Years ago when the internet was young and the beer was cold, everyone was scrambling to find a way to use the internet to market their idea, business, or product to this new global market that the internet created.
Either because I came from the local BBS scene that was all about local or because I’m slow to catch on, I saw the internet as a way to help local businesses and local customers connect. Even to this day, that is what KamloopsCity.com is all about.
Some Early History
In the early 90’s before even the nerdiest of nerds had even heard of the internet, I was connecting with and then running my own BBS (Bulletin Board System). BBSs allowed for one computer to connect to a host computer for the purpose of reading and sending messages. A typical BBS could only handle one connection at a time because everything was done over phone lines and the owners of BBSs would have to pay for any additional phone lines that they wanted to dedicate to their BBS.
Then the internet came to Kamloops thanks to Rodney Binder who started the Netshop. While talking to Rodney and discussing my problems with getting additional phone lines for my BBS where I was living, he invited me to host my BBS in his location so I could add all the phone lines I wanted. By taking Rodney up on his offer, I was able to allow 4 people to connect to my BBS at the same time!! But as the internet started to grow and evolve, it was soon clear that the future didn’t involve systems that only allowed a handful of people to connect simultaneously. Since I was able to see how things were changing from the inside, I knew when the day came that I shut down the BBS that I should wait for the internet to catch up with my needs.
Things Start To Change
In the very early 90’s the technology and software that ran the internet started to develop into something that I thought was interesting. I immersed myself in the methods for creating websites and how to display content. As all web pages were still static pages, there still wasn’t much that you could do with the internet other than display information.
Around 2000 or so, content management systems began to take shape with the birth of software packages like PHP-Nuke. I started to seriously looking into creating something using the content management system called PostNuke and in 2002 created a website called “Kamloops Scene” at kamloopsscene.com. The Kamloops Scene website lasted almost a year before I decided to change the name because of the double “s” at the end of Kamloops and beginning of Scene. I doubt it would have ever made a difference, but at the time I decided a name change was the best thing.
In early 2003, KamloopsCity.com was created with a post about either the Blazers or the WCTC (called WCT now). Over the years, the website evolved and changed based on the current technology, software, and the time I was able to dedicate to keeping things running. KamloopsCity.com has been nominated several times for the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards in several categories, but never managed to win the elusive and useless award. The website has grown to several employees and then settled back to a staff of one human and several bots where it is now. Sixteen years from its creation, KamloopsCity.com is still up and running but now uses WordPress for all the backend content management.
Over the years I’ve created several companion sites to KamloopsCity.com that focused on different aspects of life in Kamloops, including:
- Kamloops360.com – a directory of local sites and events that included photos and multimedia tours. I wanted to showcase local events, parks, and the beauty that we have right in our back yard through 360º photos, massive deep zoom gigapixel photos, video, slideshows, maps, etc. Kamloops360.com has been added as a feature to KamloopsCity.com and can be seen by choosing “Kamloops Multimedia Tours” under “Local Info” on the KamloopsCity.com navigation menu, or by going to Kamloops360.com.
- Kamloops Menus – a directory of all the restaurants local to Kamloops. The restaurants were arranged by cuisines and location and can still be seen as part of KamloopsCity.com by choosing “Restaurants” on the KamloopsCity.com navigation menu, or by going to KamloopsMenus.com.
- Kamloops House Tours is still going strong as a separate website and is used by many real estate agents that utilize the photo services of Kamloops ePublishing. You can visit Kamloops House Tours at http://kamloopsHouseTours.com or use the “Real Estate” link in the KamloopsCity.com menu. The look and feel of Kamloops House Tours is such that it’s meant to be seen as a part of KamloopsCity.com but is a separate site.
- Kamloops Business – located at KamloopsBusiness.com but is now part of KamloopsCity.com as the KamloopsCity.com Business Directory. You can view the Business Directory at https://kamloopscity.com/business/ or by going to KamloopsBusiness.com. Local businesses can list their business in our directory for free.
- Kamloops Golfer was a short lived separate project that was quickly consumed by KamloopsCity.com. The KamloopsCity.com Golf Section lists all of the courses that are within a days drive for the people of Kamloops. You can view all the golf stuff at https://kamloopscity.com/kamloops-golf/ or by going to KamloopsGolfer.com.
- KamloopsNews.com was never officially a separate site, but was rather used as a way to point to the KamloopsCity.com News Section.
- Kamloops Creative is the newest addition the KamloopsCity.com and aims to put the spotlight on local creative people. Any person that’s creative can create a listing for free.
I can’t even count the number of Kamloops focused websites that were started by other people or groups, ran their course, and then were shut down. Since I gave up the original domain name, kamloopsscene.com has been registered at least a dozen times, with only one website being created for the name. It’s available again in case anyone wants to give it a try 🙄
Other Fun Facts
Every now and then I’ll come across a non-profit organization that needs some help that I’m capable of providing. I’ve worked with organizations like the Thompson Nicola Ups and Downs Society, The Kamloops Mounted Patrol, The Y Dream Home, WCT, The Boys and Girls Club, Kamlooops Crimestoppers, political organizations, and others.
I also work with Trade Unions, helping with their web presence and training facilitation, and social media.
As a staff of one, I’ve developed systems and procedures and employ software to keep things up to date. As time permits, I add features to the site and have a long list of things I’d like to do in the future.
To be honest, I would love it if someone wanted to help out 🙂
Awards and Honours
While in elementary school, I was the proud recipient of several attendance awards.