Ancient history about my previous pages. I started to keep this record on my previous page and I am translating it now to you from Estonian.
This is not my first home page and it is interesting for me myself to remember, why, where and what I have had. I feel it is important to understand myself why do I do it, why do I have a home page and a clear vision of the reason behind it. The others might not deem it as interesting, but it might as well be.
To tell you everything, I’ll have to go back to the very beginning, into the last years of the Twentieth century. I was still a student and I was living with sar (sar or Tõnis, my son’s father and my partner at the time) and we had a habit to sit together in front of the computer in the evenings. One of the activities was to open a random page using neti.ee‘s Random button (the button does not exist any more, but the functionality is still there, see http://www.neti.ee/cgi-bin/random).
And, as you may well guess, the average page was horrible to look at.
It always had:
- introduction text, something like “This is my home page! I hope you like it!!!” (or with a bit more spelling mistakes and exclamation marks)
- a lot of moving graphics, but all together an awful design
- page of links (where half the links were broken)
- a few pictures of page’s owner
… which means nothing interesting at all. This is why I got a really bad impression of anyone owning a private home page. How big your vanity must be to have a home page, even though you have nothing to put up there (I must say that it seems to have been gotten better these days – pages have a bit more contents and some personality – this was still the previous century, remember)? I concluded that a person has no reason to have a home page, unless it has a theme or some deeper meaning.
Now imagine Tallinn Pedagogical University’s class number 410, Multimedium course headed by A. Rinde. We are learning about Flash and as an exercise, everyone is to do a home page for themselves. You can imagine this fundamental protest it started in me – having reached these conclusions previously. I explained my opinions to the lector and as he couldn’t perusade me to reconsider I was given a separate and special excercise to create a group homepage where there would be links to the group members’ homepages. This I agreed to do, although I didn’t like that exercise very much either.
Next, I come home to my little rented apartment on Lastekodu street. I tell about this argument to sar. But sar, he was always good at disagreeing with me, oh yeah, this he could do very well… Anyway he parried my convictions, which he wasn’t aware of previously (because you just are not able to talk about everything even when you live with somebody), with a very clever move – he said if anyone had reason to make a home page, it was me. Well, at the time he still loved me. He could even list some things I should put up in addition to “the usual”:
- poems – as a teenager I wrote some poetry, I even dreamt about being hopeful, though now I believe I was just a common teenage girl
- drawings – as a teenager I also loved to draw, especially when I had some intense feelings to go through
… and, like he usually did, he jumped right to it. He already had a web server up and he had been commissioned to make a home page engine for a company so it wasn’t long until my home page was up and used as a test case to write that home page engine. The saga of liriel.org was started. At first it was localhost.ee/freya/, then freya.localhost.ee and then liriel.org, that he registered for me.
By that time I was caught by his enthusiasm. If it was going to be something, then it was worth putting myself into it. I didn’t make a Links section after all. Design was minimal. Sections were:
Mina or Me. There were my CV and pictures. That CV turned out to be a very useful section, because my longest ever employer found me through this CV (from 2001 on, the Süsteemiarenduse Partnerid, now Uptime – and I was there for a few days short of 10 years). It was possible to comment on every page and I had comments like “This kind of person cannot exist!” etc. I was so flattered because I am (and I like to believe, everyone is) very vain.
Luuletab or Composes poetry section had all the poems that I still had. I didn’t have them all because they were mostly from ages 10 to 18. In this section I was always curious about the ages of the commentators – most of them made positive comments, although I don’t think of the poems as something exceptional anymore. Only a few sometimes remind me of themselves if I feel like it – the best exception being the We are in a time-sea, which has given the motto for this home page as well. Anyway I plan to put them up here as well. When I get to it. Some day.
Joonistab or Draws section had the pictures I had drawn as a teenager. There were positive comments here as well, some even claiming I had picked the wrong specialty in school. I must say this is something I still long to do more. I have continued the practice in a way and I will have a gallery up here some day as well.
Tõlgib or Translates section was maybe actually illegal (at least I couln’t tell whether this was legal or not) and this is one of the reasons I am not remaking this section here. I was translating a quite unknown author Catherine Wells, her book The Earth Is All That Lasts. I love this book’s closeness to the nature, the drama, the well-written development of the characters etc. I suppose I should have asked permission from the author to translate and share this translation, but I never did.
Html was also mostly translation – it was a schoolwork of mine, that I hoped to be useful for others as well. The contents was actually HTML introduction for beginners in Estonian. There was little of such introductions around and they weren’t well understandable for beginners at the time. This was probably the most popular part of my home page, once somebody even asked my permission to use it in a course as an educational material…
Only then, as a real homepage owner – primarily because I had comments on all the sections and I had constant feedback – did I realize how fascinating the world of web owners can be. I was excited to spend time adding content, replying to comments etc. I was a truly proud home page owner.
