A FirstClass Story
There was once a point in early 2000 when every musician in Canada who was a member of either The Songwriters Association of Canada, or of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, had a free account on GoodMedia’s FirstClass Server to then access secure “discussion forums” and send direct private email to each other. There were thousands of “Members”, but it was really just a smart “core” of early adopters who used the service to their full advantage, and that was all absolutely amazing at the time…
This service became one of the earliest “Digital Communities” completely dedicated to musicians, and to this day is still completely private and safe from exploitation. Years later, FaceBook and Google eventually offered similar functionality (minus the security and completely exploitative) accessed using standard preinstalled web browsers.
Aside from the obvious costs and inevitable human politics, there was a “barrier to entry” in those innocent early days; the technical requirement for people to install the dedicated FirstClass Client software on their primitive computers of the day, to then make an encrypted connection to the FirstClass Server using their telephone line and a 2400 baud modem… this was long before WiFi and the iPhone. Our FirstClass Server continues to serve many of those original musicians today, and the rest as they say; is history, but man, that early Community was a very cool “first” experience for me. I met wonderfully talented, aware & intelligent people, many being my heros from the radio;
Rik Emmett of Triumph & Alan Frew of Glass Tiger
discuss GoodMedia in 2001,
back when the Community was Something New.
That’s My Name
One lazy summer day in the 1990’s when I tried Google for the first time, I typed in my name expecting nothing and up instead came an image of a guy in the U.S.A. named Scott Goodfellow, standing there with his band, and oh look at this; he’s also the singer and keyboard player…(!) I remember closing the browser window as fast as I could, standing up with a jolt, and needing to pace around in circles for a while. Then I registered scottgoodfellow.com, scottgoodfellow.ca, etc.
One thing the Internet teaches me is how similar I am to so many other people in this world; from the minutia of daily routine maintenance, right down to the very name I answer to. I’ve since discovered that there are so many other guys like me who also love music, women and anything with motors… and I’ve received emails from guys named Scott Goodfellow who mostly say the same thing… “I looked up my name, and there you are”… freaks me out every time. When my kids were born, they eclipsed in importance everything that came before them, and there was suddenly value (specifically and especially to me) of having our very own individual identities on this thing called the Internet, under our given names; labels that I had somehow innocently believed were unique, long ago, bti (before the internet)…
“Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own one” – A.J. Liebling
GoodMedia initially came on line in 1991 as a FirstClass Mail Server, connected “full time” using multiple telephone lines and modems, from the furnace room in my house. This was my initial attempt to park and contain my own digital “identity”, as it “was, is, and maybe might be”… or as much as I technically can do so at any one time along the way, through so many incredible technical changes… and like finishing all the straight pieces around a puzzle, I now seem to have it framed; from being the Registrar of my domains, to building and owning the physical machine clusters in the data center; I control my core domains from end to end and host them all from many machines simply as GoodMedia, which over the years has also become populated by many similar people who also value their identities in the same way, and who just wanted the same thing as I did; a safe place to put my (digital) stuff and not be exploited. So I have gradually made a business model around building awesome machines and administrating them as core hosting and related services, instead of depending on my music. GoodMedia became my “Plan B”, which included selling my music directly from my own machines, instead of signing away my copyright in a record contract, back in the day.
The name “Good Media” recalls from when I primarily focused on being the best musician I could be; “Good” obviously comes from my given name, but “Media” comprises what I believe is the best thing on earth that we create for each other; really good media that communicates intelligently and effectively; be that in audio, text or image, or all combined as edited video… So then, what does that have to do with “hosting and related services” ? In my years of service, I have met some really incredible people through building GoodMedia. The common thread is that they all tend to create and/or value Media, and that has mostly all been Good, so far…