History of the Man and Mollusc Site
Man and Mollusc was a dream I got about five years ago. While searching the WWW, I was surprised at just how little molluscan educational materials were available. There were a couple of major sites, and a few minor sites, at that time as compared to literally the hundreds of sites out there today.
In 1999 I started writing a paper on the uses of molluscs by man throughout the ages. This became the first article that I had ever wrote and it became the first article on my web. (See Man and Mollusc: Uses of Shell-Bearing Molluscs: Past, Present & Future)
I had a major problem; however, I knew nothing about developing a web site. I was and still am, a member of the Conch-L listserve and through that connection, I met up with a fellow Canadian, Ross Mayhew. He kindly offered to help develop the web site and on December 01, 1999, we aired the Man and Mollusc site.
How Ross and I suffered! I was a PC user and used only Microsoft programs. Ross was an Apple user and as we soon found out that the two programs were, and still are, as different as night and day. Not only was the coding different, but its appearance on the various browsers was also different. In our own way, we over came this problems.
Over the next year under the tutelage of two very patient teachers, Fabio and Shawn, I finally learned to develop my own HTML pages.
Ross was invaluable in the area of editing my first articles. We regularity talked over how articles could be improved and discussed plans for new articles and pages for the future of this site.
On researching new ideas for articles over the last year, I discovered so many wonderful sites throughout the world that It became evident that , "why should I reinvent the wheel?" Just show others how to get in touch with this wealth of information available. By developing an Internet Resource section I hope to succeed in doing just that. Many have tried in varying degrees to do just this, and many have failed or only met with limited success. It is unbelievable just how fast link addresses change or simply disappear. It's quite a challenge to keep current; but I'm going to give it a good try.
Several new articles were added by varying members of the Conchological world and I have made many new and wonderful email friends through this web site. Man and Mollusc went over the 10,000 hit mark by the end of the year.
Man and Mollusc has taken an an entity of its own and became to resemble a growing child to me, both in thrills and in problems. Ross and I differed greatly in styles (especially colour schemes) and at times I felt like I wanted more control over my site. I finally took over complete control of the site in March of this year (2001). Ross continues to be a great advisor and friend. He still manages and submits the "Mollusc of the Moment" page and still contributes many great ideas and is busy scouting new articles for the site. But, now, if a link is broken or any other troubles, that's MY PROBLEM to fix. I'm retired so I do have the time for this work.
June saw Shawn (my computer instructor) and I busy removing all that nasty MS and Netscape Composer coding and getting all of the Man and Mollusc pages into pure HTML. This left many pages unavailable for some days and WOW, what a mess it made of some of my diagrams. Slowly everything is getting back to where it should be. Every page has now been reworked using Dreamweaver.
the Man and Mollusc pages have now been edited, and hopefully much-improved,
at least once. The MS beasties have been banished and everything should
be now pure HTML.
The first two sponsorship banners aired in Oct. 01, 2001. Hopefully this will be the first of many as site expenses are mounting and I've donated six school Marine Kits this year.October 08: Man and Mollusc site was split into four distinct sections to ease navigation:
The following pages were also added to the site:
Hopefully, the site has become easier to navigate and that it becomes a tool for all to use. I'm very appreciative of all suggestions on how to improve the site. I also want to encourage people to let me know if I have made a mistake or if data should be updated.
This fall, Shawn and I have been working on making the site more accessible for people who have vision impairment difficulties, this includes me as my diabetes has begun to affect my vision. You may have noted that many of the fancy backgrounds on some pages are disappearing and that the fonts on most pages have been increased in size and are bolded.
For a year now, I have been working on an "Edible Molluscs" data base. This will be far from completed, such a data base will never be complete, but I will link it to the site by the end of the year.
Robynn, Shawn's wife (a teacher) is busy working on several lesson plans (K - 12) and a "Sammy the Snail children's story. These will be announced in the new year as they are completed.
To bring in the new year, I add a New Years Card
January also saw the introduction of the "Edible Mollusc" Data Base: This is a work in progress. As there are literally thousands of species of molluscs consumed world wide, it may never be truly finished. I hope to add an archeology section to it sometime this year. I thank all those who contributed data for this very large under taking.
I also added a new zone: the "Teacher's Zone": this is my way of saying thanks to all teachers that take the time to educate and guide the youth of today. I hope to make finding good molluscan educational materials for the class just a little easier to access.
A new team of three: myself, Avril Bourquin, Robynn Honeychurch (a teacher) and Anna Palumbo (an artist) all from beautiful British Columbia have formed a team and a new Chapter to the Man and Mollusc.net enterprise. We have started to produce Man and Mollusc's very own "Children's Books". The first we hope to have published in book form by this summer. It has not been decided whether to offer this book in a modified form to the actual web site or just to make the book available for sale. We actually have the book themes for five books. This is our first such project and we're all quite excited about the new venture.
