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Fansites

Negrek

Ever Onward
Staff
Feeling a bit nostalgic and a bit wistful, so I thought I'd make a thread on the off-chance anyone here wanted to talk fansites with me. Are there any fansites (pokémon or otherwise) that you enjoy visiting, or did in the past? Have you ever made a site, or wanted to?

I've run a fansite of my own (clearly...) for years now, although I was pretty late to the party. Back when I first got into online fandom, around 2004-2005, fansites were a huge deal and pretty much everyone had their own, or possibly their own forums. I get really nostalgic for that era of the internet, when things felt a lot less corporate and it seemed like the majority of sites were put up by amateurs who wanted to share their own interests with the world. A few made by people I knew from that era are even still going (you might have heard of The Cave of Dragonflies, Altered Origin and Rare Candy being a couple notable others). But even today I enjoy the occasional wander around the web to try and see if I can't find some new ones to look at (this one I encountered today is quite pretty). I also love to admire the kind of pretty layouts that I absolutely don't have the skill to make myself, heh. It's so nice to see people experimenting with style the way that most mainstream web sites don't.

Also, I keep hoping Neocities will take off and for a while it'll be in vogue to have your own site about your pet rat or whatever, but there's not a ton there that attracts my interests thus far. Worth a look if you also have nostalgia for the late 90's/early 00's web... Not sure whether the site designs there are a result of most of the userbase trying to replicate what they remember from the Geocities era or that's simply the kind of style that emerges when you give people who've never coded before access to an HTML editor, but wow. Wow. Whatever the old web was, it definitely was... that.
 

NonAnalogue

Losing her head
Location
Yes
Pronouns
she/her
I was at Pokemasters for a long time, even at one point being a moderator for one of their subforums; they were actually the first online community I was a part of. I also joined the Turquoise Tavern, another ostensibly Pokemon site, at the same time (around when Ruby and Sapphire had just released in Japan). The people at the Tavern ended up partially migrating over to Pokecharms, which is still active today!

I also was part of Kirby's Rainbow Resort back then too, which is where I made a lot of friendships that still persist even now. The name of that community ended up being super-fitting, just for how many people from there ended up being some flavor of queer, myself included.
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
I've wanted to make my own fansite for several years, tbh. But I've never really gotten around to sitting down and trying to make one. I might just have to check out Neocities though, as that might be just what I need to kick myself into gear.

As for sites I visited in the past, I used to frequent Kirby's Rainbow Resort because of the anime subs, but never really interacted with anyone there. Fogu (a Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons help site) is a place I've frequented in more recent years. Outside of that, like I mentioned I'd been to the main Thousand Roads site a couple times, and I know I heard of The Cave of Dragonflies and Altered Origin over the years, though to my knowledge I don't think I ever visited either of them.
 

DeliriousAbsol

*Crazy Absol Noises*
Staff
Location
Behind a laptop, most likely with tea
Pronouns
She/Her
Ah, the 90s... I remember websites like Geocities. I even had a go at making them. But eh, I can't even remember the name now or what I used XD If memory serves, Pokemon actually launched a very 90s website for the anniversary TCG set. Complete with the old dial-up noise!

I also frequent Fogu when I'm playing Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons. Fansites can be super helpful. Of course, Serebii is a fansite in itself, and one I frequent when I want news (I'm trying - and failing - to avoid spoilers for SwSh atm).

I wouldn't mind having a go at making a fansite or blog for the Root Tabletop RPG, as I'm hoping to get heavily into that game over the coming months and it might help to keep records of any campaigns I run or partake in. I'll probably end up making a new Tumblr or something though, as coding skills are not my forte...
 

qva

wouldn't know my face if you all were me
Location
florida
Pronouns
her/hers
aw, fansites…

pokémon fansites are actually what kicked off my interest in computers as a kid, and i’m a computer science, so that’s something i guess! my friend introduced me to the cave of dragonflies when i was eleven, i think because he liked the zodiac, and that was my first real exposure to the internet beyond, like, google. i was pretty blown away by it and decided i wanted to make my own pokémon website so i could become an affiliate. so i checked out dragonfree’s html guide and made some eye-hurting garbage. but it was fun!! i kept doing that for a long time and now i have a web dev job so that’s something. tcod and pokémon fansites will always hold a very dear place in my heart for that reason.

aside from that i mostly checked out altered origin, especially the super awesome phoenixdex and its associated (basically dead) pokémon turquoise. i poked around thousands roads a little too— hi!

recently i’ve been kind of tired of the modern web. i’ve been thinking of maybe making a little minimalist fansite in the vein of those old early 2000s sites. maybe we should all agree to host our fanfics on minimalist, handwritten html pages and we can all just link those here.
 

