 10 pages of interesting information, and over the course of the next four years, I had accumulated about 1500 hits other than mine. I also introduced a forum and had a few people use it now and then. Clearly I was doing something right to have so much more interest.

In early 2009, as I was getting started with driving for my last trucking company, I started getting much more serious about the site because I had a lot of good ideas to post. I revamped the site again and put up about 30 pages of cool information about the Navy, trucks, some of my favorite computer games, and a handful of opinion pieces.

But then, a few months later, just before I visited the Stonehouse, my webhost suddenly went belly-up. For about three months afterward, I had no site. Since I was on the road, and my computer also died during that time, I had no time or ability to look for another one. I briefly tried to make use of Godaddy's free host, but like Register's free host, it had a spammy banner ad on it that messed up the site, so I was forced to park it there with minimal content.

Luckily, by now, the state of the internet had progressed significantly, and so in late 2009, I discovered that Google had bought Blogger.com and was offering free blogs. Before this time, I didn't pay blogs any attention, but one of my cousins whom I visited in September pointed me to Nathan Bransford, who then pointed me to several others, and when I saw how pretty those were, I knew it was a Sign From Above.

Articles were easy to post, pictures were easy to add, and no need for a seperate forum - people can comment directly on the articles, and they don't even have to register if they don't want to! Plus, I've got followers! Yay! But most importantly, I've got great stuff to write and I've gotten tons of praise for it. That's how you know you're doing good, when people you barely know are telling other people you barely know how awesome you are without prompting them to.

Back in June, Google started offering site metrics for free, and in the intervening six months, I've gotten a considerable amount of traffic, far more than I realized.

Today, Mopjockey.com is in transition. It started out as a bunch of jokes about the Navy, jokes which never got published (but still might one day). In the future, it will be a respected place, a place where people go to read (or watch) all kinds of fun, useful stuff. For now, though, it's a testbed. I'm trying out different things. I've started doing interviews with famous people, I'm lining up guest authors, I've given speeches, and I've got several different series in the works. One was about health, another about the solar system. And I irregularly comment about the craziness that goes on around the world or around Daytona Beach.

We're finding ourselves. And it's not going to take 14 months to make another 100 posts. Several have joined us already. You can too. Welcome to Mopjockey.com, where we offer More in Sanity. I'm your host, Jaycee Adams, and I promise the next 10 years will be a lot more exciting than the last 10.


Other articles you'll find interesting or fun:
How to Make More Money
Dear Mel Gibson
Ron Riekki - 2010
Flash Fiction is all the Rage


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