Web Site History
Empty Nest Online began as The Empty Nest Homepage in the summer of 1998. I started it with absolutely no prior knowledge of web design and HTML. But after seeing so many sites devoted to such favorite shows as The Golden Girls, I wondered why no one had bothered to create an Empty Nest site. Upon the offhand suggestion from the creator of a Designing Women web site, I decided I may as well be the one to create an EN site myself.
I was just out of high school at the time and living in a small town. I had no access to information except for my own recorded copies of the show (which was airing on WGN at the time) and the Internet. I began networking among webmasters of related sites for help, and joined mailing lists and newsgroups to spread the word. Before long I had information and pictures galore! Slowly but surely I pieced the site together, writing all of the content and laying out the various pages. Eventually I obtained the hardware necessary to create my own screen shots, which is where many of the photos from episodes that I have came from.
The site content started meagerly, with an episode guide, general summary, character profiles, and some other things. Initially I had a java based chatroom and an e-mail role playing game - both of which lasted only briefly. As I became more involved, companion sites emerged. I created sites for series star Dinah Manoff, the spinoff series Nurses, and Park Overall's short-lived sitcom Katie Joplin.
Not long after the site began to thrive, I received an e-mail from David Leisure, who played Charley on the show, congratulating me on the site. Unfortunately a computer crash erased the e-mail from my system.
Over the next few years I experimented with different looks from time to time
and added whatever information and tools I felt were useful. The
design always remained basic; I still had no professional design training,
only my own self-taught HTML. In early 2003, The Empty Nest Homepage
became Empty Nest Online.
In 2004, I was honored to receive a request from Tellyvision Magazine, a Canadian publication honoring the best in American and British TV, to submit an article about Empty Nest after the editor discovered Empty Nest Online.
Site updates became more scattered over the years as reruns of the show disappeared from the airwaves and DVD sets never saw the light of day. I continued to update visitors on cast activities and other pertinent information, but admittedly ignored the site a little too much there for awhile.
In 2008, with a renewed vigor and interest in my project, I was tired of the outdated look to the site and decided to do some upgrading. I found a design software that was basic enough for me to understand and began transferring content into the new look. I wanted a menu along the left side that allowed for access to the entire site from any page within, as well as a consistent header. The new look debuted in August of 08. I hope that visitors find the newly designed site informative and easy to navigate.
I'd like to take an opportunity to thank some of the people who have helped me out along the way. It was that early fan support that helped make the site what it is today. I am very grateful to the many contributors in the "early" days of the site. They include Sergy Elnitsky (webmaster of a Kristy McNichol site), Michael Campbell (webmaster of a Dinah Manoff site), J.P. Murphy (from Designing Women Online), Marilyn (from a Golden Girls mailing list), Russell Wodell (creator of an EN episode guide), all the subscribers to the original discussion list, and Jim Mix - a devoted fan who submitted a variety of the material on the site. This list is certainly incomplete and I apologize for anyone I left out.
I'm very proud of how far the site has come since it began. It remains one of the only (and certainly the most comprehensive) sources for Empty Nest information on the Net. In fact, while searching for new information one day, I ran across an online aritcle that called my site "more detailed than the Encyclopedia Britannica's summary of World War II." I think that about nails it!
I thank you for visiting,
Creator & Webmaster
Empty Nest Online