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Reflections of a SW Webmaster

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by jedi-mind-trick, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. jedi-mind-trick

    jedi-mind-trick VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 6, 2001
    If you have run a any type of website, you mostly likely have some interesting (and usually amusing) horror stories to share: servers that crash, squatters, people stealing content, the one feature you can't see to get to work properly. I am sure there are equally as many victories to share: you won an award, you finally conquered CCS, or someone just wrote you some really nice feedback. I thought it would be fun to start a thread to share our woes, funnies, triumphs and bizzre happenings resulting from that wonderful business of running a SW website. ;)

    I also thought it might be neat to explore the reasons why we run the sites. Why did you create your site? A hobby? A way in which to master HTML? Deep love of SW? All of the above? Reflect and discuss.
  2. jedi-mind-trick

    jedi-mind-trick VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 6, 2001
    I think one of the more irksome things that has occured during my time as a webmaster is the situation involving the registration of my .com name. The name of my site at the time was jedi mind trick, so naturally, I wanted to register As it turns out, the name was owned by a squatter, who wanted several thousand dollars for the name. [face_plain] And then he basically laughed at me for being shocked. [face_plain]

    Needless to say, I was bummed. What to do? So I sat there, thinking of cheesy alternatives ("")...until, on a whim, I tried I could live with that, and it was available. As soon as my site was moved over to the new server with the name, I sent that guy an email, thanking him again for the information regarding the sale of the name, and invited him to my site's new address. [face_mischief]

    The only other thing, besides people stealing content, was the AOTC server shutdown: so many people were visiting my host's server around that time that we blew out the bandwidth and had to go offline for a few weeks. During that time, he was also moving me to a different host, so that was more complication. So other than those two odd things, I suppose I have been very lucky (knock on wood).

    Good things? I think the coolest thing to ever happen to me was when I won the "TFn Cool Site" award. When I got the email telling me I won, I actually had to go to TFn to verify that it was true, because I didn't believe it. Around the time that AOTC opened, I was contacted by a british reporter for permission to feature my site in his print article. Both of those things are pretty cool and unbelievable to me, because I am just a little site that does not do news updates.

    Why did I start the site? That was almost a year before I discovered the JC, and had no real SW outlet. To me, the site was a regression to my childhood love of SW: when I was a little kid, I would play with my plastic Jabba. My mother sold my plastic Jabba in a garage sale. So now that I am an adult, and have no plastic Jabba, I built a SW website with which to play instead. Yes, I am quite serious. :D

    Ok....I have babbled enough. [face_blush] Next? Anyone else?
  3. Yodaminch

    Yodaminch Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 6, 2002
    I created my site as an outlet to put my fan fics and artwork on. In such a short time I have many horror stories.
    Easy designer freezes before i save.
    Cut and paste not working.
    Text different colors.
    But my big two horror stories are trying to
    get text on my banner and trying
    to get a clock to countdown til ep3.
    Just today I managed to figure a trick for easy designer. I designed the banner with a simple paint i made the ackground black and
    copied the entire document over. I then emailed my self saved the document to a .jpg and started easy designer. Why did i do all
    this? Because I just learned today a picture can be a background. I uploaded the picture and then inserted a text box over the background so the text is on the banner.
    I still can't get the html for The countdown clock to work.
    My other great triumph is making drop down menus. After a week of failed attempts i finally got it to work.
  4. ami-padme

    ami-padme Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 19, 1999
    I gotta back you up on the AOTC rush, jedi-mind-trick. It was unreal at my site. I honestly thought someone was stealing my bandwidth like crazy or there was a mistake in the way it being counted, LOL. I was blowing through it as fast as I could buy it, and it seemed like if I didn't check my site for 10 seconds, I was out of badwidth again and it was down. From the weeks just before AOTC came out through the weeks and months after, it was just crazy. I got a lot of regular users out of it, and I'm glad that my site was so popular, of course. ;) :p But that was quite a hassle for a while there.

