My name is Darren Chow, and welcome to my blog. This is going to be my personal blog, where I share intimate details on my web businesses, as well as my latest plans.
For the longest time, I’ve resisted setting up my own personal blog. That’s because I’m always caught up with web projects. They are enough to keep me busy for 14-16 hours a day. With so much on my plate, I find it hard to squeeze time out to maintain a blog.
As you know, starting a blog is one thing, but maintaining a blog is a completely different matter altogether. I hope to be able to post regularly, sharing valuable content about what I have learned for the past 8 years or so.
Yeah, it’s been that long. I was working on web stuff even before I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. In university, I spent lots of time surfing on the Internet. What fascinated me about the Internet is that there is just so much information online! Everything you ever want to know, a click here, a click there, and you get all the knowledge you ever need. Being a curious person by nature, the Internet is a dream come true.
Like many others, I started to know the Internet through IRCing and reading static web pages. It was through IRC that I really got to know the World Wide Web. I started making friends, and found out that one of my friends was into this web designing thing. I never gave it much thought at that time. After all, my education has got nothing to do with web stuff.
Then one day, after school, I stumbled upon a really thick book on sale. It was an HTML book and it was really comprehensive. Everything you ever wanted to know about basic HTML, it was there. Back in those days, there was no CSS, no Ajax, no Scriptaculous, etc. Everything was plain and simple. So I thought, “How hard can this be?” And I bought the book, thinking that it would be a good book for leisure.
I never knew that HTML was so easy to understand. I am someone with no programming language whatsoever, and I found it easy. Before long, I had my first website up. Nothing fancy, just a few simple web pages with basic HTML. It was hosted on one of those free hosting companies. Back then, Geocities and Fortunecity were immensely popular. The website had a black background, and had a few animated Gifs that I found on the Internet.
I became so interested in setting up websites that I even emailed the school administrator to see if there was any work that needed to be done on the school website. Back then, very few people knew how to set up websites. Most schools don’t even offer web design courses. And I was in luck! I actually got a reply, saying that they do need some help with the school website. I worked on one small project, and was asked to work on another. This time, the new project required some PHP programming. I knew nuts about PHP, so I invited a couple of friends to join me.
That was my first exposure to programming. Soon, I got my first taste of ASP (Active Server Pages) programming. Again, I found that the web was filled with valuable information – all available for free! I quickly picked up the language, and managed to learn how to use ASP to connect to Access databases.
I was ambitious enough to launch a children’s website, and even went as far as approaching a few schools to try out the site that I developed. The project was a failure. Access database couldn’t handle even 30 concurrent connections (that’s the size of a class)!
Since then, I’ve moved on to MSSQL and MySQL. Many of my friends are still baffled over how I picked up programming stuff, when I’m an Arts and Social Science student.
After I graduated in 2001, I continued to work on web stuff. I picked up Flash, HUGE in those days, and learned how to create multimedia websites. I even came in first when I joined a web design competition, and won some really cool prizes.
Those were the days. The Internet is a very different place now. 3 years ago, I decided that there’s nothing else I want to do, except web stuff. So, with a few hundred dollars in the bank, I ventured out like a blind man walking in a thick forest. Needless to say, I encountered more setbacks.
But the setbacks taught me many valuable lessons, especially in the arena of Internet Marketing. Somehow, I didn’t know how I did it, but I managed to survive. 3 years later, I’m still working on web stuff, on my own, making a full time income.
To be honest, it was an uphill battle in the beginning. I had to work very long hours, and I spent lots of time scouring the Internet for all kinds of information that I could use. I even invested in some Internet Marketing courses (by the way, those are not cheap). I experimented (successfully) with Google Adwords, SEO, article marketing and other traffic generation methods.
I was a bit slow, and it took my some time to put the puzzle together to finally realize how Internet businesses work. On hindsight, I’m glad I made the bold decision to pursue my passion full time. One thing led to other, and somehow or other, the path is unfolding.
Presently, I feel happy and content with the work that I’m doing. But being my curious self, I can’t help but seek out new ventures to continue giving myself more personal challenges. I invite you to come on this journey with me, and I certainly hope to be a sincere friend to you.
Here’s wishing you success in your online ventures!