Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy Tenth, Me

Just about this time of year in 1997, Steve Carper's Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse went up onto the net. It's been running continuously since. I don't feel like a pioneer, but that has to be longer than about 99% of the web sites in existence today.

The idea behind the site was simple. My book, Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance, had been published in hardback in 1995 and in trade paperback in late 1996. Research for the book had taken me forever to compile, yet I knew that much of it would be outdated as soon as the book hit print. Even back then the appeal of the internet as affording opportunities to continually update information was obvious and overwhelming.

The site contained just a few pages at first, mostly summaries of information for quick perusal. Posting was easy, except for the one slight hitch that I didn't yet know HTML. A few HTML books later, some web experience, questions from readers, and better understanding about what I could do online, a revised site looking pretty much like what you see now went up in...

Heck, I don't remember. You think I keep good records or something? Let's say 1999.

The site has had more than quarter million hits (I changed web counters at some point and lost track). I've received literally thousands of emails from people in more than 30 countries, many of them extremely complimentary. I feel like I've helped many people and that's why I wrote my book and set up the site in the first place.

Those who have gone to the website know that in 2005 (that date I know) I had a stroke. The Clearinghouse was already getting huge and unwieldy, almost impossible to update and actually impossible to keep current and correct. It needed an overhaul, a remodeling, a modernization, and a sweeping out of the cobwebs. Right. Like I do that stuff even on my real house.

I had already started this blog a couple of months earlier. When I regained the ability to type with two hands I had to make a decision. You know the result. I opted to make the Planet Lactose Blog my main site, post a single article a day, and make spot changes accordingly on the Clearinghouse without the comprehensive restyling that it needed. While some days that feels like GM getting into the go-cart business, mostly it's a zippy relief.

The Clearinghouse is still there. Still has loads of info on LI Basics and Dairy Facts. Still lists every single book in print and available on Amazon (over 200) on every subject of interest in the Milk-Free Bookstore. Still lists hundreds of reduced-lactose and milk alternatives in the Product Clearinghouse. And more stuff can be found tucked in every corner and behind every clickable link.

Not a bad legacy even for ten years. And with well over 500 posts here on Planet Lactose, there's enough material for a thick book to flip through when you get tired of browsing the Clearinghouse.

A thick book. Hmmm.

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