“Let me ‘splain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
– Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride
This is the story about the long and agonizing birth of a web site.
Back in 1998ish, I had just begun to explore the Internet. My roommates had a dial-up connection, and one of them decided to place a second computer in the kitchen for household use. As suggested by my friends, one of the first things I did was get an email address. Not wanting to use my real name, I decided to use the name Dust Raven, which was the name of a character I had recently created for a potential Rifts game.
Dust Raven was a spatial mage, a special character class that came from one of the Rifter publications. One of his abilities was to create a pocket dimension, a personal retreat or base of sorts. His was a realm of personified imagination, a glimpse into the subconscious mind of its creator. I called this realm The Land of Ten Thousand Thoughts.
As I explored the Internet, I discovered there was a quick and simple way of making a web site on msn.com, using their communities (later called groups). This was awesome! Not only could I create a place to display information about myself and my games, it would be interactive. Friends of mine could get online and join and share our ideas. Seeing a parallel of this community and my online persona’s pocket dimension, I gave it the same name. Thus The Land of Ten Thousand Thoughts was born.
As you can guess, it didn’t stop there. Or rather it did stop. I soon found the tools incorporated into msn’s groups very limiting. There were things I wanted to do but could not, and I didn’t know why. I set out to learn how to build my own site and learn how to publish it to the internet. In 2001 I purchased a copy of HTML 4 for Dummies and acquired a free site on geocities.com.
Geocities wasn’t that bad, but eventually their ads massively interfered with the viewing of my site. I could handle, more or less, the vertical banner on the side that took up 1/3 of the screen, but when the pop-ups started, I left. But where to go? Looking up paid hosting options I found many solutions, but none that were really within my budget. I bounced around a bit. I used a test server at school for a short time, and for a while stored my site up on castle-walls.org (thank you Dr. Anomoly!). This was okay for the time being, but I needed something of my own.
In the summer of 2006 I was introduced to the realm of domain name registration, specifically with Go Daddy. Now I had a name that came with free ad supported hosting. As I said before, I’m okay with the ads, so long as they aren’t going to interfere with the content of my site. Go Daddy’s weren’t, so The Land of Ten Thousand Thoughts had a new home.
Currently, the ads are of course removed since I’m now able to afford the cost of hosting. In addition, the network that is TLOT3 has expanded to include a number of related, and no so related, sites, such Millennium Knights, Riadus Campaign Setting, Specter Legacy and Star Patrol. I’m constantly working on expanding, updating this is my other sites as well as occasionally starting a new site. Eventually I think I might end up doing this professionally, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
– Dust Raven