By: Kiri Chiquita
In 1996, with Netscape 1.22 in my virtual hot little
hand and little to no web knowledge, I set out into the new
world of the 'Net. I poked around at some Star Trek pages
at first, and then gradually crept into the Sailormoon
realm. Eventually I discovered Navigator Gold 3.0, and was
able to view things decently. But still, the bad browsers
and the long time it took to get places was worth it. Sure,
the pages were crap by today's standards, and a lot of them
were bad even then ... but they were mostly something made
by kids in their early teens and younger, and were worth a
gold medal to each. Including my own to me.
A lot of the people browsing through the Sailor Web
today are now in their late teens and early twenties - some
even older. Yes, there are younger fans, but the majority
are these older ones that have had pages since 1995, 96,
and 97. Maybe even longer. As we've grown, we've improved.
But think. Some of us have not had the amount of practise
and time to learn all the tricks of the trade and are just
starting out, like the rest of us were those few years ago.
We shouldn't come down hard because a few images were taken
- 'borrowed' if you will - by a 'newbie' ... we were all
newbies at one time, and we should all remember how it
We were practically alone.
We didn't have ICQ, Yahoo Pager or AIM to connect to
others at first. We had e-mail, yes, and chat rooms, but
most of us started our pages alone and kept them up alone,
with little to no feedback from others or any standards to
go by. Webpage creation was a breeze and fun. Basic HTML
was our tools. The sizing of title text, the italicizing,
bolding, and underlining of regular text, hyperlinking to
other places, and coding images to show on a page was the
extent of what most of us knew. Tables were a new trend to
be over-used. Actually getting a visitor was something to
get excited about ... having the counter hit 100 was a
large milestone. Especially if only 30 were visits you
yourself had made.
Believe it or not it's the same now, even with the
browser advancements and WYSIWYG page editors that are
widely available. The new homepage owners are the same as
we used to be. Creating a page on their own and with a
small amount of HTML knowledge. But it's also harder for
them than it was for us 'oldies.' They have standards
placed upon them. Their page should have so much of this,
and none of that. Oh! And they definitely have to have
Remember when pictures were mostly public domain? No
one was paranoid about having their images taken. Most, if
not all of us started out with borrowed pics and
HTML-shrunk fake thumbnails. It was one of the first rungs
on the ladder of improvement. Soon we were able to get our
own scans or edit the old with the brand-new and
'wicked-cool' Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, or other
related programs. Then they became 'mine' and not 'ours.'
People got angry when the taking continued. Images were no
longer public domain. Originality reigned.
And then it started.
The standards were set. The pages on the lower rungs
were ridiculed, the ones on the topmost rungs praised.
Reviewers popped up and seemed to pick on those on the
lower rungs, and raised the standards of the page look and
feel. We should have original graphics, in-depth
information, original images, and lots of extras. At least,
that's the feeling that is constantly conveyed to the
newbie -- and the oldie.
My question is: "What's the big deal?" If a person
wants a page, let them have one. Just like in the Real
World they should be able to have something without the
fear of being judged or be expected to improve on in a set
period of time. Like an artist who is just starting out,
you can't expect him or her to be a great sculptor,
designer, or painter all at once. It's just not done that
way. Except for the minuscule few people born with the
talent and the ability to learn quickly, we have to work at
it and strive to be good. Of course, some of us stop
half-way, perfectly happy with our current talent and not
wanting to improve further. This is just fine.
It's the same with homepages. Some of us just don't
want to improve beyond the discovery of tables. The only
problem with this is that the standards we have set for
ourselves and future participants don't allow it. People
can't stop half-way up the ladder. People seem to think
that it will block the rest of us. The thing is, it won't.
The ladder's wide, and there is plenty of room for everyone
of every stage.
The internet is full of pages that conform to our
precise little standards, and it is also full of pages that
don't. It's not the end of the world, and it's not the end
of decent pages on the web. So you might have to sift a
little to get what you want to see. The rest of the pages
are by those who just wanted a little bit of themselves for
the world to view. They who don't care about how it looks
to those of us who have been here for years and have seen
it all before. There are those who haven't seen even the
over-used stats and the common pics. To them it's all
brand-new, like it was to us when we first stumbled our way
into the virtual on-line world. Even our first 'gold medal'
pages which turned out to be just over-polished brass had
things that were new to others ... for they were definitely
new to us.
So sit back and reflect. So some pages are bad by
today's standards. What about yesterday's standards? The
standards you held when you first started out? Maybe, just
maybe we're starting to take this homepage thing a little
too seriously, and are forgetting that it is supposed to be
fun. Those pages that are just starting out are beginning
like we first did. No help, raw basic HTML, and little to
no regard for any standards thrown at them from above. They
are taking their first steps onto the ladder. Maybe they'll
make it halfway. Maybe they'll come further. Maybe they
won't even make it to tables. We won't truly know until it
Give them a break. We all had crappy pages once, and
the ones we have now might even be considered such a year
from now. The way things are going, they might even be
bonked down a few rungs next month.
The standards are rising ...
Comments on this article can be sent to: