BEAM Link's creation is a humble one. In time it has become much more. What started as a jumble of bookmarks has become a webpage that gets almost a thousand hits every month, and accounts for 10% of all activity on botic.com.
Several years ago I read about Mark Tilden and his work. It was in the Feburary 2000 issue of Smithonian magazine. His work amazed me at the time, and my research started. In a very short while I found about a dozen really good sites. I had bookmarked all of them, and continued to add new sites every day. I wasn't long before I lost track of what all the sites were. All the names, most of which were no more the So-and-so's BEAM page, were running together in my mind. It was time to organize.
I started by adding on to the link titles. For example, instead of 'Solarbotics,' I changed it to 'Solarbotics - galleries, pdf, products.' This method quickley became cumbersome. The titles became extremely long, and I still had to remember how to get to the information from the homepage. I began to bookmark specific pages, instead of the homepage. The list tripled in length. Now it was easier to find something, but not any faster. Dividing the sites into sections based on content made everything easier.
I grew comfortable with this system, but I ran into problems when I wanted to visit something outside of my home. Then a comment on alt-BEAM group inspired me. Databasement had made his bookmarks avalible online. I liked the idea, but thought that I could do better. I made a webpage, and typed in all of my bookmarks. I gave them descriptions, and groups. BEAM Links was born.
During the first month, BEAM Links got about ten hits a day. It really suprised me. I was sure people would find my odd groupings hard to use. Most people would already have their own system in place, why would they use mine? Then I realized BEAM Links true purpose. It was a road map, with all the best stops already marked. New people would find it extremely useful, as they didn't have to search for hours to learn something. With this in mind, I now only select the best, clearest to read sites as possible. I go for the original, instead of a rehash. The result? The best resource for you to use.