I started web development in 2000. I don’t know what motivated me to build a website, but my curiosity to do something figured checking the source of a webpage led me to understand and write HTML. I didn’t know what each tag meant or read any tutorials about it. Basically, it was a try-and-see approach. By this, I built the first unofficial Turkish Blink-182 fan website in 2000.
Today, I am very proud of my 20 years old achievements, and I still think it’s a simple and great design. Unfortunately, Internet Archive Wayback Machine didn’t capture the gifs, and images were created for the website and were shown as broken on the screenshot. Also, I had 4 different designs for Turkish Blink-182 over the years. However, none of these designs were saved by me, nor were they captured by the Wayback Machine.
In time, I gained more skills in web development, and I moved from a simple HTML website to the forum software (Snitz, phpBB) for Turkish Blink-182. Around 2006, I’d shut down the website -and later on, Yahoo‘d shut down the Geocities. I felt I’d had enough and at some point, all the effort I gave didn’t make sense to me.
Around 2004, I had my first blog on Blogspot. It was called “Ortam Öküzü“, an entertainment blog about fun stuff and my bad jokes. And at the end of 2004, I bought a domain name and hosting for it to have full control over the blog software (kbk blog) and my design. Back then, there was this weird Turkish blogger community that was very conservative and was not accepting these types of blogs -or me- in their circle, and I was a loner trying to be part of that circle and wanted to have some attention and respect. And, I didn’t get it. Maybe I was seen as an attention seeker, a weird guy, or a stupid blog that would make people regret having it in their circle, etc. I don’t know the reason exactly, and all of these are my judgments which will most likely be false.
Later on, I moved from entertainment content to my favorite music genre, Hardcore Punk, and blog software, to WordPress. And Ortam Öküzü became an e-zine under a different domain where I was writing about hardcore punk. I had interviews with Turkish and foreign hardcore punk bands and wrote reviews about albums, news, stories of the bands, and the history of hardcore punk. Even though the content was in Turkish, Ortam Öküzü was more famous in Europe than in Turkey. You may wonder but let me tell you again; Ortam Öküzü was never respected by the Turkish blogger community even when it became a Turkish source and Wikipedia for hardcore punk. Maybe, they didn’t like hardcore punk music. Who knows?
Around 2009, I’d shut down Ortam Öküzü. I had around 10K daily unique visitors, thousands of comments with more than 400 articles, and received so many Turkish and foreign fanzines, and music CDs sent by the bands across Europe and Turkey via post mail. To me, I had had enough. None of these made sense and became a redundant effort in my eyes. Then, I moved back to a very simple ASCII blog and wrote whatever came to my mind in ASCII format for a long time. And again, I’d shut it down because it didn’t make sense to me, either.
When I look at the past again, these were very good jobs and achievements from design to content which I am proud of today. What breaks my heart is I didn’t see them as achievements back then and didn’t save them anywhere. I could do a better job of having final snapshots, better screenshots, or even export of the databases which could be saved for the future when someone wants to start building on top of that work. Yet, for me, when something didn’t make any sense, it should be deleted, forever. And I deleted them forever.
When you are more experienced and mature in life, you realize -good or bad doesn’t matter- they are your achievements and how valuable they are. And you can understand how much they contributed to your life, your character, and your development to make you who you are now. When you start deleting them forever, it creates a gap in your memory, because you are deleting your efforts, too. And the more these types of gaps you have, the more it affects your growth. Your professional career is fed by your past efforts even if they were not in a professional environment. It is a great showcase of how long you are in the industry not professionally but overall. Just save them for the future. A future that will make sense to you. A future of yourself that will prevent having gaps in the memory. A future that you will stop labeling good or bad but will label as an achievement.