(Originally published at OnePaper.com)
What makes a good personal homepage? You do! To jettison yourself into cyberspace for all the world to see, you’ve got to have confidence, imagination, and something to say. Ironically, whether it will be of any interest to anyone but you must be immaterial. If you do not create your personal homepage with honesty and a deep desire to express yourself, your site will end up occupying server space, but saying nothing. The best personal web sites offer a reason to visit, and visit again. Their creators are constantly adding bits and pieces of their lives.
Such is the case with the personal web space occupied by Bernard Ottley, Jr., who has gone the extra step and invested in his name. The result – www.bernardottleyjr.com – contains an historical chronicle of the U.S. Virgin Islands (courtesy of Harold W.L. Willocks’ book The Umbilical Cord) to give visitors a look at the storied past of the territory. His Carnival section opens to a full screen and features a large collection of photographs and music. As of this writing, a video section is online as well, so you can fire up your RealAudio player and take in the sights and sounds of hitmakers Whadablee (this year’s Carnival King), RoadMarch perennials JamBand, wunderkind Daddy Fingaz, newcomers 2EK, and powerhouse Imaginations Brass. Caveats: Some of the files are large and will take awhile to download. You will observe grownups at play, so take it light. And, you will spend more time here than is proper.
Revisit your favorite Carnival troupes in all their glory: Affinity, Fun Lovers, Hugga Bunch, Intrigue, Jus Action, Infernos, Party Time, and Elskoe and Associates. Arguably, this site is the most illustrative online displaying the variety and pageantry of this past St. Thomas Carnival season.
A guest book allows you to post public or anonymous comments; or, find out how your thinking compares with that of fellow surfers with the online poll. Additionally, Ottley shares visual memories from Carnivals 1999-2000. Don’t miss the section marked ‘Rides’: portraits of admirable (and admired) automobiles. ‘Beauties’ is a tribute to a many women and young ladies that populate his life (see “Monique”, above for a preview). Bernard Ottley, Jr.’s personal web space contains all the elements of a winning site: ease of navigation, personality, and room for more goodies!