My name is Kathlyn Lindeboom and I am glad that you have stopped by our About Us section to read a bit about who we are and why this website exists.
THE BIRTH OF THE COW:
Creative COW began as an outgrowth of the work started in May of 1995 when my husband, Ron Lindeboom, and I began designing and building a site known as The WWUG, which was short for Worldwide Users Groups. The site was the first site of its kind on the Internet and to quote the irrepressible Tim Wilson, who began his career with us and later became the Senior Product Marketing Director for AVID (before rejoining us as the associate publisher of Creative COW Magazine): "The innovation that Ron and Kathlyn introduced back in 1995 was two-fold: One was to take discussion on the creation of video and multimedia content out of the newsgroups and onto the net. The other, was to elevate 'personalities' as leaders. I say 'personalities' rather than 'people' to emphasize that they have always been about specific relationships. I was happy to claim the title of 'WWUG One' as the leader of more WWUG forums than anyone else back in those days, devoting myself to the forums in addition to my full-time job running a video production company. My friends, whom I call 'The Boomies,' just happen to provide the longest-running, highest-functioning community building that the web has ever seen in this industry. The communities they have built have changed many lives over the years, mine is just one of that many."
Tim and others like him -- although there really is no one else quite like Tim Wilson! -- have always been the real reason why the original idea grew and grew over the years. In fact, the site grew so much that it began to eat us out of house and home and cost so much to run that eventually we could no longer support it ourselves. We had taken it as far as we could. We thought that someone else needed to take it to the next level. So, in January of 2000 we sold WWUG.com to Digital Media Net, little realizing at the time that we would actually end up with just $100 for all the work we had put into it. We lost our site and our 4.5 year investment of time and over $130,000 cash. But Ron and I love this industry and the great people in it far too much to walk away quietly. So after about a month of receiving many letters of support and encouragement from members of the WWUG -- and especially from the leaders that we had worked with at the site over the years -- I decided that we should open another site.
Ron was not too excited about the idea but the letters of encouragement kept coming from people and I made sure that he saw them. Eventually, he bought into the idea. He insisted that this time we had to "...keep it small and inexpensive to run." I knew that was never going to happen. We kept it smaller for about the first year and then it really began to take off as we righted many things that we felt we had done wrong in our old site. In 2002, it really began taking off and by 2003, it had become a runaway freight train -- again. Ron changed hats from his duties as the site developer into that of the site's new Director of Sales & Marketing and Business Development. He never did get to get back to the site's design until our first major redesign in 2007. But by this time, the COW was on solid footing. Today, Ron has moved to the company's CEO chair and also heads our business development duties. I have focused on working with the people who lead the COW and also on making sure that the COW is filled with fresh content. My favorite part of all of this has always been the people, and so I am delighted to have turned over the day-to-day management and operation of the company to Ron.
WHY CALL IT THE COW?:
We wanted a name that reflected the past work we had done on the Net, helping users with great information, conversation and support -- hence the COW was born, which stands for "Communities of the World." But it is also something very close to both Ron and me, as I have collected cows for years and years and my home is full of them. Ron grew up on a dairy and he has always loved cows. So the name has a special meaning to us. When he and I first met, he laughed to see my home filled with cows -- stuffed ones, ceramic ones, pictures and more. We've been not only husband and wife but best friends since -- I think the luck of the cows had something to do with it! And now, over the last eight years or so that the Cow has been in existence, many of the COW leaders seem to often bring cows of every shape and description when we meet them at trade shows or conferences.
It's fun to watch users take off on the name "The COW" and start up with their jokes about "mooving ahead" and "this is udderly cool" and so on and so forth. Professional digital video and dynamic media design is a high stress industry and it's always good to have a "release valve" from which to blow off a little steam. We've watched the members of this "herd" turn the bovine references and puns into far too many fun and twisted forms calling themselves "bovinians" and "bovines" -- "Cowpokes" and "Cowfolks." Thank you to all who have joined in the dream and have made it the best work we've ever accomplished online.
THE RETURN OF TIM WILSON
We were quite pleased when during the Summer of 2006 (well, Summer in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) Tim Wilson called us and asked if there was room for him in the COW. Tim had been Avid's Senior Product Marketing Director for three years but had watched the remarkable growth of the COW and said that he "...wanted in on it, as I have some ideas that could help take the COW to the next level." Ron, Tim and I had all loved working together before and so we added him back as the third part of the COW's admin team. He has been a God-send to have back and we couldn't be happier to have him back.
ABRAHAM CHAFFIN JOINS THE TEAM
In August of 2007, we added Abraham Chaffin to the team as our Technical Director. He is one of the most enthusiastic people on the team and his vision and energy have taken the site in many new directions. Having known Abraham since his early teens, it is great to work with a man that you have watched grow up, get married, have children, and make quite a career for himself as a skilled sys admin and technical director. Abraham called us in July of 2007 and asked if we had a place for him on our team. Today, the answer to that question has been a wholehearted, "Yes."
I hope this tells you a bit about us and what we are all about. If you have any questions about Creative Cow, please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, the very best to you and yours,
Director, Creative COW