It did, in fact, take Dave several weeks, working when time allowed, to prepare the Maynard Web. The site was designed as a source of reference and news for the town, actively providing information, “In the form of calendars and civic group news, and anything else we can think of,” but he also understood that there was a vast number of people who would be visiting the site from outside the town’s borders. He would have to design the Maynard Web to be seen by the rest of the world too.Towards the end of 1994, Dave Griffin was working to connect Maynard High School with the Internet and noticed that the school’s Internet Service Provider also offered their customers web pages. Dave thought one for the Town of Maynard would be great. Such an idea had been floating around for some time, but no one had acted on it. For one reason, website creation can take an awful lot of time, but Dave set the wheels in motion.
As of August 14, 1997, The Maynard Web had been visited 13,600 times from other U.S.A. Educational Internet users–just to name a few. A few more examples from around the world include Japan, 799; England, 762; France, 430; Germany, 319; Italy, 264; and the U.S. Military, 265. (Hey guys, it’s I-R-A-Q, not W-A-V-M.)
For such a reason, Dave Griffin strived, “to provide information that would be the interest of those moving to the area (or for those who used to live here and wanted to keep in touch). He wrote such pages as “At a Glance,” describing the town’s size, location, neighbors, and history.
Earlier that year, Dave Griffin approached Mags with the thought that WAVM could be the primary content provider for the Maynard Web, citing there would be several benefits. For one, WAVM had the manpower who could absorb the burden of web building, once again, a time-consuming process. At the same time, the students would be continuing the tradition of providing both information and entertainment to the Maynard community – and now the world. The Maynard Web was envisioned “As the new “third media” that WAVM could extend into, and Mags agreed. Initially, the site was housed by an outside Internet Service Provider. However, during an Internet connection upgrade at M.H.S., the Maynard Web was switched to a server within the school in October of 1996.
WAVM organized a new department for the Maynard Web and recruited a small contingent of students. On the technical side, the students of Maynard High School learned about computers, programming languages, and a new method of telling a message. With radio, the medium is dominated by sound, and with TV, there’s audio and video. With a website, there’s also aural and visual elements, but the style is more akin to print media largely influenced by graphics. Such concepts as layout become more important.
Entering into 1998, WAVM’s 25th year, the Maynard Web, with WAVM as the primary content provider, is still a new idea. The students are still learning about the medium, which, from a technical standpoint, has rapidly been undergoing new developments. So there may be some stumbling and times before the Maynard Web glistens. However, WAVM experienced the same situation when it entered into radio and cable television. If those two mediums are any indication, WAVM’s foray into cyberspace will be successful.
Since then however, WAVM and the town’s websites have separated for the convenience of both the town and the students who would have to maintain it regularly.
The Story of WAVM continues with the Expansions