Ten years ago this month on August 1st, 1997, I launched AikiWeb.com out into the world. That means that AikiWeb is now celebrating its tenth anniversary!
Ten years is a pretty long time in World Wide Web years. Looking back at some websites that were around back then in 1997 (eg Microsoft
) reveals that the world wide web was still in its infancy. Web design and functionality sure has evolved since those days, huh? I still look back at my first design of the AikiWeb website (back in 1998)
and feel a certain fondness for it even today, though.
I started out on AikiWeb by collecting articles on aikido (many from the venerable Aikido-L mailing list) that I personally thought were pertinent to the art in general. From there, I started adding features to the site. In December of 1997, I inherited the FTP aikido dojo directory lists from Cindy Paloma and, using the data from those lists, created the AikiWeb Dojo Search Engine
-- now the largest and most widely used aikido dojo database in the world. I opened up the AikiWeb forums in June, 2000, with the very first forum thread
being posted on June 5th, 2000. Since then, over 12,000 threads and over 180,000 posts have been posted in the AikiWeb Forums making this the busiest aikido discussion board in the world. The site now hosts many other collections of aikido information such as the Seminars Database
, the Book, Video, DVD, and Equipment Reviews
, the Image Gallery
, and the Links Directory
But, back in 1997 when I started AikiWeb, aikido websites weren't all that common, much less a site that served the general aikido population. I wanted to create a place where the worldwide aikido community, regardless of style, organization, or experience level, could gather to share their (your!) thoughts and experiences in this art of aikido. I thought that no matter how much experience any single one of us could have about aikido, the more we could freely and respectfully share amongst each other, the richer all of our experiences could become.
Sure, it's been a lot of work running the site. From programming the back-end code to handle all of the databases, administering the wonderfully busy forums, processing the queues of the dojo/seminar/news submissions, optimizing Apache and MySQL settings, and installing/replacing hardware components within the AikiWeb server, I really can say the number of hours I've put into the site and the community has been countless; but, then again, so are the number of moments of pleasure that I've received from having created and maintained this site.
Offline for me personally, I feel so fortunate as to have met so many people whom I personally would not have met had this site not existed. The two AikiWeb Workshops that were held in North Carolina and Florida proved to be wonderful experiences to connect with many different people. In the many dojo and seminars all over the world that I've had the pleasure of attending, I felt touched when people mentioned to me that they've enjoyed visiting the site.
I'm excited to say that I still have new ideas up my sleeve that I'm looking forward to implementing on AikiWeb including more ways to help out and give back to the aikido community. Of course, if you have any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas, please let me know
I hope you'll all join me in continuing to make AikiWeb an important part of the aikido world by being a part of and supporting its ever-expanding community. Please help out by joining in the discussions
, by posting news items
and seminar information
, updating the dojo database
, asking your dojo webmaster to include a link to AikiWeb
, and letting people know about the AikiWeb site.
Looking back at these ten years of my running AikiWeb only makes me look forward to the next
ten years (and hopefully more!).
I want to thank all of you who have been a part of the AikiWeb community. Without all of your thoughts, feedback, participation, and support, the website would not be the place it is now. Thank you, everyone!