I realized today that I've been at this unofficial Cedar Point fanboy site thing now for ten years. Ten years! What were you doing ten years ago? I was working in Medina, Ohio, as the cable TV monkey, doing my shows and spending the city's money. And I was getting into this Internet thing.
Guide to The Point launched in April, 1998. At first it was just some photos and some bullshit tips I made up about enjoying the park. By the end of that year, I installed a UBB forum, and it just took off from there. That December I put ads on the site, and I made $11.09.
The next year and points beyond, I wrote the code for everything on the site myself, including the forum. A lot of people don't realize it, but I was first to use "rich text" editing for posts, where you could highlight something and make it bold. No forum had that other than mine at the time.
In 2000, Walt started Virtual Midway, and in 2004, we decided to join forces. I had a very active community on GTTP, but I dreaded keeping up with the content. Walt was all about content, and I loved writing code, so between the two of us it only made sense to combine our efforts. I think it has really worked out. I'm particularly proud of the fact that we scaled back on content for the latest version and concentrated on what people were really using, instead of trying to duplicate stuff that was on the official site anyway.
The community is the real shining point though, for PB and CoasterBuzz. Over the years, people have come and gone from my life, but even though pundits claim the Internet is making us more disconnected, it's those friends I've met online that are still there. Sure, you may have a hundred times more superficial acquaintances because of the Internet, but I think the "real" and close friendships that come out of that are ten times better than what you'd find via work, dating, church or whatever.
But wow... a decade. That's a long time to be working at something. I've had seven full-time jobs in that time!