I’ve been tinkering with building websites since 1996, when I was in college. Through the years I’ve continued to develop various site ideas, most of which were terrible, but I guess they were good learning experiences. Anyway, I’ve kept at it, and now generate a small, passive side income through my efforts.
Some of the things I’ve done are below.
The Doghouse (1996) — that was the name I gave the simple 3-page site I put up midway through college. The Internet was pretty new back then, so I was just testing things out. I probably called it the Doghouse because my nickname was P Dog. Oy, but there aren’t too many nicknames for a guy named Pierre.
The Scriveners (2000) – a Geocities site that my friend Dave and I put together. It was a web magazine with short, informative articles and zesty humor. All the bylines are pseudonyms for Dave and me (he wrote most of the articles). Some friends and family read it, but eventually we stopped updating it.
RickyRecap (2007) – a few friends and I built an early Facebook photo-sharing app that was supposed to help people build group photo albums from a large event where multiple people were taking pictures. We actually hired a developer and got a working prototype built, but it never took off, so we eventually abandoned it. The name RickyRecap came from a funny story in college.
BirdSmack (2008) – my friend Jon and I created this site. The tagline is “Middle Finger Solutions”. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself. The crazy thing about this, I kid you not, is our idea was ripped off by a major French TV program. Some people loved this site, and we actually earned a few fans beyond our friends and family, but we eventually ran out of ideas and/or steam, so we stopped creating new ones.
Am I a Zombie? (2009) – A helpful quiz to determine whether you are a zombie.
NYC Subway Alerts on Twitter (2009) – a service that posted NYC subway status alerts to Twitter. The MTA has an email alert system and I hired someone to build a program that would take those alerts and cross-post them to Twitter. At one point I think these accounts had over 50,000 followers. Eventually the updates stopped working for some reason, and I didn’t bother trying to fix them.
Karmaparrot (2009) – the idea of this site was you could submit a short message, which I would post every year on the same date for 100 years. I later shortened the time-frame to “every year until I die”. I charged people $5 to submit a repeating message, and some of my friends and family were nice enough to buy one. The site never took off, though I’m still posting their messages every year. This was the first site I ever built that actually made money.
BrickBreaker Guide (2010) – remember BrickBreaker, the game that came installed on BlackBerries? Anyway this is a complete guide to beating the game. The site’s still live today, and people still send me their high scores from around the world, which is pretty cool. This was my first site to make money without depending on the generosity of friends. At one point it was earning $30 a month via Google Ads. While that’s not much dough, it was a meaningful achievement for me.
Try Squash (2010) – an informational site about the sport of squash. I put a bunch of content up but eventually stalled out on this project. I’m not exactly sure why I stopped working on this, though it later became the basis for Squash Source.
Squash Source (2012) – my most successful site, which covers squash equipment. After failing previously with the Try Squash site, I decided to try the squash theme again. This site currently gets about 30,000 visitors a month.
Free Squash Videos (2014) – this is a companion site to Squash Source, where I post squash YouTube videos. I just wanted to have a separate site so it wouldn’t clutter up the organization of my main site.