At Home & Leisure Publishing we do a multitude of things, all relating in some way to computers, publishing, and/or the Internet.
Of all the websites we own and manage, the most active continues to be the Midlife Club. Originally started as a place of support for women whose husbands were having a midlife crisis, it didn’t take long before men in crisis discovered the site and joined the club. Now, members are men and women in crisis as well as men and women dealing with the crisis of a significant other.
When we “discovered” the Internet in February of 1996, we had just begun publishing a magazine called FRIENDS & Lovers the Relationships Guide. It was a very easy decision to turn the print magazine into a web magazine and it wasn’t long before FRIENDS & Lovers turned into a popular online destination.
In the December 1996 issue of PC Computing Magazine, FRIENDS & Lovers was named one of the Web’s ten best relationships sites. A few years later, Sally Jesse Rafael began her TV show with “According to Friends and Lovers dot com…” The original site had chat, forums, a matchmaking program, and other features that have been removed as better resources have been developed on other websites. The virtual wedding chapel is still open and personalized relationship reports are available as are the advice archives.
The first domain we registered in 1996 was one we thought was “cute” and one we thought people would remember. “Cyberspud.com” seemed catchy, it was available, and it became our first domain acquisition – one of more than 100 registered domains to date. As obvious as it was to us, other people didn’t quite grasp exactly what the name meant. We explained that it was the Internet version of the “couch potato”: “cyber” (Internet) + “spud” (potato).
“Oh.” Thinking a visual would help, we commissioned an artist to draw “Cyberspud” for use on our original site which was no more than a group of pages with hundreds of links to other sites on various topics.
Cyberspud.com was our “list-o-links” contribution to the Web at a time when it seemed important to put such a site together. A lot of novice web designers get their start with list-o-links sites, trying to make theirs more unique and more comprehensive than anyone else’s. Our site and idea were not unique.
For a couple of years we spent a lot of time adding new links submitted by people who discovered Cyberspud as they surfed the Web, but the biggest chunks of time were spent editing and deleting links as sites moved, closed, or were redirected to porn sites. Finally, because Google, Yahoo, Metacrawler, and several other search engines make finding information on any topic a snap, we deleted our links pages entirely. Now we only link to sites we own or control in some way.
Books published by Home & Leisure Publishing, Inc., are available on Amazon including Kindle “shorts,” little books created specifically for the Kindle. Additionally, most of our books are also available in eBook format through other online sources including Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBooks.