The Internet of today has changed tremendously from where it started some 20 years ago and our company, Netsville Inc., has changed right along with it…sort of. Who Netsville is today is dramatically different from the initial version of ourselves and the services we have offered through the years has been sliced and diced many times. However, with each change one constant has remained – we continue to offer quality Internet related services with the our original core group of technology enthusiasts that started Netsville over twenty years ago.
In 1994, our founders, fresh out of college, were working primarily on custom programming projects for a handful of customers that they met on bulletin boards and other forums of the day. The Internet was in its infancy and they had no idea where it was going nor what roads it would lead them down, but they jumped in head-first anyway (sometimes with some very interesting results).
Through Perl and C, Netsville brought magazines, mail-order catalogs, and many mom-n-pop stores online. This was around 1996 and, amazingly, some of these clients are still with us today.
As the programming language changed so did the Internet and with it the demands of our customers. They required more sophisticated hosting services than what was being offered at the time so in 1998 we developed hosting solutions to fit their needs, based upon what our experience had taught us. We were one of the first companies to offer secure web hosting and certificates cost $5000 back then, exclusively on Netscape Commerce Web Server (remember Netscape?).
Many online stores were hosted on the Netscape platform and again our customers asked for better solutions. Our retail e-commerce solution, Hazel, was born out of this request and we packaged it as a stand-alone product so others could install it on their own web servers. Thousands bought our new software as we were instrumental in promoting e-commerce and making online transactions in a safe, secure environment.
Speaking of safe and secure, one project kind of left us a tad exposed. Purely for satirical purposes, “back-in-the-day,” we ran a site called Exploding Heads where we made the animated heads of the politicians of the time, well, explode. Hey, we were young. Well apparently the Secret Service didn’t find the humor in this type of satire.
As the Ft. Worth Star Telegram reported, we were the first Internet Company to be investigated by the government agency (should we be proud?). After we reassured them that this was just harmless fun (god knows we could use this site right now) they cleared us of any wrong doing. I think they realized this “Internet thing” was not going away quietly.
For a while we did switch gears and became a traditional ISP offering dialup, DSL, and basic web hosting. We merged with other small ISPs, absorbed a number of dialup customers, and grew our infrastructure. In 2001, we built our own data center with multiple T-3 lines coming into our facility and because of our physical location to one of the country’s few hydroelectric power plants, we were able to offer one the most reliable, managed hosting solutions in the country. Our office and data center resides on redundant power grids, backed-up by the Genesee River in downtown Rochester, NY.
With advent of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, we started the short-lived, Center for Social Media in 2008, trying to establish best practices for this quickly growing medium. We laid out the marketing principals that many social media marketing companies are using today. We started offering additional Internet Marketing services in 2012, bringing email, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and lead generation into the mix.
Experience and change has obviously taught us a great deal. One of the things we learned is that most businesses think of their website as nothing more than just a website. In fact, so do the companies that design, develop, host, and maintain them. When something eventually goes wrong, everyone points to the other guy. That is because even though a website sounds like something simple, there is so much more.
A website is actually a complex series of systems that all have to work together in unison and when the inevitable issues arise, all parties want these issues resolved quickly. At Netsville, we use a comprehensive and collaborative approach to managing your website, or as we like to call it, Internet Property. We take responsibility by managing all aspects of your Internet property from development and testing, to deployment and marketing. No, we’re really not a “full-service” company, but we are at times more or less.
We can handle your project from start to finish, but we can also jump in, find, and resolve the problems you are having, which we do a great deal of the time. So when you think about Netsville and our 20 years of experience, think the internet’s first Internet Property Management Company (IPM), because that is what we evolved into.
Based in Rochester, New York, Netsville is an Internet Property Management company specializing in managing the Digital Marketing, Technical, and Business Solutions for our customers since 1994. For more information, please click here.