Rantings and Ravings
  Joyful little columns by us.

Christmas in July

By: CereCere

I should explain the wacked out title first. This rant is actually a collection of shorter rants I was thinking about. They all talked about certain trends that have developed over the past six months or so. Sort of a "Year in Review" type thing. Seeing those type of articles traditionally happen in December... are you starting to get the picture? Or are you still thinking, "what the hell are you smoking Cere?" ^_-

The various search engines around the web such as yahoo and excite, list around 45,000 Sailor Moon Web pages! Two years ago when we started this page the number was around 30,000 pages. That is quite an amazing increase when you consider pages are always going down, moving, or being converted to another topic. Also consider both the anime and manga have ended in Japan, and the NA/Dic version still struggles to gain a foothold in the huge North American market.

The good news is the number of excellent SM webpages also seem to be on the rise. Last summer things had hit a low point, and we had a hard time finding any. Since the fall of 1997, however, things seem to be on the rise again. Which is great to see, but at the same time there are still a lot of bad SM pages out there.

The Good Trends

Many good trends have popped up in the last few months on SM pages. The best one being some long needed originality. For too long people have been trying to make another "Classic Combo" Page like Doiís SM Encyclopedia, The Ever-changing Sailormoon Gateway, and The Sailor Senshi Page. Many are now seeking out new ideas and carving out their own little niche within SM on the Web. While there are still new "Combo" pages, most new, good Combos like The SM Zone and Eien Sailormoon are looking at new ideas, originally presented in ways the Classic Combos never thought of. The most impressive advance seems to be in the area of shrine pages. Pluto Planet Power, Bow to the Glavie, and Evolution are examples of the growing amount of excellent, comprehensive shrine pages. Which is great because good shrine pages explore things about characters much better than Combo pages. For too long people have under estimated what they can do with shrines.

Design has also drastically improved and evolved over the last year. People are starting to use tables to their full potential. Graphics are now manipulated to give pages a nice look overall, rather than just pics slapped on a page. The Line/Graphic idea were a side graphic and a top one surround the text has been a nice idea, giving pages a nice clean, yet non boring look. This idea however, is starting to be overused and it's only a matter of time before something can hopefully come a long and replace it. Another major design trend is what I call loosely "Apattian" design, after Apattís layouts on the SM Zone. While Apatt didnít create the idea of using a "side bar" graphics on backgrounds, I have named it that because it seems this style has taken off since the SM Zone has become more well-known.

Another trend has been the addition of drop-down selection menus. This idea has been around for a while, but it seems to have really flourished lately. Itís a great idea, put the menu in a frame and the visitors can get quick, easy access to all sections of the page, without having to return frequently to the index. The thing you have to watch is donít place to many selections in your menu. It then becomes overcrowded and confusing to follow. Menus should only list the major sections of the page, not every little HTML on the site.

The Bad Trends

Well it seems the problem with information mixing has started to clear up, however there are still problems with people using fandub names. This is especially worse now that Dic has released names for Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune which are nothing like the popular fandub names; Susan, Alex and Michelle. Of course copying pics is always going on, but some pages have now taken to copying parts of peopleís HTMLs! Which is even worse than stealing pics!

Another trend that worries me are Sailormoon link exchanges. While this is a good idea, I fear the same thing will happen as when web rings first appeared. People who think they are simply "cool" and donít think about their pageís download time will subscribe to two, three or even more link exchanges. A recent "runner-up worst" page had five of the suckers! It should be remembered, that link exchanges really slow down a pageís download time, so donít have too many!

By far the worst trend of the year has to be the increase in people ripping off others by using direct linking, or bandwidth stealing. For those of you that donít know what I mean, direct linking or bandwidth thievery is when someone finds a pic or some other file used on another page and then just simply adds the address of that file to their own page in a <A HREF> tag. There by making it look like they own the file, but itís not even on their site! This is even low if you have been given permission to take something from someoneís page. Usually the only time someone allows direct links is with link banners. Otherwise, direct linking, has to be the laziest, most low-down, idiotic thing anyone can do with a web page!!! Itís lazy, because people donít take the time to ask permission first in most cases, then they donít bother to save it to a hard drive and upload it through FTP. Itís low-down, because your hits are slowing down someone elseís site, using up their resources, and basically using their web space, while saving your own. You are using them! Finally, itís idiotic, not only for the above reasons, but also because you just gave the real owner of the material the easiest way to ruin your site! How many times have I seen people rename pics so that a site that steals bandwidth ends up with pics of barnyard animals, nudity, or simply "This person is a bandwidth thief". No, I donít think Iím being too harsh here people! Itís worse than taking pics, itís worse than pop-ups, itís worse than screwing up info! The only thing that could be worse than direct-linking is stealing HTML code! [Takes deep breath] Sorry, but I only have one thing to really say to bandwidth thieves, STOP!

  • June 29th, 1998
  • As usual any comment made on this page is that of "The Amazoness Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions, etc, lalala...

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