It was just over a decade ago that I started making websites and it’s been a wild ride.
My first site was at the domain name www.chromatin.com, which I was fortunate to have been able to get for a good deal way back when…I think in 2005.
You can see here an early 2007 copy of the archive of one of my first versions of the Knoepfler lab website at chromatin.com. I first put up that website around the time that I moved here to UC Davis in July 2006.
Then later in 2007 I started a stem cell-focused website including stem cell meeting listings, photos, and some science material, at the domain www.stem.ws. For instance, see an archive here (scroll down to see actual archived text content). Over those first few years, some students and faculty mentioned to me that they had seen my website.
In early 2010 I started this blog that you are now reading, first at the www.stem.ws address and then later at www.ipscell.com. It really all started with the www.chromatin.com site though.
At my chromatin.com website early on I had an animated video of chromatin changes in neural progenitors as a function of N-Myc levels (screenshot above). I’m trying to find that video file.
Back in 2006 as I was gearing up the Chromatin and Knoepfler lab websites I would guess that overall maybe only 10-20% of labs had their own dedicated websites, but it was catching on. Now it seems like a no-brainer that every lab, new or old, needs at least one website if not more.
In the first few years of this blog, the big debate on stem cells in the U.S. was over federal funding of research on human embryonic stem cells (hESC). It seems strange that in a way things may be coming full circle again as many in the field are stressed out that restrictions may again be applied to hESC funding. Wouldn’t that be a sad deja vu?
Six or seven years ago I even was called a baby killer in some comments on this blog and in some emails since I support hESC research. Other unexpected happenings included requests from people asking me to clone them or clone their children who passed away. Some wanted IPS cells made from themselves. Some threatened me in various ways. I was sockpuppeted. There was the whole STAP cell explosion. People randomly have emailed me all kinds of odd science documents over the years, most of which I couldn’t post because they were too sensitive. What am I supposed to do with them?
But mostly, the response has been extremely positive.
There have been big changes in 10 years both for the stem cell field and the Internet including science on the web. Where will we all be in another 10 years on these fronts? The next couple years alone could see profound changes. For instance, I wonder if we’ll see more real-time science on the web.