March 14th 2001

Online Edition

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Tsaw. man's love of jokes goes global on Internet

Joe Defries shares 900 of his best on joe-ks.com

by Trudi Beutel

Joe Defries's love of laughing and an interest in the Internet collided last year. Out of that head-on, joe-ks.com was born.

Categorized, alphabetized and sorted by topic matter, if it's new, if it's funny, you'll likely find it on-line on the site that's updated daily from a Tsawwassen-based home computer.

"I kinda like jokes - to say the least," said Defries, as if his 900-ditty cyberspace stockpile, which contains both text and graphic images, didn't already give that fact away.

In the 12 months since its launch, the site's popularity has grown steadily. Defries logged 21,000 hits last month alone.

Although word of the site first spread through family and friends, joke lovers world-wide are starting to point-and-click, following electrical impulse to South Delta. He has a list of regular contributors from as far away as Australia, Germany, South Africa, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Although Defries has a full-time day job, his after-hours pursuit is starting to take over his nights.

After sorting though 150 e-mails every evening - each contains a joke submission - he picks the best for inclusion. On average, only two each day make it to the site.

"There are lots I don't classify as jokes," Defries said of his high standards for funny bone tickling.

And, the ones which do strike him as funny, must pass one last, critical test: "The Wifey Standard."

As Defries's arbitrator of good taste, his spouse, Trudy, gets final say on all submissions. Defries doesn't mind having this second pair of critical eyes, though, as his intent is too keep joe-ks.com as clean as it is funny.

The undertaking is purely a hobby for now, but Defries is running a few banner ads on the site to offset some of the hosting costs.

Defries personally believes the net should be a non-commercial form of communication - a philosophy that's been lost amidst the profusion of for-profit web sites - and the jokester is resisting temptation to make joe-ks.com a wholly commercial enterprise.

"Right now it's all jokes all the way and I'm having a ball doing it," he said.

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