The first a-ha

February 1998. 23 years old in my first “real” job: full-time, permanent, with benefits and my own cubicle. You know that administrative assistant who gets a little over-creative with Word or Publisher? Yup, that was me.

My cube neighbor, a marketing guy just six months older, “did the website” for the office. I was terribly curious about how this web thing worked. He pointed me at some tutorials, and in between my regular work, I started teaching myself, coding in Notepad and hosting on Tripod.

The first thing I remember figuring out on my own: that I could put an <a> tag around an <img> tag. So that graphic I’d exported out of Clip Art of a hand with a pen, it could be a link to a page of my writing.

That still feels like magic. A picture that was also a link.

If it wasn't this image, it was one very much like it.
If it wasn’t this image, it was one very much like it.

Which is to say:

  1. We all start somewhere.
  2. Don’t forget the magic in tiny things.

Author: Elaine Nelson

Elaine Nelson was directionless with an English degree in the late 90s and then: GODDAMN INTERNET. In her current gig, she wrangles content and content management systems, but her last job was Webmaster, so she's dabbled in all sorts of web work. She's an editor at The Interconnected, previously published in The Pastry Box, and once had a poem published in an anthology of GenX writing, when that was the big new thing.