17th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

2002–2003. There weren’t any major changes to the book in 2002-03, but it was an historical year at the Oscars as two black actors took top honors. As the Enron and Catholic Church scandals rocked the news cycle, rock ‘n’ roll reality show The Osbournes debuted on MTV, and the search for a singing superstar […]

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16th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

2001–2002. We made radical changes to the Debbies Book format and printed two versions: the old classic size and a new large format 3-ring binder version. Our users made it clear that they preferred the new large format, and that has been the book format ever since. There were so many life-changing events going on […]

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15th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

2000–2001. Debbies Book officially got its trademark (no apostrophe, please), and we removed all the tabs and the comb binding cover that users told me they hated. We didn’t know it yet, but this would be the last small-format book. Meanwhile, Survivor, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Boston Public debut; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, […]

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14th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1999–2000. Debbies Book took on a new look with color ads, lighter paper stock, wraparound cover and more details on how to use the book online. We added a Rental Policy page to help users. The category index expanded for new items and became more refined. The book slimmed down to 2 tabs; the DB […]

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13th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1998–1999. We kept the book cover design from the previous year, with only minor changes; I learned from this that covers need to be changed radically every year. We revamped and fine-tuned the category index, and ‘Deb on the Web’ was taking off. While the FDA approved Viagra, President Clinton’s sex scandal rocked the White […]

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12th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1997–1998. Because most connections were very slow dial-up, our new website was designed mainly for speed and built around the book’s directory structure. We put directions on the book tabs to show people how to navigate our new website. In the same year, AOL announced 10 million online users; J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the […]

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11th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1996–1997. By the 11th edition, event planners had found Debbies Book, and the table of contents and category index were moved to the front of the 460+-page book. On TV, everybody loved Raymond and Spin City; Braveheart took the Oscar; and we launched our first website just before the next (12th) edition. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s summer […]

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10th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1995–1996. Listening to users’ suggestions, we added maps, comprehensive indexing and a company index to the 10th edition of Debbies Book. The 10th edition was not without drama—I lost the source code for the book and suffered a database meltdown. Bob Payne rescued the data and composed the book for the first time; it become […]

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9th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1994–1995. By now, changes to the book information seemed to be happening fast. I added map tabs showing prop house locations. Additional resource categories and more company data provided motivation to find ways to make the book layout denser, a never–ending process that continues to this day. On TV, ER and Friends had us glued […]

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8th Edition – Debbies Book Retrospective

1993–1994. While Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump topped the box office, Debbies Book 8th Edition scored big with users when we added more detail to individual listings. We again added more tabs, and medical prop houses became popular. Book categories were expanding, with bumper cars, vendor carts, kiosks, oversize props, and Beatles musical instruments added. […]

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