Dragonfree

Well-known member
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Oh, man, I hadn't seen Neocities before! That's delightful, I hope it properly takes off.

Obviously, I run The Cave of Dragonflies. Back in the day I was just incredibly passionate about websites generally, and advising kids on how to make their fansites better, and got a constant stream of kids in my e-mail inbox who'd made their own sites and wanted to affiliate. It was wonderful and there was so much neat creativity on display. But then I went on to watch the fansite just kind of die, very directly, in the sense that I just don't get affiliation requests anymore - kids aren't making websites anymore, just social media accounts. That's a huge shame to me. I've still got an HTML guide and website tips and so on and I hope it inspires the occasional kid to pick it up, but you just don't really see small personal fansites taking off anymore and I am very sad about this.

Anyway, my fansite isn't going anywhere! I will keep doing my random crap and putting it on there even if I'm literally the last person running this kind of site on Earth.
 
I first ran into fansites around 2011 or so, when they were already starting to lose ground to social media groups/pages. The first one I found was Eonlight Valley, where I pored over pages such as "A Fan is Ashamed...". I also vaguely remember visiting TCoD from time to time, although I didn't take a strong interest in it. But by the time I fell out of Pokemon in 2014, fansites were a thing of the past and I'd pretty much forgotten about their existence.

I like handmade sites. Since whoever made it can modify it down to the last detail, they are usually very personal and you can see how much effort has been put into them. They're also a lot more flexible than premade blogs or platforms such as Instagram, where you're limited to creating and posting things in specific formats (ie. only blog posts or only images). A fansite can accomodate Flash or Javascript games, personality quizzes, blogs, and your average page/article all in one place. On the technical side, you can choose which technologies will suit your site best instead of having to tiptoe around a premade framework.

Then again, I think a lot of nostalgia for that time forgets how bad a lot of amateur sites were. Looking at Neocities, where people have recreated the 90's/early-2000s net, the majority of sites are completely forgettable. They're just a page or two somebody designed (badly) in two seconds, dumped online, and promptly forgot about, which is a shame. But at their best, fansites offer things that other platforms on the internet can't.
 
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StellarWind

Biomechanical Abomination
Oh man, the Geocities/Tripod/Angelfire era of the internet. That was a wild ride. So many of them copypasted each other's misinformation, too. It was almost precious, really.

The first Pokémon fansite I properly joined (as opposed to browse for use as reference) was something called The PokéTavern - which relaunched as Turquoise City not too long after I actually joined it. Turquoise City was a somewhat overly-ambitious attempt to have multiple features in multiple segments but the only parts of it that actually were functional in any way were the main site (Turquoise Labs) and the forums (the Turquoise Tavern, which NonAnalogue already mentioned). One of TC's affiliates was a website that eventually collapsed into its own navel, relaunched, collapsed again, and from its ashes, four of us crafted Pokécharms - which has been my online home since, basically - and will likely continue being so until the heat death of the internet.

I did have some presence on several other Pokémon fansites (Including Pokécommunity, Pokémasters, Bulbagarden, Serebii and even GPXPlus and Pokefarm Q for a brief while) - most of which I got to because I was following someone else and sort of faded out of because they were just too big and noisy and I never felt like I had anything to really say to anyone. I'm also pretty sure I had a few fairly broken fan sites for various series I was fond of in my earlier internet years, all of which thankfully long faded into the aether. These days? I think I'm content with 'Charms and managing a wiki for my particular fan region. Basically all I need. ^^
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Uhhhhh my first exposure to fansites was personal sites where people posted their fanart and fanfics, some of which was not appropriate for my young eyes but I digress. Around 2004-2005 I hung around this imageboard-y place of this one fansite that got forcibly taken down but I don't remember the name of. 2006-2009 was the Serebii years during which I discovered more fanfic and started wondering if I could do that too. 2010 I dropped off the fansite radar, 2011 I initially had a stint on Bulbagarden and started posting fics for the first time before discovering two Pokemon communities on TVTropes - first being PEFE, a fan Pokedex project which hooked me, and then We Are All Pokemon Trainers, a RP community that hooked me several times more and I am still part of to this day and own the Discord server for. Around 2013 I rediscovered Serebii and that's had its various ups and downs and then here happened and now here I am. Writing this post. Pressing the send button. Boom.
 
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