    I do get some great feedback from people, and I love that. Sometimes it's just something simple, like I'll ask someone's permission to use something on my site, and they'll write back saying, "You run that site? I love that site!" Other times, I'll get emails from people that really go into what they like about the different parts of the site. My favorite is when people tell me that something on my site made them look at SW in a different/new way. :D

    As for bizarre...I run an Anakin website, and have had people email me, thinking I'm Hayden Christensen. :confused: That I don't get at all. There are no Hayden pics on my site where he's not costumed as Anakin. And for every Hayden pic, there's a Jake Lloyd as Anakin pic. The fan art is equally prominent for Lloyd, Christensen and Vader stuff. I've come up with a very short, polite email explaining that I'm in no way affiliated with Hayden or with anything Star Wars or Lucasfilm (I have disclaimers on all my site's fan work's anyway, but I guess they miss those. But every time I get one -- and I still get one every now and then -- it just strikes me as...very odd.

    I'd guess the reason I started my site falls into the "hobby" and "deep love for SW" categories. I'm no good at HTML or any of the fun tech stuff, I just wanted to put together a place with the kind of fan works I like, and have good discussions, about my favorite character. I've been fortunate to find others who share my tastes. ;)
  5. jedi-mind-trick

    jedi-mind-trick VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 6, 2001
    Great responses guys! :D

    yodaminch, congratulations on getting the drop down menus to work! Just keep at it, and you will get the countdown clock straight. I do have a javascript that counts down the days, if you would like it?

    I do get some great feedback from people, and I love that.
    I do as well. And as you said, the simpliest thing is what makes you feel the best, don't you agree? Just someone saying "Hey! I loved your site!" or someone at the JC saying "Hey! I didn't know that site was yours! Awesome!". That is the best feeling. :D

    As for bizarre...I run an Anakin website, and have had people email me, thinking I'm Hayden Christensen.
    [face_laugh] I have heard that happens to webmasters quite a bit....strange huh? But no doubt humorous. :D
  6. Yodaminch

    Yodaminch Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 6, 2002
    thanks but someone else gave me a code in another forum. Its on my forum and the main page only 836 days!
  7. YodaJeff

    YodaJeff Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 18, 2001
    I've gotten e-mails from people thinking I was Frank Oz, or George Lucas. It's almost sad...

    AERYN_SUN Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 1, 2001
    a couple months after i had my website at angelfire, finally opened again and i tried to re-register with them but as it turned out, i couldn't even do that and ha, ha, everyone's files were deleted. (i already had my files back up) but it just shocked me after their so-called maitenance (months of maitenance) they decided to to delete everyone's accounts.

    another recent one, i checked my site's guestbook (an Obidala fansite) and an Anakin/Padme saw my site and actually liked it. No harsh comments or anything, she really liked it.
  9. Tayschrenn

    Tayschrenn Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 24, 2002
    It's almost sad...

    And partly charming? :p

  10. jedi-mind-trick

    jedi-mind-trick VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 6, 2001
    I've gotten e-mails from people thinking I was Frank Oz, or George Lucas.

    You mean you're not Uncle George?!! :eek:

  11. AdamBertocci

    AdamBertocci Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 3, 2002
    Here's my favorite Webmastering stories. [face_plain]

    (1) As is obvious from my sig I run the one and only site about the chopped-off hands of Star Wars.
    Not one, but TWO people decided to spoil me on AOTC via e-mail by telling me Anakin gets his hand cut off. They even sent pictures. So I knew Anakin got his hand cut off a good month before seeing the movie. Not even bothered with a spoiler warning, just a "I like your site, by the way have you heard Anakin loses his hand in Ep2, here's a pic"! Why?! Why?! Why?! Bastards! :_|

