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Alumnus launches ND website

Dan Brombach | Thursday, November 3, 2011

Small hobbies can grow into huge successes. In September, Notre Dame graduate Jeff Paone launched his self-developed website “Today in ND History.”

What started out as a small hobby known only by his friends and family soon grew into a popular Notre Dame history outlet.

“When I started off, it was pretty much just my friends and family visiting the site,” Paone said.  “Now, by word of mouth, I have several hundred regular followers.”

The site highlights famous athletes, influential individuals and memorable moments from Notre Dame history in a series of daily blog-style posts, Paone said.

It also focuses on special events, like the Nov. 2 post commemorating the “Game of the Century” when the Fighting Irish defeated the heavily favored Ohio State Buckeyes in a1935 football game.

While it may seem like an easy task to discuss special events in Notre Dame history, Paone said selecting what to write about can be tricky, especially on days when there are a variety of topics to choose from.

“Sometimes, especially during the fall, there are multiple important events that all occurred on the same day,” he said. “I try to select the topics that are most interesting to me, but at the same time I try to get a variety of different topics as well.”

Although he does have a long list of potential topics compiled, Paone said there are many topics he has not yet discovered.

“So far, I have over 400 potential events,” Paone said. “But because it’s just me doing this, I have a limited pool of resources to draw from, and so I’m sure that there are topics that I simply don’t know about yet.”

An additional obstacle Paone faces is the issue of copyrighted and trademarked material. The site, although highlighting Notre Dame history, is not officially endorsed or sponsored by the University.  

“Not being endorsed by Notre Dame affects my operation mostly in that I have to be careful about copyrighted and trademarked material when choosing what images I can show on the website,” Paone said.  “If I can find a YouTube video or something like that, I’ll use it because it’s already out in the public domain.”

Despite having to run the site on his own and keep legal issues in check, Paone said his time commitment to maintaining “Today in ND History” is fairly modest.

“I typically spend about an hour a day working on the site,” he said. “Right now, it’s really just a hobby of mine.”

Paone said he hopes to continue expanding the website and one day partner with the Notre Dame archives.

“[I plan to do this] until I run out of events,” he said.