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My changing web policy…. spiritual websites online…

January 31, 2013

in Other

I’ve been busy cleaning up. Literally: my house and Figuratively: administration and business stuff.

It’s time for an overview of my spiritual activities online for 2012. In fact, I think it’s time for an overview of my online activities over the past 15 years.

It’s been a good year. Yeah. Seriously. According to Feedburner 495 people are now subscribed to this blog. According to WordPress there are 10. That ads up to over 500 people who want to get this blog in their inbox. I’m honored. Really.

What’s more – my online activities make me enough money to start contemplating buying a house. It’s not my spiritual stuff that pays most of my bills though, it’s gift pages like this. Just so you know.

Spirituality took me online 15 years ago or so. At the time the web was empty and it was easy to see that more could be put online. This month two students asked me, one sounded rather annoyed, very specific questions about theosophical history – noting that nothing about it could be found online. I referred both to an old fashioned institution: a library, with actual physical books and magazines and archives. I know, you can’t search them easily. I know, you have to read (or glance at) every page. I know, you can’t rely on those old fashioned indexes. And yes, I too rely on the net for research a lot. Still, when I want to get serious about a topic, I read books. And most of them in my field are not available in a digital format yet, let alone for free online.

It’s a very different web these days. When I started I was ahead of the curve: many people didn’t take the internet seriously. Some people even thought it was subversive and saw only the online pornography, while of course not actually LOOKING at it, one presumes. Not much was online and anything one put online was likely to be found by Google.

In fact, it was early days for Google when I started.

My first internet searches were on Altavista I think and all you could hope for was to find a nice link-list on a websites somewhere pointing to the relevant sites on a topic. I found the old theosophical newsgroups that way and learned a lot.

The internet was just about empty. Organisations didn’t realize yet that they had to have a website. People like me created hobby sites to fill a need. Doing so we broke every copyright rule on the planet. I did so under the assumption that spiritual people would not mind their material being published online. On the whole I wasn’t wrong: only a few people did ask me to take their stuff off – and it was usually people who had previously OFFERED me that same material for online publication.

Today it’s a different story. Organisations put online what they want to give out for free and the rest is clearly meant to stay behind the pay-wall of kindle, magazine subscriptions etc. I’ve grown with the net and no longer publish anything I don’t have copyright over. That usually means stuff I write myself, like this blog.

However, I’ve left my site katinkahesselink.net up – and do think it rather funny that it’s filled mostly with articles and quotes other people have written. If I’d thought from a PR perspective when I started the site, it would have gotten a different name.

This is another way of saying – don’t expect new material on Katinka Hesselink Net. It will change only in so far as I link TO stuff I write on this blog and elsewhere. Though of course it IS open to quality material other people write. However, you could just start a blog. And yes, I host that site and plan to keep it up as infinitely as everything else I put online. I’ll link TO your blog articles when I think they’re up to the standard I set on Katinka Hesselink Net.

Do you all remember the early days of the web?

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