on 12 June 2015.

Purple Blog Author Image2 Paul

The Evolutionary Path to Gerardi Gems

In 2003, Sharon and I made a decision to leave everthing behind and go on the road to embrace artistic lives. We bought an RV, had four garage sales, and what was left of our possessions was put in a ten by ten foot storage unit.

In preparing to outfit the RV with Sharon's tools, materials, and vendor tent, as well as my guitars and sound equipment, we realized that we needed to have some sort of portal of communication open in which to talk to possible art, garden,and music venues. The answer was two websites: SharonsCreativeArt.com and PaulGerardi.com. We purchased domain names and began creating the space and pages necessary to foster a presence in the virutal world of the internet.

With help from my friend, Orlando folk musician Susie Cool, I learned how to create web pages with Dreamweaver and I cut my virtual teeth publishing PaulGerardi.com. The site featured information about my contemporary folk recordings over the background of images of the Universe's stars, galaxies, and nebulas.

Next came SharonsCreativeArt.com, a more diverse site that featured all of Sharon's artistic creations. Once we were on the road it also housed our family's blog that featured Sharon's comments and images of our experiences traveling North America. These two sites were very basic but served us well as we were able to employ a T-Mobile cell link which allowed us to use our laptop to update our sites and blanket e-mail prospecitve venues for our art. We settled into a system of me booking gigs in new thought churches and Sharon booking the festival and farmer's market circuit. We realized we could cross-promote each other, which helped us cover more ground more quickly. It helped tremendously in keeping us financially sound while traveling.

By 2010, we were settled in our new home of Ashland Oregon and Sharon's art had changed so much tat she wanted to move on to a new name for both her art and her website. That's When SharonsEvolution.com was born. Using the same framework as SharonsCreativeArt.com, we changed the name and added many new features to represent the evolution of Sharon's as an artist and a Certified Natural Healthcare Provider.  She had created Bugshield, an all natural insect repellent that we began to offer online.

But there was a problem. Even though the website showed Sharon's artistic evolution, the virtual machinery that made it run was becoming outdated. It was still the same framework from it's creation in the early 2000's. A local website guru showed me the way forward and introduced me to the complex world of content management, and off I went on a new and intense learning curve into the future.

In the early days of 2012, while I was building two new websites for Sharon and I, a severe hack temporarily took down our two existing websites and disabled the new ones I was building.  In the early days of 2013, we were hit with another hack so harsh that PaulGerardi.com had to be replaced with a simple place-holder site. SharonsEvolution.com managed to recover, but we knew the writing was on the wall.  The hacks showed us how important security is in the virtual internet world of the second decade of the 21st Century.

Over the past two years, as I continued to learn how to create a modern website, Sharon researched how she wanted to present this new generation of Gerardi websites. We started making a list of all possible names, looked at their availability as a domain name, and Sharon dug into the business and metaphysical aspect of what makes a good name. She settled on GerardiGems.com, and what a good decision it was! That decision led us to the realization that as we are a loving team in the physical world, we could also do the same in the virtual world.  Working together and cross-promoting each other while we were on the road led to a successfull journey across North America, now we venture out together in a virtual adventure.

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