    (2) I USED to write for SWFans.Net before its untimely demise. One of the sections I ran was the humor section, which often took the form of a "The Onion" of sorts for Episode II production.
    I did funny stuff.
    I said the movie was gonna be called "Episode II: Disco Forever".
    I said David Spade was cast as Boba Fett.
    Funny stuff. Y'know?
    But because I wrote with a dry prose style, and because I spelled everything correctly, and because I didn't put smilies everywhere, people assumed I was serious, and I got angry e-mails. (I'm NOT making this up: "David spaid cant be Bobba Fett he would stink THis is an out rage")
    And I'd have to take time out of my day to write back and have them look very carefully at what section of the site this was posted at.
    Funny followup. "The Onion"'s editor came to talk at my college's journalism school, and I went. He showed us clips of idiots thinking "The Onion" was real... one example was a London newspaper syndicating the headline "40 Congressmen Trapped In Mine-Shaft Accident"... another was some guy on TV citing the "Al-Qaeda Engaged in Telemarketing" article...)

    Speaking of my being an SW Webmaster, y'all oughta go visit the links in my sig. :)

    Rick McCallum loves you!
  12. Lyart_Triath

    Lyart_Triath Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 11, 2002
    I'll give you two LOL 1) SW 1) NonSW

    SW One:

    About 4 years back (shortly before the release of Episode I) I had a SW & ST fan-fic site on Tripod. Now at that time I didn't have a lto of graphics of anykind on the site, just fan-fic. Well I don't know if anyone around here remembers the big fan-site hunt from around that time when Lucasfilm was supposedly telling servers to delete fansites or get sued (which I don't think anyone figured out if it was true or not, don't matter now anyway) well my piddly little site (with it's whole 30 hits in 4 months time) was killed for a TOS violation, as were about 600+ more accounts of a similar type. E-mail Tripod got the whole "you had copyrighted graphics, stealing bandwidth from etc..." sort of deal from them. Then they said someone filed a complaint about my content as being against the TOS (okay, no porn fics, mostly ST stuff at the time and about 2 pieces of SW) Asked them to show me the actually complaint (didn't care about the name) and they never did. To this day I never figured out what was objectionable about my old site.

    2nd SW One: I used to run a messageboard, and within one week of starting the board, which I no longer run, I had people trying to get my home address,posting dead or alive posters online, and threatening to come to my home and kill me. All because I banned someone who hacked the board and replaced all the iamges with prono.

    NonSW One:

    This is recent: I built I site for the local sheriff's office. Put it up on a freebie server since they weren't paying and they were offering the site as a community service, no big deal. Well they put the link up on the local news a week after I finished the site, and withing 10 minutes they had 300+ hits with people trying to D/L the whole site in one shot (gotta love cable modems LOL) They killed the account, they overshot the monthly bandwidth by a large margin (LOL) Imagine me having to call the local sheriff and tell him "Uh sir, you violated the TOS and went over the bandwidth and they're closing your account." Luckily my company has some space I pay for it's website and I had just enough spare room to move them over to it.

  13. Darion_Blade

    Darion_Blade Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 25, 2001
    start to finish:

    Little history:
    Jedi Talk was an online talk show. which broadcast once a week for three years. We talked about everything star wars.
    we talked to authors.
    kevin anderson
    rebecca moesta
    mike stackpole (DA MAN)
    RA Salavatore
    AC crispin
    Arron Allston, and tons more
    We also made storm trooper bob (sorry)
    anyway we started in feb before ep.1 premiered, saying we were rough around the edges would be an understatement.
    but we hung in there and by the time we hit ep 1 we had about 100 listeners.
    We finnally got a toll free number and we ran the show for about a year growing slowly. except in the summer. MY advice dont start anything on the net in the summer.
    anyway, on with the story. I was getting to busy with other shows we had running so in the second year I steped down as a host and Kal and lars kept it going.
    A lot of the time it was thankless to run the site, but once in a while you got those fans that just loved the idea. Anyway we were on the news and lots of crazy stuff/
    But the biggest thing was broadcasting live at celebration II.
    That was fun....
    Due to lack of funds we sshut down in sep 2002
    Anyway that is what we did. I just wanted to let everyone out there know if you are planning on starting a site.
    Do it becuase you are fan. that way you will do the best you can. also be true to your hobby and don't let it destroy you fanhood.
    It almost did mine I am barely recovering

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