Much has changed since I started a simple website in spring 1999 to help connect with alumni from the Wagar High School class of 1991.
At that time, Classmates.com had been in business for a few years, and Facebook was still many years away. I just wanted a place for folks from the class of 1991 to post their contact information and biographies for free. But then grads from other years asked if they could be included. So I added their info too. Soon I was receiving info from grads of all years.
The popularity of the website was a mixed blessing. I was happy I had created something of value. But it was a pain in the ass to update the dozens of bios I received each month. For those familiar with web programming, I was creating an HTML file for each alumni and updating an HTML file containing the class list. It was a long and tedious process. I eventually bought some software to automate the website. Users would now create an account, add their own info and search for others. I also added a discussion forum, a reunions page and other stuff.
Eventually, the spam bots attacked and the site became polluted with biographies that were really ads for male enhancement products and African banking schemes. Around this time, the social networking site Facebook emerged as a great place to find old friends. It was easy to join, add photos, start discussion and so on. Little sites like mine had served their purpose in the Web 1.0 world. But Web 2.0 sites like Facebook made the WagarAlumni website redundant.
In September 2008 -- nearly 10 years since starting the site -- I decided to scale it down. No more biographies. Just some useful information to point folks in the right direction.