The Daily Ping was created in January, 2000, when Ryan MacMichael and Paul McAleer – two friends who met online in 1991 but then had yet to meet in person – had an idea. What if there was a site where one could see a daily update, rant, story, or Oreo-related piece of content? At the time blogs weren’t quite around, not to mention Twitter nor Facebook, so it’d have to be something a little different. Would it work? Could it?
The answer is a resounding, “Uh, kinda!” The Daily Ping launched on January 6, 2001 with Paul’s entry about the TV show Just the Ten of Us. Ryan and Paul take turns writing entries and tend to stick to the pattern of Paul writing on even-numbered dates and Ryan writing on odd-numbered dates. There are variations here and there, but we’re thinking it all evens out in the end.
The Ping has endured to be the most popular site amongst a small group of approximately 15 regular readers and hundreds of passersby who think the site is about toilets (it is), Oreos (it is), or Raven-Symone (never has been.) We do this for the love of the web and our readers, of course, and not for the money. (But we do have a couple of ads. Maybe you’ll click them?)
When a site has been around for 10 or more years, like the Ping has, you can imagine that you’ll see some big changes over time. Posts are usually written in late afternoons instead of mornings. Paul and Ryan are both married with kids. Paul once wrote a positive Ping about The O’Reilly Factor. We once thought that floppy disks would stay around for a long time. It’s a lot of fun to look at the older entries as curiosity pieces, and the newer entries as slapdash requirements for our devoted readers… especially the YouTube entries. (Remember, YouTube didn’t exist when the Ping started!)
We invite you to look through the site, comment at will, and enjoy.
About The Authors
Ryan MacMichael‘s wardrobe is provided by Botany 500. He works as a web guy, but at night drinks tea while watching reruns of Wife Swap. He used to bowl a lot and doesn’t much anymore, but still does pretty well when he makes it to the lanes. Though all but one Golden Girl has passed on, he still tries to glean as many life lessons from the ladies as possible. Ryan lives in northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, and basset hound/German shepherd dog.
Paul McAleer is a grizzled veteran of technology, having been an accomplished software author at the age of 12 and burned out hippie by 22. In his day job he specializes in user experience and user interface. His hobbies include photography, music, writing, and reading. He’s an Apple fan and pretend font geek. Paul lives in Chicagoland with his lovely wife, adorable son, and precocious puppy.
Intermittently Asked Questions
So, is this right? You two met online before the web existed and only met in person a handful of times?
True. We first got in touch on GEnie’s Education RoundTable back in 1991ish. We’ve met in person only three times: at Ryan’s wedding, at Paul’s wedding, and at the 2005 Webvisions conference in Portland, Oregon.
Do you two ever plan entries together?
Sometimes. But we usually write them on our own. Lennon/McCartney in their later stages.
Have any entries been missed or skipped?
Both of us have officially missed Pings, and written them the day after they were supposed to be live. It happens. We used to obsess over that, but it happens so infrequently that it’s not a big deal to us. It’s cool.
What’s with all of the technological foibles?
The Ping has had a number of… interesting… software challenges over the years. We got spammed in 2006, the site’s gone down a few times in its middle ages, and most recently our previous CMS’s commenting software was stupid and annoying. We hope that’s all fixed now with WordPress. Hope.
Why are some older entries’ comments in different formats?
The Ping has run on several CMSes over the years (we’re on our third). The first one was completely homegrown (back then there was no WordPress, or even Movable Type), so you’re seeing raw text files being included since it would be next to impossible to import them into WordPress. Just one of those things that makes the Ping so great, ya know?
What neat-o things have happened, thanks to the Ping?
In the Ping’s first year, Ryan wrote about his favorite childhood game show and the host he idolized. Before long, the host’s wife joined in the conversation and a long back-and-forth ensued. Ten years later, Ryan sat on Jim and June Perry’s front porch and talked about Card Sharks. Four-year-old Ryan’s head would have exploded at this thought.
Similarly, the late Fred “Rerun” Barry commented on our What’s Happening!!! Ping. Not quite like being on the Perrys’ porch, but pretty amazing nonetheless.
You guys used to sell Ping merchandise. Where’s that?
Gone for now. It may return.
You guys had a mailing list…
No we didn’t. And if you think we did, you’re crazy.
Well, how about that book…
No book. Nope.
Didn’t you mention a podca…
YOU MUST BE SILENCED.