Old blog archive: 05 November 2003

I feel sort of weird talking about this publicly, but…whatever.

So I’ve gotten e-mails from fans of the show giving me praise or encouragement or thanks for my site over the years, especially in the last couple. And I’m really grateful for every single message–I tell people this, and I’m afraid it sounds trite, but it’s the truth: they let me know that people are really getting something out of this, and that I’m not just doing this for myself, so it really makes me feel wonderful to get a message from someone who stumbled across my site after not hearing about the show for years, and feeling ecstatic that it was able to help them remember something they really treasured from their childhood. That’s what keeps me updating, because I know people really do want to see more, and I actually have an audience. :o)

And then there are the people who actually take it a step further and fangirl (or fanboy) my site, or fangirl/boy me. And by fangirling/boying, I mean gushing (I can understand some–god knows I’d be gushing if I discovered a site for a show I adored as a child and completely forgot about till recently, but I mean the really excessive stuff), latching onto me, going really overboard with the compliments to the point that they don’t even strike me as being sincere, basically writing up a storm to try and impress me. (Why?? 😛 I’m impressed if you stop by–any compliments past that are welcome in themselves.) And with guys, flirtation’s involved. (I DO NOT take kindly to flirtation. AT ALL. And I’m not talking about actual sincere, heartfelt comments/compliments–I mean people sending me “<3″s and calling me “cute”/”cutie”/etc. sort of regularly, and just showering me with compliments that really are a little creepy. I’ve never been one to take compliments about my looks easily, because I definitely don’t get them that often, and I don’t even really care about my appearance, or the appearance of others; I care about what’s inside, so complimenting someone just because they “look good,” based on that fact alone, strikes me as weird and very, very shallow.)

Sorry, tangent–what sparked this had no flirtation in it whatsoever. Just bunches and bunches of super-gushy, nearly-over-the-top praise. ^^;

It happened again yesterday, at the Yahoo! club. And that’s another thing–sometimes I really feel like I’m overstepping my bounds there, and I’m really worried someone’ll think I have an ego or something, just because I get into it and I like to post a lot, and I’m by nature long-winded. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but that’s the last thing I’d ever want people to think, that I have an overinflated sense of self about my site. I have joked about it with my friends, but I totally don’t feel like I’m some big influential force in the PoDW fandom, like some people have very kindly said. I mean, all I do is run a site, and I get really lucky with who I bump into–Floro Dery, one of the conceptual artists, and Lee Agosta, the author of the D&D module…I didn’t go out of my way to stumble into either of them (Floro e-mailed me, and Lee happened to be offering an auction on eBay that I won; I didn’t know it was him till after we started corresponding and I recognized his name), but I got really lucky both times, because they were both generous enough to send me stuff (via e-mail or snail mail) when they found out that I’m a huge, huge fan. Going back to the Yahoo! club–people talking to me directly about my site there–that’s also a little awkward, because we’re there to talk about the show, not just my site. I just started posting there recently after a long hiatus, because I thought the club was dead and had pretty much forgotten about it, but it totally wasn’t, which I’m really glad about, because it was one of the first true online PoDW communities.

But anyway! ^^; I really do appreciate having a lot of people that are so supportive and enthusiastic about my site and the work I’ve put into it. But fangirls and fanboys are sort of…I don’t know. PoDW’s older, and not one of the major “things” that other series/genres, like Japanese anime (specifically Sailormoon, DBZ, and the stuff on Cartoon Network past and present), Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. is. With those, there’s a handful of very notable, major, respected sites and a TON of mini fansites. The people at the head of the fandom do run it, and they’re well aware of the fact that they run it. They’re even recognized in public sometimes. That’s totally nonexistent here. (Though it would totally and utterly make my dayweek if someone came up to me because they recognized me from this site and struck up a PoDW conversation with me… *grin*) I’m just different from a lot of people I know because I’ve kept up with the show over the years, but there are a number of people who are still very familiar with it and all the little details and intricacies (and I’ve talked to at least several of them at length online, which is just awesome, as are they–there are only one or two people I can do that with among people I know offline). The only difference between them and me is that I put a website together for the show. And the difference between many of the other PoDW webmasters (past AND present) is that I’ve kept mine up for around 7 years, while they just stopped updating, or only recently started. And over that time, I happened to learn more HTML/scripting/graphics knowhow and applied it to my site, and I dug and found more info to make sure I could keep the site going, and people stopped by on their own.

That’s another thing. I’ve never advertised this site. I’ve maybe had it in my signature at forums/messageboards, and plugged it at places like my Elfwood galleries (my FanQuarter gallery gets attention because it’s the first one to have had any Dark Water art in the Woods, and is still almost totally devoted to my fanart of the show) or when letting people that have images/content I’d love to display here know that I have a site for the show when asking permission to use their material, and I only (very) recently added meta tags for search engines to pick up, but that’s it. The main reason it gets any “fame”/attention is because people noticed it and spread the word on their own, via e-mails and messageboards and stuff, and that’s what upped the hit count and is keeping the site high in the Google/search engine rankings (along with Ken Lipka’s RPG, Jenni’s fanlisting, and the other “generic” sites, for info or video game cheats, that’ve been around for years). Now, the majority of the resources I use for this hosting account go to this site: my other sites probably will use a gig or so total, but this is where the vast majority of my hits come to, all because other people found it on their own, and keep coming back. (Thank you so, so much. :o) )

But anyway, this is still an old show, with a lot of fans but only a pretty small “fan base” online. The fact that I have gotten fangirling/fanboying is really weird, considering that, and while it’s a compliment in its own way…it’s not one I feel that comfortable about. I mean, I get messages where people all but idolize the site, and idolize me for maintaining it, and I mean that literally. It’s a WEB SITE, folks. About a CARTOON. It’s a cartoon that means a lot to me, and obviously to a lot of other people too–but I feel odd when people will literally go teenybopper and actually latch onto me, or shower me personally with compliments despite not knowing me well at all, once they find my site. That’s happened at least several times, and it really is kind of overboard. I had an “incident” recently with someone who I thought was a true friend, whom I met and got to know online; he grossly overstepped the unspoken lines of how online friends should behave with each other, online and offline (I met him for the first time at Dragon*Con this year, and he latched onto me very, very tightly and even made the others in our group uncomfortable, and he evoked a level of sheer discomfort in me at and after the con that nobody’s ever come close to in my entire life, and I do mean that literally–I finally broke off all contact with him, and it was the first time I’d ever done that with anybody), which has made me especially sensitive to this sort of thing. Nothing I’ve gotten via this site’s come even close to that, but there are people who, via e-mail or IM, are definitely overdoing it to some degree.

*runs out of steam and stops* And all the time I spent writing this in spurts, I could have–and SHOULD have–spent on my NaNoWriMo novel, which I’m 2 days (and over 3400 words) behind on. Damn. 😛 ;o)

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