1n 1997, I got Jack’s number from a school where he was teaching a writing course on historical fiction.  With a formal tone, he was polite as I asked if he was interested in having a website, saying, politely, he’d let me know and thanks for calling.  Ten minutes later, he called with the tone he’s used ever since, interested in hearing more.

The 1997 Version

The 1997 Version

This is the fourth major version of the site.  The first was mostly in straight HTML, later using a Forum product I wrote on SQL Server and the first Microsoft Web Server.   I still have that data and it’s the only iteration we weren’t able to carry over the postings from.  The second version was written in what was the leading content management system at the time, Joomla.  The third version was done in another CMS called Drupal, in part because I wanted to learn Drupal.  That version was largely built by one of my programmers and I learned Drupal later on.

This version is in what is now the leading CMS, some say running 25% of the sites on the Internet, called WordPress.  It employs a community system called BuddyPress, transparent introductory walk-on videos shot with my own portable green-screen system in my living room in San Diego. (While Jack and I are both golfers – he lives on a course in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia – the closes to a course we’ve gotten on together was lunch at the Grill at Torrey Pines during filming.)

We converted almost 2,000 users and their forum postings and comments from the old system to the new one with only 10 (so far) opting out.  The user base also automatically syncs with an email blast system as new users join.  Jack himself is adding content and scanned all the book covers from every country where his books are published.