One Year Online - A Retrospective

Well, it’s now been a full year since I launched this site back in January 08 and I must say it has been quite an adventure indeed.

I can say with confidence that this site would not be in existence if I hadn’t somehow stumbled upon back in 2005 and enjoyed the encouragement of the site owner Icarus and all the awesome people I’ve met through my involvement on that site’s forum. Thanks all of you.

I worked literally all day and night for many days for the whole of January to get the site online before my spring semester at college began. I remember when the date finally came when I was ready to launch, I was in my room with my old dog Zuza who was laying on the floor beside me as I finally switched the “coming soon” page to the actual site index, officially launching the site.

That night will stay with me as one of the last and fondest memories I have of Zuza. I didn’t know he was going to die less than a month later, but I did know that at sixteen he was a very old dog, though living well and with dignity he was more than showing his age by then. I got on the floor with Zuza while I launched the website and spent some time petting him, and it was then that I finally felt comfortable with the fact that he was likely going to die in the near future and was no longer fearful of that. I guess I grew up a lot that night.

This website was largely a replacement for the defunct Nintendo NSider Forums where I used to waste my creative efforts on short lived posts that I would spend hours putting together. It was thrilling to finally have a place that was fully my own to show off my writing and tell my stories and talk about my favorite books and video games and so on.

While I largely “ignored” the site for a good portion of the year and only posted two new features between March and August, in September I finally got into the swing of updating the site fairly regularly and the process of uploading webpages and updating the indexes was no longer intimidating and became something I could do on short notice.

My fondest moments in creating and managing this site have been the last 24 hours of work I put in right before launching the site with Zuza by my side, and while the story itself is far from something I’m fond of, I’m really proud of the “In Defense of the Three Dogs From Tulsa” editorial I posted on July 1st.

That editorial was the first time I tried to use my site as a mechanism for “action” in the real world, and while I have no reason to believe it made any direct or indirect impact on the authorities who handled the case, the public outcry against the initial decision to euthanize the three dogs mixed up the Tulsa sex tape scandal is part of the reason the dogs were spared, and I’m proud to have played some tiny part in that.

Unfortunately, the editorial has attracted a lot of search engine traffic from people seeking the very sort of content that put the dogs lives in jeopardy to begin with, which has frustrated me to no end and has been literally haunting me for months now. I’ll have to take measures to prevent the page from animal drawing porn seekers from search engines. Perhaps I’ll replace the text with images containing the content of the page instead.

The styles of the webpages themselves have grown over the last year, now I’d say the newer pages I’ve been posting is pretty much “standardized”, though I have no intention of going back and changing the older pages, I think it’s nice to see how the page style has developed.

The only thing I kind of regret is how little “in the wild” feedback I’ve gotten. I’ve plenty of in person feedback, but not a single response in the guestbook or in my site email account from a user I hadn’t met before, but that’s a very minor gripe.

As far as the site itself goes, I hope to update it as frequently as possible, if not on a weekly basis. I’ve got tons of new features and webpages planned for every section of the site.

I’m also proud of the simple, 90’s style look and layout of the site and definitely won’t be changing that. I plan on letting each section grow piecemeal for the most part aside from the Creations section. I may reorganize that section somewhat to better showcase my original material and place less emphasis on fanfiction, which I used when the site launched as filler material and is not what I’d like to be known for.

Also, I have my Doorworm art posted all over sites like SheezyArt and Fiends Fridge, so I might as well make a page for my doorworms in the Creations section, since I did make a point to call the section “Creations” rather than just “Writing”, which is what the section is mostly made up of.

So, happy anniversary, and thank you everyone reading this for making the effort involved in running this site worthwhile.

UPDATE: 6/13/09
Looks like I forgot to actually link this page from the Adventures section main page. No wonder no one has been visiting it. :P

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