Significant anniversaries

While trying to nod off at 3am (I’m having trouble sleeping – you can guess why), a series of thoughts made me realise just how many significant anniversaries I have coming up in 2017.

It’ll be the 35th anniversary of my dad’s death, my 50th birthday and 30 years since I met Birgit in the space of 10 days alone in March, for example.

I met Kathi (first boss, at Bradford Council – we have the same birthday too) 30 years ago. I joined Facebook 10 years ago, and opened my first Twitter account the following month. I finally graduated from a TASC course and started volunteering with Leeds United Ladies 10 years ago too, and it’ll be 20 years since I got my first mobile phone (for my last independent trip to Germany) and the first time I met Emma.

Which means it’s roughly 21 years since Leeds Metropolitan University joined the Internet with its first web site. I know – I built it.

Obligatory (but short) history lesson

I first started writing web pages in July 1994. A year later I wrote a draft job description for a University Web Co-ordinator and took it, as well as myself, on secondment from IT to Communications until August 1997. So the web site was launched sometime in 1996 – 21 years ago. I can’t remember exactly when, and there’s no way to find out, but there you go.

The “I built it” bit is important though, as I’m notoriously bad at blowing my own trumpet – which may be why I’m having such trouble getting interviews. For the web site I had to devise a folder structure, build the content, design it, train other people how to add content and find software suitable for them to use. Some of this required calling on the talents of others, but the task was mine – so it was up to me if we flew or fell.

We flew. Of course we did. It was a good site, for users, staff and students alike. It even got a rave review in the Wolverhampton Shopper (I have no idea either).

That should have been my cue to leave, but I hung on, grimly, while LMU restructured itself into abstraction before eventually moving to Metro, three years later. And here I am again, with my major successes at least a year behind me, instead of having something new lined up straight after. Never learn, do I?

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