When I was little, very little, I really did have the storybook about the ‘Little Engine that Could’.  There was a record too, a 45, it was yellow, called ‘Little by Little' - the song was about taking on a challenge and having the stuff to at least try something. Then there was a train set that my parents surprised the Hell out of me with as a Christmas present one year… and my Dad hadn’t gone to the local toy store and picked out one of those boring boxed sets, he’d gone to the trouble of finding a fellow who was getting out of the HO train set hobby and I was lucky enough to be the benefit of a big box of track and cars and engines and stuff! That was one of my favorite Christmas's ever!

One of those train engines, my favorite, was a little black engine that was modeled after the boxcar shuttles that used to work in the railway holding yards. It was a much smaller engine in comparison to all the others, and I fondly remember trying to get it to pull as many railway boxcars and tankers and flatbeds as I had available. Eventually, ‘Joey’ couldn’t pull any more, but the ‘test’ was always fun.

So the concept of ‘trying’ was instilled in me at an early age, and it would seem that it exists still. When radio threw me out all those years ago (not to worry, radio throws everyone out!) I started Wordnoise.  Through good and bad times, easier and tougher, a tiny bit richer and way too poor, I have at least tried to make it grow and prosper and stay alive.

Then I met Synthasite. It was a Stumble Upon find. This was about mid November or so, and Synthasite as I met them, was blogging about “The Best of Synthasite” and offering a prize, and exposure if the site you built (or had built) was selected as one of the best. Now you have to recall that I had just discovered Synthasite, so I registered and started building.  I probably put about 25, maybe 30 hours into building www.wordnoise.com. I even blogged the experience in my first post on this Wordblog. I had become a fan, and remain one – these guys are the future of software that builds things - docs, spreadsheets, presentations, web pages – this is what we’ll all be doing in a very short while. Yup a fan - especially today!

Near the end of November, just a few days before the “Best of Synthasite” contest was closing, I decided – “What the Hell” and boldly entered my site in the contest. I had nothing to loose, liked what I’d put out there, and thought that I’d incorporated a lot of the components that the judges might decide were worthwhile. I didn’t expect anything from this. I was pretty sure that all kinds of people, lots and lots of people, 1000's would enter and I’d be lost in the shuffle, but like I said, no harm in trying.

Yesterday I got a piece of e-mail from Synthasite informing me that the finalists had been chosen and giving me a link to the accompanying page on their blog site. At exactly the same time, I had another piece of e-mail from Steve Schwartz, a name I didn’t recognize. His header read: About your website, and that definitely got my attention! I’d get back to the Synthasite e-mail in a minute or two.

Steve's note said that he’d seen my site (and something else, but to that in a moment) but wanted to let me know that I had missed a repeated word in my copy. What!?!? But he was right; I had missed a repeated word. Fortunately the tools and flexibility of Synthasite allowed me to effortlessly correct the error, and three minutes later, I’d updated my site with the revised copy – try that with a web development service!

Now, on to the ‘something else’. Steve had also said, ”…I have just seen you listed on ‘The Best of Synthasite’ – WHAT?! Me?! Wordnoise?!

I was back to their e-mail in a flash, clicked on the link, clicked on the business link and there it was, www.wordnoise.com listed as one of the five finalists in the business category! How swell is that! How outrageously great is that?  How personally rewarding! I felt like Sally Fields at the Oscars! “You like me, you really like me!“

So thanks to Synthasite for making it possible for people to do something they've always wanted to be able to do, but didn’t have the tools, and thanks Mom and Dad for teaching me that it's alright to try.  

I wonder if it was the book, the record, or the little engine that could?