Why did I build this site?


There are two main things I hope to accomplish with this website:

This website was developed as part communication tool, part ego gratification, and part exercise in learning. I am Bill Shaddle, and I wrote and designed the thing. I hope to make this something that would be of use to the rest of my family and friends. To elaborate on the broad goals stated above, on this site you will find a record of my immediate family (I'm interested in getting as much information down in writing as I can about where both Cathy and I came from and how we came to be who we are), our extended family record (including providing a common "bulletin board" concept for other interested family members, known or unknown), and hopefully a high tech communication tool that will make it easier for the entire family to stay current on the latest family news.

Historically people did not generally move too far from where they grew up, and if they did they often would lose contact with the other members of their extended family. This was exacerbated by the difficulties and relative slowness and expense of travel and communication, but was often mitigated by some of the same dynamics: people were more concerned about "staying in touch" and so they made greater efforts to do so. Letter writing rather than telephone calls, regularly scheduled family reunions rather than random visits and the like kept families focused on staying close emotionally if not physically, and much of this has been lost in our lifestyles today. It is so easy to pick up the phone and call today, and so cheap (relatively) to jump on a plane and travel across the country that we tend to take it for granted and not do it. The increased pace of life today adds to the problem by giving us the excuse that we're "just too busy right now, but next week/month/year it will slow down and I'll be plan that trip back home." I wanted to use the technology available to us now to make it easier to stay in touch, and to help maintain the family community that I have come to value and believe is a critical part of the fabric of society.

I am hoping that this website will become a central contact point on a variety of levels:

  1. For anyone interested in seeing what Cathy and I are about and up to (posting photos of trips, family members and events), come back here and check us out. I admit that the only people who might want to do that are immediate family and friends, but since duplicating and sending photos back and forth via "snail mail" gets cumbersome, this might improve that process.
  2. For any family members (immediate or otherwise) who would like to post information of interest from their lives to the rest of the clan, I will create additional sections as needed. It is pretty cheap to put this stuff out on the web; the main investment is the time it takes to keep it current so I will be asking for help in that regard. (If what you send me could be simply posted without modification or editing it will happen much more rapidly and frequently.)
  3. For anyone interested in adding to, correcting, or just viewing my ongoing family tree project, I have provided a link to where the whole thing is available online (through the "World Family Tree" project). After you have had the chance to look over the posted Shaddle family tree, I would appreciate it if you would email me what you would like to contribute. I am interested in your thoughts, opinions, corrections, additions, updates and whatever else you would like the rest of the family to see.

Please note that this is an ongoing and part-time hobby, so I will do my best to incorporate your modifications but bear with me as it may take some time. (I do have a life, after all, contrary to the way it may appear based on these long-winded rambles!)


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