Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.

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· November 10, 2007 7:41 PM by Blogger Dain
· November 10, 2007 8:43 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Some notes on the origin of this site.

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:36 PM (Eastern)

Four stages of acceptance:

i) this is worthless nonsense;
ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view;
iii) this is true, but quite unimportant;
iv) I always said so.
-- J.B.S. Haldane, Journal of Genetics #58, 1963, p.464

This is a quote from the first website I ever did, in 1998, when I was taking a Perl class. I put up the original site on the old host of; now I can't find it (it was small, a few HTML pages and a script). Okay I could find it, were I willing to dig out the Win95 machine. The jokes page survived, albeit without its smiley-face background (I really can't find that).

I've often thought of that snippet o' wisdom, over the past nine years. If I give it any serious thought, it perfectly sums my interest in the Web to begin with. Perhaps I've always seen it as an escape from mediocrity, much as I saw programming as a similar escape. The day the Internet becomes just another channel for hot air, is the day I lose my interest in it.

lipstick page cgi board

It's odd but it's only now I consciously realize what attracted me to The Lipstick Page ("Josephine" is me in the above screenshot; I invented a screen name based on my Java professor's name). At the time, there was Beauty Buzz, and it seemed to me there were other beauty messageboards about, such as iCompact (which I stupidly thought was part of ivillage). Later on, there were Makeupalley and Faceonline.

Why the Lipstick Page then? Part of it was the script. Besides LP, only Makeupalley hosted their own script. Everyone else used remotely-hosted scripts. (iCompact hosts their own, and possibly always did; again I was too dumb to investigate them back then.) Makeupalley surpassed LP in developing an image library and a product reviews script; hence, when thebroadroom took over LP in early 2004, those were the first two features I added.

I suppose my point is that it's easy to look at the surface of something, and less easy to comprehend the engineering behind it. The earlier Internet was dominated by technical people, for obvious reasons. The "new" Net is equally as dominated, but far less obviously so.

Ever wonder where this came from?

A labels list is not a standard feature of ftp accounts. It comes with paid blogging, or Blogspot blogs, but the former involves file size limits and expenses, while the latter means your content is owned by Blogger, and whatever extra features you might want are going to cost you.

It's a useful feature; I made it.

Of course if you're going to make it, you should make it better, so I added the feature of indexing some of the label pages. Rather than having to load the label page and then go through it, the user can peruse a list of links:

beauty notebook
beauty notes

In the first example, we present a nice listing of all the Beauty Notebooks. In the second, you're talking about a ginormous label page that would be time-consuming to load and sift through; moreover, the label pages are limited as to how many posts are printed on them, where the script-based listing has no limit.

These are some small examples of the technology, and the ideology, behind the site.

Labels: ,

Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
2 comment(s)
November 10, 2007 7:41 PM, Blogger Dain said...

: ) Colleen does amazing and meticulous work on this site.

November 10, 2007 8:43 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks...I'm, ah, looking for a job. lol Thought it couldn't hurt to summarize some of the technical aspects.

But it's interesting in its own right. I went back and looked at old iCompact, they still host some of their stuff from way back. They were using a CGI script (likely Perl) before they switched to PHP. It's identical to the development of LP. I can't believe I used to think they were part of ivillage. That takes the morons award for the past few years.


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