Terrouge E-zine Archives
Monthly Editorial - The Cycles of the RW Online Community
When I first entered the ROC, it was just before the first re-opening of the old Brockhall*. Kotir* was famous, and Camp Willow was just coming to prominence under it's first leader, Grath Longfletch. At that time, the thing that set apart a really cool site from an average one was the presence of forms. Brockhall had forms, Kotir had forms, the Long Patrol had forms, and Camp Willow had forms. All the really cool sites had forms. No one thought much of it if there were no forms and you had to mail in a joining application.
Suddenly, everyone had forms. It was commonplace, and if you didn't have forms on your site, it wasn't even worth visiting.
The next big thing was Webring.Com. Every Redwall site on the 'net worth visiting had a webring. A webring was a mark of prominence. Some webrings got over 70 member sites. Around this time, counters were big too. Most people used the Angelfire counters that came free with the Angelfire web space; yes, most sites did use Angelfire. The Long Patrol used AOL, but you can only use that if you're an AOL member. Camp Willow and Kotir both used Angelfire, and they both used Angelfire counters. Counters and webrings seemed to be the determining factors in a site. But as soon as everyone realized it, everyone got them. Every other site had a Redwall webring, and even more had counters.
For lack of something better, people began to look at what server a site used. Some sites began to shift over to Geocities, which now hosts the majority of Redwall webpages. Then someone discovered Tripod, and before anyone could tell what was going on, all the new sites started using Tripod, which, for a while, was sort of between Angelfire and Geocities in status. It seemed like, for some reason, all the boring little sites with nothing worth looking at were on Angelfire, and all the huge important ones were on Geocities, with Tripod as a sort of middle ground. Constance of Brockhall popularized Xoom, which remains a favorite of Redwall fans today, except for it's difficult addresses.
It was about this time that people began to realize that graphics actually matter, besides a run-of-the-mill Angelfire background. Constance of Brockhall was perhaps the first one to realize this, and she was, apart from running Brockhall, best-known for her excellent creation of graphics. She made her own backgrounds for her pages, and she also made buttons and logos. After a while, she started her own free custom graphics site.
Soon more sites began looking into better use of graphics. Salamandastron followed closely in Brockhall's footsteps, creating buttons, and suddenly, something else new: frames. Whether or not they made the site harder to view and slower, this was something new, that no one had ever really been exposed to before, at least not on a Redwall page. Now every webmaster started putting frames on, and some even had an option between frames and non-frames. Some people fine-tuned their frames, sometimes even making it appear that there were no frames. Anything new was a huge success.
Please feel free to write in and tell us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org!
* These sites have since gone offline. We consider them the 'classics' of the ROC.