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 graphics intensive page. I have created banners for almost all of my sites. Text 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.
Alternate banner, created by JSP of Phoenix Rising
My original activist homepage, at Speakeasy
My personal homepage, originally at Xoom, then NBCi,
now pretty much abandoned.
Some personal stuff on Speakeasy; the rest on AnitraWeb
My Muse's original 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/
A new banner for Thalia.
Kalliope, my other muse: a poetry workshop, originally at Hypermart, now at her own sub-domain http://kalliope.anitra.net/
She will be sharing http://amusedmuse.com/ with Thalia.
A new banner for Kalliope.
Bookaholics, originally at Geocities, then on Speakeasy, now at http://books.anitra.net/
A directory to my book discussion pages that were, at first, all over the Web.
A new banner for Bookaholics
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, slowly getting consolidated under http://webmaking.anitra.net/
One of two websites for Sid the Cat. This one, created by me, began at Xoom, then moved to Speakeasy. Sid now has his own domain at http://Sid.anitra.net/
Mystery book discussion group and webring, originally on Xoom, then on ... Speakeasy :) now on anitra.net without forum, soon to be somewhere else...
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/
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/
Help for Homeless Fathers with Children: on Speakeasy with a forum, at http://homelessness.anitra.net/forfathers/ without a forum
North American Street Newspaper Association, orginally on on Speakeasy
now has its own domain, http://www.nasna.org/
QRibbon Campaign for Responsible Journalism on the Internet: originally on Angelfire
is now at http://activism.anitra.net/qribbon/
Activist Art was originally at Tripod
and is now moving to http://singingbear.anitra.net/
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/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/
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:
Wes's Tripod site, that I began because he would never update http://speakeasy.org/~wes/
I started this 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.
Banners for Other People:
Still proud of that one. Too bad the site went bye-bye.
that was a long time ago!
All My Webrings (the continuing drama ...)
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