It's sixteen, it's beautiful, and it's mine! That's how I feel today about my website, Rarebird's Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews. It was 16 years ago today when I first published my website about out-of-print rock albums on May 31,1999. On that day, the site consisted of four pages and six album reviews. I knew the site would grow bigger, but I had no idea that I would wind up creating over 35 artist pages. At the beginning of 2003, I began to create simpler "Spotlight Review" pages focusing on one album apiece, instead of on numerous albums from one artist. Even that part of the site has grown larger in size than I originally thought it would. So, at the end of 2004 (over a decade ago already!) I began to publish this blog as a forum for reviewing out-of-print albums that I've eagerly continued to discover. And, for as long as I continue to enjoy discovering rock and roll's recorded rarities, I will continue to use this blog as a means to publish my thoughts without bloating the size of the original website.
On my site's sixteenth birthday, I want to reiterate a point I once made before: I once felt somewhat self-conscious about how old-fangled the site looked, but not anymore. After once being told that the site looked like it was stuck in 1997, I often tried to think of ways to make it look more modern. But now I only feel I should be concerned about technical necessities and any improvements that I personally feel would improve the site. On this past Record Store Day, I once again drove for over an hour to visit an indie record store, and it was a pleasure as always to still be able to shop at the type of indie record store that I used to treasure, decades ago. Based on what other shoppers in the surprisingly crowded store were saying, I am not the only one who feels that way. If my website also resembles something from the pre-digital-music past, then so be it. In my day (if I may say so without sounding like a dinosaur), I used to read about albums in print publications, either in magazines or books. And if I was reading about a rare and forgotten album, I was usually reading about it in a specialized publication that was none-too-flashy in appearance. If the look of my website recalls that sort of forgotten, old-fashioned print publication, or if it is reminiscent of late-'90's style web design, then that will be a source of pride from this point on. I would like to do my part to preserve some of the old-school record collecting experience that I remember from my younger years.
In any event, I want to thank everyone who has visited or in any way supported my website and blog during the first 16 years of their history. I plan to keep them alive for a long time to come.
And one more thing: according to a website called Nerdy Data, my website is Gold Certified. I'm not quite sure what that means in this case, but as someone who used to dream of being a rock star, "Gold Certified" is something I would always have wanted my creation to be called. So I will display my gold certification proudly here!