By: Scarlett Duchess
Whenever I enter a relatively new page, the same thing pretty much always approaches me.
Newbies screaming and crying over the fact that the elitists are taking all the glory. Stealing the spotlight from the little people. Begging you to bookmark them and sign their empty guestbook. But what they're really against is the elitists, whom without the SM community would be a better place. But I don't believe them.
For you see, I used to be a so-called "elitist."
I had a Dawson's Creek page and I was linked from all the best sites, I was getting a thousand visitors a week, I was the "it" girl. It's strange really, because I had a very bad page, rarely updated, very biased against certain members of the cast (Dawson and Jen to be exact) and sloppy in the HTML. But it was good, and you know why?
Because as a whole, Dawson's Creek pages generally suck.
So did Sailormoon pages when it got its start in North America. Everyone making these pages was new to the Internet and HTML. But it's grown and some of the sucky pages are still up, but they've come to be elite, visited and generally good pages. Like The Everchanging Sailormoon Gateway, up until, um, I just visited last week and found the change... it wasn't the greatest looking page in the world, but it was a good source of information and I find the author's opinions excessively funny, Mercury death match Mwah hah hah hah hah! And Hitashi Doi's page was considerably unattractive, but it was a good source of info. They still are.
So that's what Dawson's Creek will become so I'm glad I got out when I did. Anyway, if you're being infantile about the whole elitist thing, no one's gonna give a rat's petooty. The elitists are not oppressive forces to keep you from reaching the top. Nor are they the omnipotent leaders of the web, if you ask them an HTML question they'll more than likely be glad to help out. So here's a couple of ground rules to start you off:
1: Be sure your Information is Correct: You have no idea of how many times I have gone to a newby page where in blinking H1 text it says "Look for the Mention of Sailormoon in "One Week" by The Barenaked Ladies, the single off their first album." Sorry to all you Yankees, but, there were more albums before, but I digress.
2: Do not, I repeat, do not steal pics: If you get them from an FTP site that is there primarily so that you can download, that's okay. But running over to someone's page and stealing their graphics is BAD! Case in point, James's Flower Squad Page, (Error! Bookmark not defined.) stole from numerous pages, mine, my best friend's, Manga Style, and I'm pretty sure that the bios are not of his work. But the final kick in the head is that he stole my midi that I specifically told not to take. But enough about me, just, don't do it! It's mean to the people who made the graphics and it's mean to the entire SM community because there's another crappy page which makes them sort of a laughing stock to the rest of the 'Net.
3: Update!!!: There is nothing worse than going to a page that has been in the same catatonic state since 1997. I'm not saying you have to spend your days toiling away in the depths of your webpage server but a new background or a new pic every couple of days is nice, it shows you care about your webpage but you still have a life. (Unlike me.)
4: Don't include a lot about you on every page: I hate going to pages where, when you look at the updates, the author is lugubriously lamenting about their awful day but they added a new Sailormars picture. It's boring, superfluous and basically just DUMB! I don't need some cacophonic monologue about how you didn't make the school play and are just so sad! You wanna know a secret? I don't care. No one cares. Make you feel like more of a loser? So what.
5: Try to not make colours clash.: Ugh... lime green and orange! I'm in the hideous house of American fashion! Nope, wait, I'm in a Sailorvenus shrine, I didn't know she liked green. Tawdry colours cheapen the whole effect of a webpage. Everything should compliment each other, not fight to the death.
6: Decide your theme and stick with it: Do you want to be a purely reference SM site or a fictional site? Okay, bear with me here; imagine your local library. Now, do want to be like the Encyclopedia, all facts, no made up stuff? Or a half-and-half, like with facts and fanfics, sort of like Redwork or HMS Ulysses? Or an all fanfic site like a fiction book, like, Bless the Beasts and Children or Catcher in the Rye (Quick note: Read those both, twice)? On the fanfic note, try to have good fanfiction on your site, like (once again using the book method) have sort of "classic" fanfics, good but not found on other sites. Sort of like a Lord of the Flies or Losing Joe's Place, original and not found in many other stories. Or do you want to except everything and end up with this crappy little library of dumb stories, like the Clearwater Crossing series, bunch of stupid little do-gooder kids... um, onwards!
7: Keep your links similar: I cannot stress this enough, it is very annoying to find a site and you want to see similar ones so you go to links but you have to weed through this consternating pile of links to your webbuddies page. It's great you have friends, but they come last on a links page.
8: Learn HTML!: I'm sorry, but I hate those people who use the Tripod homebuilders or the Geocities crappola builders. See, that's another Dawson's Creek thing. Tripod has merged with WB meaning that they advertise the fact that you can "make webpages without knowing HTML!" DO NOT fall victim to that claim. The pages just end up looking sloppy and haphazard. I know HTML is like this formidable palace right now but the basics aren't that hard. Go to Error! Bookmark not defined. and you'll learn all you need to know. Just one thing. Don't use blinking text.
Thank you for your time, just remember, a webpage is a stage in a manner of speaking. And if you get a bunch of hits that means you are a good artist and you've got roadies. And if I like too, you'll know I'm there, I'll be the redhead up front whooping macaroni at you.
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