Well I have to say that it’s been some time from the last article I posted here, I’ve had a lot on my mind, on top of the fact I haven’t been able to get to writing much. So here it is, I have to say this was the dark ages of XfireSystems, some would say what happen near the end of XfireSystems was really dark, but I’ve always thought to myself that if something had to end, end it write and this first so-called “end” was not what I had in mind.
I though for this article I wouldn’t try to make any point, or even try to be in order but more so just say what came to mind and hope that it comes out alright. A recap of the last article, to sum it up I basically was running a web site that had now real point, it was mixed, no control on where it was going, no fan base, nothing more than a load of crap loaded up with add banners and an anger webmaster. As I said in that article and will say again, no need to run a site if you have no goals and no trying to be the best or make lots of money are not goals.
I found in all my years (if you would even call 1996 to 2006) any number of years vs those who have went to school and have been in the game since the late 80s and even before then. In their eyes I know nothing, which is true because when we think of Silicon Valley what I know, what you know, changes tomorrow. The web is like a big box full of random crap and every time you reach in you find something new. The web is by far the biggest and weird thing out there. I some times wonder what the world would be like if there was no internet no World Wide Web. Maybe for another time and another article.
So back to my history as they say or background, whatever. After I official called XFIRESYSTEMS, which back then I always used CAPS like it was cool or something, I think if anything I was trying to make a name brand like when you right CNN, all in caps or MSN, or Yahoo. They all have styles to how they are which people know, but how to do you make a “style” to something that has no control and no style to begin with.
Simple, you start over. Sadly when you think about it, starting over online is easier to do then anything in real life. You can change your email, your screen names, even your web site, home page, etc and start over with out anyone thing anything about it. Everyday on the web, as I right this, a web site some where is starting and another is closing down. It happens more times than anyone can count. For XfireSystems.com domain name was lost and my XfireCollector domain had become crap and never even started to being with. I had just quit my job for the 2nd time, no real future in sight, for the most part I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do.
After about 3 months of being a bum doing nothing but playing cards 6 times a week and sleeping the other day, I came to a cross-road in my life. I found this test online when I was looking for some card tips (who knows why some things come up) anyways it was one of those “what do you want to be” test. Now normally I wouldn’t base it on anything but being how the test was 10 pages long with 10 questions on each page, and after page 3, I could in no way figure out which answer is what to give you answers. So I though maybe this test was for real, base on some real info and not just made up. It was on the then TechTV site.
So anyways I took the test for real. The outcome of the test said I should be a Computer Programmer. Well I knew then that it was a false test because 1) it was on a tech site and 2) I hated programing, I really hadn’t done anything like that in like 5 years. So I pass it on and forgot about it. Well about I don’t know 2-3 weeks later. I picked up some web design books. For the most part I had nothing better to do and maybe if I started over, I mean even go as far as relearn HTML and all that stuff and take the steps most where taking those days. I found this book which start off by saying HTML: The new kind of programing. To my shock, 5 out of the 7 books I picked up said the same thing. Not the same way but basically did. Well I read all of them over about 2 months, while working on the computer doing examples.
It wasn’t until I read the HTML 4 for Dummies book that it all came together for me. I could recall the test I took months ago (now gone, oh well) and how it said I should be a Computer Programmer. I never recalled it saying what kind, software, script, etc. Being how the web community now looked at html as a form of programing and at the time CSS was coming along which is a styling language I stated thinking that maybe I should be a programmer for the web. I mean I had OK HTML skills, I had learned using 3.2, now I was using html and a little xhtml too. Never used CSS before. So I try it out and well it make things very easy at least vs what I was doing before.
Project Xfire Anime
Yep, after about 3 months, about mid summer of 2003 I had decided that the only thing I could do, the only thing I though I was good at was making a web site. Now there is a different from making a web site and running (at the time and even deep into 2004 I clearly could not run a site). Shocking as it is, a lot of webmasters never went through this or at least they don’t tell anyone about it.
