On the Web

Posted By BrokenClaw on April 3, 2006

BrokenClaw has been up and running since 1998. We started as an ad-sponsored homepage on xoom.com, which at the time was similar to Yahoo’s Geocities. Soon thereafter we switched to our ISP supported homepage — one of those /~user websites. [Note: As of 2012, none of these personal homepages are still viable, as everyone who wants a presence on the web can easily establish a free blog or Facebook.] Within a couple years I decided to create my own domain.

The domain started as www.brokenclaw.com in October of 2000. Then in November 2005 I switched the actual domain to just brokenclaw.net (it’s a long story). I quickly regained control of the .com domain, but I liked the idea of being a .net, since the website has never been a commercial site.

Officially, this website domain is BrokenClaw.net, but I have both domains point to the same web server, and since the .com pages have already been indexed by the search engines, your browser may still identify it as the old www.brokenclaw.com. Nevertheless, BrokenClaw is still just a personal website, my hobby, for our family and friends, but my Christmas Carols page attracted the most visits from Internet users. In fact, within a few years, during the holiday season, that page often topped a thousand hits per day from all over the world. In January 2006, I decided to move my Native American pages to a subdomain at native.brokenclaw.net, in order to maintain a better separation in style of the websites. Later that year I created another subdomain at northann.brokenclaw.net for my family and North Annville genealogy pages. Later I created the Susquehannock Fire Ring as a repository for numerous emails I received about that topic. I also created the Otoe-Missouria News Archive where I could post the news articles related to my tribe. I have subsequently re-combined my native American blog with my main blog.

You can imagine my excitement the first time I saw one of my pages listed on a web directory in 2001. I guess it’s something like when a small company goes public, and the owner sees his name come across the stock exchange ticker for the first time. Okay, well maybe it isn’t that exciting. Besides search engines and directories, other Internet sites, such as hobby sites and school sites, have links to several of my articles. It’s still a thrill, when I’m searching for information about a related topic, when I see my own page come up at the top of the search!

BrokenClaw was even cited as a reference in a civil case in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania: Sechler and Saxe v. State College Area School District, filed by a parent against a public school and it’s Superintendent. Let me make it clear: We were not involved with the case. As far as I can tell, the complaint alleged that the school district violated Freedom of Speech by banning Christian references to Christmas at an Elementary School’s “Winter Celebration.” The plaintiff presented evidence that the school allowed obvious symbols and literature related to Chanukah and Kwanzaa, but not to the Christian basis of Christmas. The complaint also objected to the school presenting parodies of Christmas carols, such as Christmas at the Mall sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslas, which the plaintiff deemed offensive. A footnote described the original story, as told by the song’s lyrics, of King Wenceslas being moved to charity as he celebrated the Christian Feast of St. Stephen. The reference for the lyrics was listed in the court document as http://www.brokenclaw.com. In the end, the case was dismissed. The court ruled that the evidence supplied by the plaintiff did not sufficiently prove that the other celebrations were presented in a preferential religious manner.

When I first began to create my web pages, I wrote them entirely in MS Notepad. Later I purchased NoteTab Pro, a commercial html editor. Most recently I purchased TopStyle Pro to create and edit my Style Sheets. I still hand-code all of the web pages without any WYSIWYG editor or proprietary extensions. I make an effort to keep the pages simple, to be compatible with all browsers, for quick loading with minimal JavaScript or gratuitous animation. For example, all of my animated link buttons are written as Styled lists rather than JavaScript. I test all of my pages on Mozilla Firefox (the browser I actually use) and MS IExplorer (the browser most people use).

Comments

One Response to “On the Web”

  1. brokenclaw says:

    Update: In 2006, I added some blog features to my website. In 2007 I changed the blog to WordPress (see link in the right sidebar), which is free, open-source software. Once again, it’s a new learning experience for me, as I do all of the editing and design myself. The blog software automatically handles some of the navigation tasks inherent in static web pages.

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