The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

jpkthumb.jpgSix weeks ago, the first MyMissourian site died an ignominious death at the hands of rogue spammers (which is the Web equivalent of choking on a hot dog.)

Needless to say, as with any total Web site annihilation, there was a fair amount of teeth-gnashing, fingernail biting and general angst from the staff. I think I even saw Jeremy weep one manly tear of grief.

But, with the gracious help of the tech boys in the back room, we downloaded some content to fill the newshole of the print version of MyMissourian, refilled the grave of the Mambo version of MyMissourian and let her Rest In Peace.

Clyde, ever the master of HTML tables, rigged a quick placeholder to fill the URL and we waited a few days for the boys in the back to recode the site into WordPress. Now, six weeks later, it’s like it never happened. We have a new home, with more functionality with barely a beat missed. Indeed, if I weren’t so lazy, I could have written this post a month ago. The fluid changeover was almost imperceptible — so easy, in fact, I had to stop and reflect to realize what had just taken place.

Imagine if we were a print-only publication and our presses or whole building even had burned down? What would we have done, then? The teethgnashing and nailbiting would have been far more dramatic, to say the least. And, with the present financial state of the newspaper industry, it’s doubtful there would be such a swift rebirth, if a rebirth at all.

Sure, replacing a Web site is easier than replacing multi-million dollar presses, but that’s not the point here. Iterating is the point. That’s a word I first heard uttered in a Web setting by the Star Warsian Roelof Botha.

Botha is one of the “big-wigs” at Sequoia Capital and has made money as a venture capitalist on projects like PayPal and YouTube. His name gets bantered around with the likes of Michael Mortiz and Elon Musk. I once worked at a Web site in Santa Monica, mahalo.com, in which Sequoia Capital was a principal investor. Botha came to the office one day to give us a pep talk, not about the vulnerabilities of the Death Star, but about what would happen once mahalo.com went live. Continue reading

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April 15, 2008 Posted by | Joe Kokenge | 1 Comment