My first website, evolved from my RazorsEdge BBS, surfaced around 1998. It was rather random focusing largely on music related topics. Later too, I would take my documentation of things I found interesting to the web. For example application deployment (AppDeploy) and beer (CraftBeerSpots). The first such endeavor was my building a list of all the music mail order catalogs I could find.
The Music Mail Order Directory
One of my oldest projects, I started the Music Mail Order Directory in 1994. I built a pretty good looking Microsoft Access database that would generate HTML pages I could upload to the site periodically. I even sold this “list” of music order music companies as a booklet with ads in the back of magazines. I encouraged companies to offer discounts for mentioning my Music Mail Order Directory and that helped it become an even more valuable resource. At one point the directory contained nearly 350 companies with nearly 150 offering special discounts.
It became the featured content of RazorsEdge.net before finally getting its own home on the web as MusicMailOrderDirectory.com.
Eventually the very idea of a mail order catalog grew increasingly rare and an online directory of music mail order websites became less valuable as search sites like Altavista, Yahoo and Google did a better and better job of indexing the web.
The Flood Home Page
Another thing that found it’s way to RazorsEdge.net was a discography I created for a producer I like that went by Flood. After realizing a few of my favorite CDs were produced by Flood, I tried to do some research and chronicled his work.
The highlight of this effort was when Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (my favorite band) wrote to share a funny picture of Flood for the site.
At one point I had erroneously listed Sister Soleil among his efforts. I didn’t see the recording first hand but had a couple of people tell me Flood was credited, then a couple of others tell me he wasn’t listed in the credits- and finally Stella from the band herself wrote to say that Flood did not work on the album (although she would love to work with him).
Rare/Live/Remix MP3 Links
The biggest traffic draw for the site was an index I automated focused on live and remixed music. I purchased an application called MP3 Wolf that would effectively crawl the web for specified keywords and build a local index that I would convert to content for the site.
I wish I knew how to capitalize on it back then, but this area of the site got some incredible traffic; at one point many thousands of visits per day.
Music Demo List
Finally, the last resource I maintained at RazorsEdge was a list of music demo tapes and CDs from aspiring bands. I would write a review and list a band’s demo in exchange for sending me one and managed to get more than a few before simply hosting audio files made the idea of a demo tape a thing of the past.