Now 16 years old, B. J. Pinchbeck has run his homework help site, BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper, since he was nine. When he was 13 years old, Education World interviewed B.J. to find out what it's like running an online homework help site.
Education World: Why did you decide to start your site? Was it hard to create?
B. J. Pinchbeck: Dad and I started my site in March 1996. We were just starting to surf the Internet ourselves, and we found it really difficult to find information quickly. One day, while we were surfing the Net, we found a site that let us download a Web editor. After downloading this program, we decided to create our own homework help site that would help people find really good educational sites without having to look all over the place for them. We had our site up and running in a weekend.
EW: There are many homework help sites on the Web, but few are as successful as yours. What makes your site unique?
B.J.: We currently have more than 625 links on the World Wide Web. We really try to link to the very best sites on the Net. We do not place links on our page just to say that we have more links than the next site.
EW: What age are the kids who tend to ask you for help? Is it mainly kids younger than you?
B.J.: We get e-mail from all kinds of people -- young kids, college students, and adults. Most of the mail that I get, though, is from kids my age.
EW: Do you ever find that you are so busy helping others with their homework that you don't have time to finish your own?
B.J.: I always get my homework done first before I work on my Web page.
EW: Does keeping up your homework help site take a lot of time?
B.J.: We usually get between 20 and 40 e-mail messages every day during the school year. I answer a lot of the e-mail, but Dad will help me answer some of the tricky questions. Dad and I spend more than ten hours every week on our site.
EW: What is it like to run a homework help site like yours? Is it fun?
B.J.: Being popular on the Web has been a lot of fun. I have had a chance to work with a great company like Discovery and to travel a lot. I also have had a chance to meet many cool fans who helped our site become so popular. Running a homework help site has been the coolest experience for me.
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