But, as life goes on and times change, my ways with sar parted (I won’t go into details here) and my homepage was removed from his server. At first it was quite hard – no more. No more! But my life continued. Replacement places were made:
- in rate.ee server I published pictures of myself – I got ratings, I got comments, I got new friends. Not so much need for a home page any more.
- in pilt.ee server I could publish photos that I had taken – that was a new hobby I found, something that happens to every digital camera owner for a while.
For a while I was satisfied with that. I didn’t want to buy a chargeable service and the free services were awfully uncomfortable. It was ended by constant “Service temporarily closed due to maintenance” of pilt.ee. I couldn’t publish my photos, I couldn’t introduce myself any more. I couldn’t even forward pictures made on some occasion in any good way. A thought was nagging at me, gradually growing in volume, that I should remake my home page.
At last I could not ignore the pressure. I decided to find a free space with the most modest ads I could find and a lot of space. I tried xoompage.com service – 5GB of disk space and not too big ads. Unfortunately, only static html. For starters, I agreed to try it.
The new page had a complete new structure. I started with photos (nature photographs), I had plans to add my thoughts in posts, show news on front page with every change etc.
The trial period didn’t last long – one day I discovered that my page was not working and that’s that. I didn’t know the reason. I suspected mainly:
- my web used Estonian language. They had a list of languages, that were accepted and Estonian was naturally not amongst them. I did ask in their forum, whether Estonian + English would be OK. The answer was “of course”. But really, you may never know – one admin might think otherwise, it is purely a matter of interpretation…
- infrequent update. As I knew from start, I wasn’t constantly updating the page. There is life to be lived and when you don’t make your home page a priority, it rarely has any of your time. Because other things ARE more important, believe it or not. And I wasn’t sure but I almost remembered there being a quite short time span without updating after which they would have decided the page to be obsolete and deleted.
Disappointed for the previous failure and moreover frustrated about pilt.ee everlasting temporary maintenance, I decided for a small fee for reliability. Let there be my own domain – Estonia gave .pri.ee domains to residents freely – and a commercial server. This is so little to be paid once a month. I had a little explanation to Why? on the sidenote:
want to see, what pictures I have done.
Or where I’ve been.
Or what I’ve been doing.
Or what I have thought.
And I am vain enough to show them.
I made a little custom web editing software based on php and mysql, I added my poems, photos and pictures and paintings (that was a new hobby) in 2006; and finally a blog (January 2008).
I gradually neglected my home page and kind of updated my blog more. Though that “more” meant months of neglect as well – sometimes I might write several posts a day and then be quiet for months. I mixed languages, trying to get better in English and not forgetting Estonian. My blog was called “liriel of nothing important”, and at first it was. Whenever I felt like writing and had time for myself, I would write what came to my mind. There were pieces about my everyday life, revelations I had, but more and more about issues I cared for. For a while I felt like it was time for a drastic change – the heading didn’t fit anymore (even my dear sister once exclaimed – “of *something* important!”) and the presence didn’t present me as it should. I was displeased, yet I couldn’t get started to rethink and redo the concept.
Then I started to notice anxious headlines – Estonia was to stop the practice of giving away free domains for its residents – after a reform in how they were to be had, .pri.ee domains were to cost the same as main domain .ee, which would also be thrice the cost of international domains. I hated the .pri in the domain from the start, but it seemed like the right thing to advertise myself as a resident of Estonia like that, and though I cringed somewhat, I did go with it. Now my options were open again. It was clear from the get-go, that I wouldn’t stay with .pri.ee, but which would it be then? I postponed the decision for months until, unexpectedly, I was asked to help my friend with her photography gallery. Then I suddenly decided: it’s going to be back to liriel.org.
Back to the roots, back to where I started so long time ago (2001), but a much more mature site now. Blog will be the main attraction, though there should be some static pages as well, so the first thing I did was to import all of my previous blog into the site. I had been displeased to have the heading so I changed it into ‘a drop in the time-sea’, which better reflects my life philosophy, the origin is explained better in Author page, the subject I wish to expand more in the blog in posts I’ll write. This has the same humility I felt like expressing in the previous title ‘liriel of nothing important’, yet it also has the unity with the world and also the meaningfulness, of purpose, that any page in the net, any person in the world, any drop in the time-sea should have.
Additionally I will try to rescue the other content from my .pri.ee site before it is closed at the end of 2010 and most of these will be available here as static pages. I sincerely hope this site will do better than the previous ones.
The promises on this site were big, but the actions not as much. I left them in before this line above. I still have the archive with the contents, but I don’t plan on sharing it here any more. I plan on changing this website to be the website of my newly created company, Liriel OÜ – it seemed to fit after identifying under this name on so many websites and friend circles – and anything I will be doing under it. It’s not a startup – unless you define a startup as “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty” [Eric Ries, Lean Startup], and it’s not really a traditional business either. It’s bootstrapper company. I’ll do what I can and see what I’ll do. And I’ll try to write about it once in a while.