Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Humguide History Correction

Andrew Jones sent me a correction regarding my post on Bob Morse's blog. I was under the impression Bob Morse started Humguide. In Andrews own words, it wasn't quite that way:

"I started the web site in 1996 and sold it to Northcoast Internet's parent company around '98. They hired me to maintain it, but I left a while later when my "real" job went full-time. Bob [Morse] took over HumGuide's management and when Northcoast Internet died, Bob acquired HumGuide."


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous AJ said...

I have no ill will toward Bob. I just enjoy being a footnote in obscure regional history. He's my former boss, and has managed HumGuide for umpteen years now. Umm, 6 or 7 years? Anyhow, two or three times my involvement. I was manually coding pages in 1996. Bob made HumGuide database driven and launched a variety of other services.

HumGuide is a throwback to another era. Community directories were common 8 or 9 years ago when the web was a much smaller place – a single person could collect links for a whole city. It still took hundreds or thousands of hours because much of the data collection was conducted by search engines, and the search engines were REALLY lousy.

Managing HumGuide was a hobby. I'd sit in front of HotBot or AltaVista and run queries which included such narrow keywords as a zip code or an area code + prefix. I tried everything to get the search results to shift slightly and reveal one more new web site.

The newness of the web meant that people enjoyed just sitting down and browsing a link directory to see what odd and interesting things could be discovered about a community.

As the web grew, directories were replaced by city government and chamber of commerce sites and lousy services such as My Yahoo. Around the time effective search engines such as Google appeared, the web's novelty had worn off, and the idea of browsing to locate content was considered a waste of time. Today, most people use Google and accept what they are given on the first page, losing out on related links which can be found in a categorized listing on HumGuide.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Bob the HumBlogger said...

Isn't that Andrew in the background on the front of the T-S Tuesday Tech page? Are Andrew and Mike somehow responsible for the end of the Tech Fair? ;)

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Damn, you gave me some flashbacks with HotBot there.

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous AJ said...

Bob, that could be (?) Andrew Jones in the photo. There was an AJ who was a student at HSU while I was a staffer a few years ago and we both worked in tech/web development. Generic names are a curse.

I do have minor experience in radio, but no, that's not me in the photo. I'm more often confused with Shaun Walker, the T-S photographer who snapped the image. I'm sure Shaun would be deeply offended if he ever met me because we're nothing alike, except for being geeky white guys with beards.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger noel adamson said...

HumGuide was the first local listing to list any of my sites in the 90s for which I still feel grateful.


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