The Story of Topsy and How She Grew
(Current Count: 15 servers, 40 websites)
I got my first email account while I was still homeless, in order to teach other homeless women how to use the Internet, as part of a project called the Homeless Women's Network. The account was at Speakeasy and included 10MB storage space to create a website. So I sat down and taught myself HTML, as I taught myself most things during my computer career, by doing something with it.
That first page began "Home is where the heart is. These are the projects where I live." There was very little about myself, but a page for each of the programs I worked with, from the self managed shelter network, SHARE, to the writing group I had started, StreetWrites. It was all text; I could only afford to work at the free text-based terminals, and I only saw my pages green-on-black (or amber-on-black, or sometimes white-on-black).
Then one of the groups I worked with, Real Change, got an Internet connection. Now I could create pages offline then upload them. I could also see my pages in full graphic mode.
By this time my home page had grown so much that Speakeasy was providing me with 20MB extra for free, because of the non-profits I was hosting on my site. But I found that although my page was getting very good traffic and rated high in the search engines, the groups I had in sub-directories were not getting noticed in the search directories and weren't getting a lot of traffic.
And the invasion began. Metastasis.
I began spinning out my projects one by one to their own sites. Real Change eventually adopted several of these projects as the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project, and when Real Change got its own domain they moved back into subdirectories. But I am glad to say that they are doing quite well in the search engines and the traffic counters.
I did several sites for my own pleasure, including a humor site, and eventually I even created a personal home page, with bio and photos. I am Anitra, Dances with Dragons.
I am also still NetMama of the Real Change. I have housing now. But these are still the projects where I live:
(PS: This is a text-only page. I have created banners for almost all of my sites, if you have the patience, graphic version available here.)
Everything is now gathered under the domain anitra.net, more or less.
I'm up to 1500 pages, but some is still getting gathered.
My original activist homepage is at Speakeasy
I tried to put personal stuff on a separate site, at first: originally at Xoom, then NBCi,
now pretty much abandoned.
Some personal stuff on Speakeasy; the rest on AnitraWeb
I made my Muse Thalia a homepage, at Tripod
She's now got the subdomain http://amusedmuse.anitra.net/ and will soon be moving into her own domain http://amusedmuse.com/
Kalliope, my other Muse, has a poetry workshop. This was originally at Hypermart, now at her own sub-domain http://kalliope.anitra.net/
She will be sharing http://amusedmuse.com/ with Thalia.
By this time I had a book review here, a book list there, so I created Bookaholics,
a directory to all my book discussion pages, originally at Geocities,
then on Speakeasy, now at http://books.anitra.net/
I created a lot of writing exercises for StreetWrites and Kalliope. As a different approach,
I tried combining exercises, examples, and forum pages at the Unicorn Pen writing forum
originally on Speakeasy. My current anitraweb host doesn't allow the cgi I need for this forum.
It will soon be at http://amusedmuse.com/
anitra.net might be somewhere else soon, too.
My Sea Chanteys site, originally on Speakeasy
now has its own domain at http://chanteys.anitra.net/
My Silverlock/John Myers Myers site, originally on Speakeasy
now has its own domain at http://commonwealth.anitra.net/
A directory to my webhelp pages, currently flung all over, is slowly getting consolidated under http://webmaking.anitra.net/
I made a website for Sid the Cat at Xoom, then moved it to Speakeasy.
Sid now has his own domain at http://Sid.anitra.net/
I set up a mystery book discussion group and webring, originally on Xoom, then on ... Speakeasy :)
now on anitra.net without forum, soon to be somewhere else...
Inspired by a meeting at Bumbershoot, I set up a page of Oregon history and folklore from Mike Helm.
Originally on Speakeasy, now at http://books.anitra.net/mikehelm/
- I don't know where Mike is, though.
Real Change Homeless Empowerment Sites
on the Real Change Domain, hosted at Speakeasy
I started working at Real Change back in 1995, when they were first setting up their website, and created the first sites for these projects. All except StreetWrites have changed, however, and are now being maintained by other staff.
StreetWrites will be changing soon, too!
A lot of the material I created for these projects has been moved to my own domain.
StreetLife archives are in Streets Art,
MacWorkshop portal pages are in Webmaking,
Speakers Bureau collected activist links are at
and writing links are at http://write.anitra.net/links.html
StreetWrites writing exercises and other resources are moving to http://write.anitra.net/resources/
StreetLife Gallery for homeless and low-income artists
StreetWrites Workshop for homeless and low-Income writers
Homeless Speakers Bureau
MacWorkshop: Empowerment Through Technology
First Things First: A Roof Over Every Bed
Other Activist Sites:
SHARE: Seattle Housing and Resource Effort was originally at Hypermart
but now has its own domain http://insideshare.org/
WHEEL: Women's Housing Equality and Enhancement League was originally at Hypermart
but now has its own domain http://insidewheel.org/
Homeless Column of the Great Speckled Bird: Originally at Geocities, still at Geocities, also now at Speakeasy and at http://homelessness.anitra.net/columns/
Invisible Families: Help for Homeless Fathers with Children: on Speakeasy with a forum, at http://homelessness.anitra.net/faqs/forfathers/ without a forum
North American Street Newspaper Association, originally on Speakeasy
now has its own domain, http://www.nasna.org/
Free Minds Online
QRibbon Campaign for Responsible Journalism on the Internet: originally on Angelfire
is now at http://activism.anitra.net/qribbon/
Singing Bears: A Home for Activist Art
was originally at Tripod
and is now moving to http://singingbear.anitra.net/
Outcreate the Destroyers!
I started a site for the Seattle Branch of the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality
at Tripod — I have moved everything current to http://activism.anitra.net/police/
Homeless Memorials began at Tripod, using a guestbook server, Toast, that went toast. So I switched to Bravenet. Bravenet lost all my entries in an "upgrade."
Now I use Dreambook, and I have an entry portal on Speakeasy and at http://homelessness.anitra.net/memorial/
I began a site at Speakeasy for a young man with an idea for
Photojournalism Out of the Margins.
When he stopped paying for the Eye-to-I account, I moved the site under my Speakeasy account because I still liked the idea.
It's still with me at http://homelessness.anitra.net/Eye-to-I/
a great idea waiting to happen.
Dencity site I created for a homeless empowerment enterprise.
KnitInk is still around but Dencity, alas, is no more.
A community site for homeless youth and families that I created on Dencity
is now http://homelessness.anitra.net/faqs/resources/
Effective Activism on the Internet was originally created as on my webspace at Seattle Community Network. It's now also part of http://webmaking.anitra.net/
My POW/MIA page began at Speakeasy, and is now at http://activism.anitra.net/mia/
Homeless Gifts began at Bizland, but when they began charging
I moved it to Speakeasy, then AnitraWeb: http://homelessness.anitra.net/gifts/
AbsoluteAuthority on Homelessness
is the name I was given on the portal domain AbsoluteAuthority.com
AbsoluteAuthority proved a little hard to maintain, and anything at AbsoluteAuthority can be found at http://homelessness.anitra.net/
Other Portal Sites:
that have all gone bye-bye
with their servers
Editing the World Wide Web
Arts & Activism
Editing the World Wide Web
Sites for Other People:
Copyright Dr. Wes Browning's Bad Art Show
Wes's Tripod site, that I began because he would never update http://speakeasy.org/~wes/
I started a site at Xoom (which became NBCi) for Making Change,
a street newspaper in L.A. Jennifer of Making Change has had an on-again/off-again relationship with the Internet, but I think she's setting up her own site now.
All My Webrings (the continuing drama ...)
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