April 2002: The first Lesson Plans for K-12 have been placed onto the Teacher's Zone. This got considerable notice it's first week seeing over 1,500 hits. Sammy's Adventure Story also was put online for educators to use
April 08 saw a new record number of Home Page Hits: 534 in 24 hours. Not Bad!
All site counters have been changed to "z counters" as of April 9 or 10, 2002. To get accurate counts, the old totals are by the new counter and need to be added on. Due to the number of counters I use and to the fact that some counter companies started to charge for their services I found it time to switch and standardize all the counters found on Man and Mollusc.
1, 2002: Due to an increase in the number of people approaching me to
sell private collections, I have started up a new
page. I believe I shall have a first sale up this month. I hope that
the small fee charged for this service will help to cover my increasing
web expenses. Sponsorships continues to be very slow in coming in. All
companies that I have approached privately in the last few months have
failed to bring in much needed financial assistance.
NOTE: (Posted June 01, 2002) due to a poor response in recieving private and commercial sponsors, I have had to resort to using affilite banners to help finance this web site and the shell donations I frequently make. Web costs have risen to accompany the increased size of Man and Mollusc and I have had many requests for shells and educational kits. Many of these kits have to be shipped out of Canada and shipping charges are also getting quite costly. If you wish to sponsor a page that has this kind of advertising on it, it will be removed from that page and be replaced by your personal banner.
August 03, 2002: New counter system from Globel installed. Marked pages (at this time 16) will have a double counter at the bottom of their page. One will show only the count for that page the other will show the count for all the marked pages. See example at bottom of this page.
September 08: Using eBay as a sponsor has proved totally unsuccessful so these banners are now being removed. I will continue with private sponsorship. Also as of September, I will be choosing one sponsor per month to appear on my homepage. I hope that you will take the time to visit my sponsor if they have a site or are indeed a commercial dealer. Thanks to their help in purchasing sponsorship ads on Man and Mollusc, four new shell kits have been sent out to schools in the year 2002. These kits have an approximate value of $200.00 US dollars. They have gone to three schools (Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and one museum in Winnipeg). Last year (2001) six kits were provided. Three of these went to international addresses. Any school or museum world wide doing school projects may apply for these kits.
September 17, 2002: New Article added to site
Week of September 16 to 20: A new general interest and help page will be added. This is in the form of a translation page.
October 10, 2002: Announced "Sammy's Adventure" for sale!!
January 02: "Sammy's Adventure" now online in Spanish. This is a non-illustrated story which can be used by educators or to accompany English Book sales when a Spanish translation is needed.
August: Change of address from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. Domain Name registration changed. Initiating site changes to be completed by the middle of November
October 05: Major changes to my sponsorhip and on site advertising will be taking effect this month.
The site is now under the new median link program as a partner to ensure its continued growth for the future and as I am sure you will agree it is a very informative site on its related subject matter and does require support from advertising revenues in order to grow!
Daily I am contacted from various commercial and private web site owners to provide a link to their site. Man and Mollusc now has a Page Rating of 6 and I find that many people are wanting to link to the site not only as a resource but also to further their own sites popularity. To help bring kaos into order and in hopes of gaining some financial support for my ever increasing web expenses, I have decided to make certain policy changes.
From this time forward, all commercial links on site will require at minimum a reciprocal link. It is hoped that if you appreciate the exposure Man and Mollusc could bring to your site that you will consider joining the Media links program.
As a potential advertiser I would ask you to please review our site rate card at: http://www.median-link.com for price on advertising! For instance a front page PR6 text link will cost as little as $4.40 per month. Take a look at: http://www.median-link.com/why_advertise.htm to see how this site can benefit yours.
During the next few weeks, all commercial content links on Man and Mollusc will be contacted in regards to this change in policy.
December 31, 2003:
Paul is continuing his optimization of Man and Mollusc site. These improvements are evident in the form of higher page rankings and higher traffic volumes to the site every day.
Paul and I are looking forward to providing you with continued "good" educational molluscan materials through Man and Mollusc and we wish one and all a "Very Happy New Year!"
2005: I have started to process of moving all Non-Molluscan content to
my new Web site: Avril's Place.com
I invite you drop by often and enjoy all the site has to offer. My thanks goes out to the many who have contributed to the site and its development. I think I can honestly say "Man and Mollusc" is a success!
To Shawn Honeychurch, my new computer and web assistant, who gets disturbed by phone calls all day long and patiently answers all my questions, A BIG Thank you!
To Ross, a BIG THANKS for everything in the past and for everything yet to come. Keep those wonderful Mollusc of the Moment columns rolling in!
To each person
that has donated articles, photos, clip art, graphics ideas, and so
much encouragement to keep the site evolving, THANKS! This site is
what it is because of your help.
This is a new counter system set up by Globel on
December 01, 2002