I picked a name for my project, having no domain lock to me I could pick whatever I wanted. So before I bought a domain, I pick the project as XFIRE, I then went through a list, what I like to talk about and what I hated to talk about. I then using what I had learned from the books, limited it to 1 or 2 things. Which I did, it came down to movies and anime. Well after a few days of thinking and wondering (day dreaming) I limited it down to anime. So Project XFIREAnime was born.
I spend all summer working on the site. All I got done was the ground work, I work out a system on running the site, how I would make updates, what I update, how content be in the site, the layout and everything else. In this time, I learn about PHP, which I had wonder about being how I had seen more and more sites with this funny looking ?this=this&this&this&etc. I wonder about it more and more and finally looked into it. I found out about template systems which is what I wanted, I must have went through 10 of them. I then went online looking for some free host which I could use. Most of them didn’t even come close to what I needed. Limit here and limited here. Finally I looked into buying some hosting. After looking, I only trusted one host. My old host DellHost, it was also this time I started joining some boards and forums (there was a differences back then). I finally came down to the name Anime Entertainment, I can’t recall how I came about it but I do remember I came down to wanting a short domain name so it came down to Anime-Ent.com.
It was also around this time I starting looking for staff to help me out because I wasn’t going to worry about the look of the site or the traffic or anything but the content. I want loads and loads of it and I could only be on the computer typing so long and I though if I could find at least 5 people who share the same dreams I could have a killer site. After my last staff issue I came up with a system so where I still be in control and no one would mess things up. Which met no one had access to the server but me. Basically I didn’t trust anyone to have that information.
Finally once the site was ready to open in I think late August or something. I had also reopen my Dragonball site and Gundam site (Where basically the back ups I had on Yahoo’s Geocities). I had two staff members from who were in school (college level) another who was in high school and another who was 13 or 14. Well the first mistake I made was having a staff, you can basically say nothing got done. The 14-year-old was never on and when he was on, he always told me he was doing his homework. Well I don’t know how things where as it came to school but I know when I had homework I wasn’t online unless I had a big project to do and need some info offline. The high school kid always told me he could do much to start with but said he do at least one thing a month, well lets say after the first month being open (2 reviews I did) I fire him. Why? Well after a month I email him asking him when he was going to send me his review, he didn’t respond to me. Two weeks later I saw him online and he told me he had a girlfriend and that he wasn’t into anime anymore. The other hope I had been the college ones who told me they get me some good reviews.
Well after 2 months and nothing I start to get pissed, it was now getting close to December now. Finally I had a disagreement with the one guy so he left. The other one who was a girl, told me she couldn’t help me anymore because she was having problems in here life and was sorry. Being how she at least told me I wasn’t too mad and let it go. Finally after the first week of December I said the hell with it, the site fail to no end. You can say I really wasn’t someone to be around. I had a crappy ass anime review site with nothing, the layout was crap, I spend the last 2 months waiting for staff to send me stuff when I could have done it myself. The only good thing out of it was I had lots of time to surf the web and read some random stuff.
So what happen next? Well about the 18th of the month, I closed it, at the same time along with the crash was Gundam Unlimited which was the end of for my gundam site. My Dragonball site, Dragonball Millennium was well.. what can I say? I don’t even really think people saw it or care about it. So after a few days I close it, more so I just left it. Another thing that happen which I wish now I hadn’t had done was I let both domains go, gundam-unlimited.com and dragonball-millennium.com I let expire in late December 2003 because at the time I was done (for real this time) and pissed. I wish now I would have just as others who wish they still had their first site domain names. They where all that was left of the old XifreSystems Xtreme Network and what ever I was trying to do back in 1999 – 2002 was lost, for the most part.
Well as I said in the last article, this was only part 2, the next part will be the story of 2004, the rise of Dragonball Final, the first time and basically last time I ran only one site at a time and the first time I tasted real success in web designing. So don’t miss it, I will try to post it up a lot sooner than this one was. I have to say this article was really hard to write basically being how most of those of you think of me as some great webmasters, a great guy and as some have said “The Best”. As you can see that I am just human, as normal as you. I make mistakes too, we are all the best as we can be, some times we make mistakes no one is perfect at all. As I said I have no real point that I wanted to make, this was more so just the dark times for me, how I pulled through them and why they happen. Until next time, soon I hope.