Ka’anapali Dreamin’

Launched August 2007

My way of Sharing the Magic of Maui by recapping the many trips we’ve made to our favorite Hawaiian island.

About This Site

When I graduated from college in June ’01, my school wasn’t teaching web development, so I never had any formal training on the subject. So, in 2007 when my employer offered up a little tuition reimbursement, I decided to find a web design class and have at it. Ka’anapali Dreamin’ was actually born as that final class project that year, and it’s been a labour of Aloha ever since.

My First Maui PhotoTo better put into perspective how my love for Maui grew along with this site, it helps to share the timeline of our visits to Maui. Shown on our Trip Details page – which is a little out of date at the moment – you’ll see that this site was started right before our 2nd trip to the island in September ’07. There have been 3 other trips since then, and with each trip, I was adding more and more content based on all the new experiences we had.

The site’s tagline is Sharing the Magic of Maui and that pretty much describes what the site is about in a nutshell. First, Maui is magical, and anyone that has visited there with an open heart will agree. The second part is about sharing, which is what I wanted to do with all of our memories and everything we’ve done on our trips. It’s not meant to be an all encompassing island resource guide. There are already a ton out there. And it’s not meant to be a full travel guide and review site either. My friend Sheila at Go Visit Hawaii already has the best site for that, so there was no need to reinvent that wheel either.

I like to think of this site as somewhere in between the two. It has a personal feel because it only focuses on the activities and places that my wife and I have visited ourselves and not speculation or 3rd hand information. It also doesn’t try to a be an authority on any particular subjects, so I happily link to other sites and resources where readers can find more details. That may be taboo for other sites who’s main goal is keeping you on their site as long as they can, but I’m fine with it.

More Content

Ka’anapali Dreamin’ by far is the site in my portfolio that has the most content. Of the sites that came before it, Nighthawks Hockey in its previous form had a pretty decent community forum with the players of the team visiting regularly and a large stats section, but that was all code driven for me and not a lot of penmanship. Kris and Cindy at the time was also more code driven than actually content oriented, which has since been replaced by a more dominant blog format. It was a big part of my initial battle over Code vs. Content.

If there was a saving grace in training my brain to think of content instead of always constantly writing code, it was that the Ka’anapali Dreamin’ site also contained my first, and now largest, blog. While a little stalled now, it has over 300 posts with almost as many comments spanning just about 3 years. For someone that’s not a full-time blogger, I like to think that’s an accomplishment.

Blogging was inviting to me from a content perspective because I felt more rewarded with the user community that would comment on my posts than just writing pages of content to be indexed by search engines and fight for top bidding on Google. Sure, you sort of need that last one in order for people to find your site, but building relationships with other bloggers and my readers was more important to me anyway. Between blogging and Twitter, I soon found myself with a nice virtual rolodex of amazing Hawaii resources that I was chatting with daily, and was just an added bonus.

Related Sites

About Kris

Programming since age 14, professional software engineer Kris Nelson practices his life motto of "Never stop learning" by developing websites and Apps around his passions, while staying current with trends in technology and social media.