Ten years ago today, January 24, 2002, Burnsland.com opened its digital doors for the first time!
That actually wasn’t my first online home, however. My first foray into web design used some free web space provided by my internet service provider. Were they even called that back then? Remember CompuServe? Ah, the good old days. After that, I used a couple of different “free” web hosts, who would put an advertising bar at the top of your page. Of course, I have my own ads up there now, but that is beside the point.
Anyway, after the last “free” web host I used started covering everything up with annoying pop-up ads, I decided to go out on my own, with my own website and domain name. Except that the domain name I had chosen was already taken. I had used it as the name of my free site, but someone else had already registered it as a domain name. So I was stuck.
I tried to figure out what to name my new site, but everything I could think of was taken. Until I came up with “Burnsland.” Sure, it was a little like Disneyland, although the website may be nothing at all like Disneyland. But the name stuck.
In those early days, Burnsland.com was mainly a place to show my pictures of the trains at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as some general photos from those places as well. I’m not really sure how people found the site back then, although I was eventually able to get it listed on some search engines. Yahoo was my primary goal, but I ended up on some little thing called Google, too. Which turned out to be a good thing.
You can see the early days of the site by seeing what is available on Archive.org. Things were much more simple back then, weren’t they? At that site, you can also see how the look of this site changed over the years.
I added elements to the site along the way. But things really took off when I added the Disney Railroads Discussion Board in 2004. A discussion board suddenly made the site dynamic - new posts were always being added, and the site felt more alive.
For a while, I started moving some of my more personal pictures and posts over to DesertedIsland.net, while leaving all of the Disney stuff here. But eventually, I decided that Burnsland is really me. So I came back here and started the Burnsland Blog and the Burnsland Photos Gallery, where something new is posted almost every day. Just another way of making the site seem alive.
It is interesting to think about what all has changed in ten years. Back then, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no iPods, no iPhones, no high definition televisions. There wasn’t even MySpace way back then. Most people (including me) did not have a digital camera. I had to scan in all my photographs back in those days. Things have certainly come a long way.
So what does the future hold for Burnsland.com? Who knows. I would like to think this site will be around for a long, long time, growing and changing as it goes along, with new, exciting stuff coming as the world changes more.
Here’s to the future!