E is for…Ephemeris

5 Apr
I actually created this picture out of a different Sailor Moon image, after 9/11. I wanted there to show my love and support for my country with my favorite anime.

I actually created this picture out of a different Sailor Moon image, after 9/11. I wanted there to show my love and support for my country with my favorite anime.

An Ephemeris is a diary of sorts. One that tracks the movements of celestial bodies. While it’s always good to know when it’s a full moon (trust me, that’s NOT the night to shop at Wal-Mart), about a dozen years ago, it took on a much bigger meaning.

I came onto the internet for the first time in 1994 and remember asking, “But what can it DO?” – not that many years later I figured it out.

It all started with Sailor Moon. A Japanese anime, very badly dubbed into English and showing at zero-dark-thirty, at an hour when babies OUGHT to be sleeping but never were. I became addicted to the adventures of clumsy schoolgirl Serena and her alter ego, butt kicking supergirl Sailor Moon. And of course, having time when I had little else to do, I poked around on the internet to find out more. And discovered an entire subculture of otaku – anime fans – from around the world.

I became one of those, putting my first website up somewhere around 1998. About Sailor Moon of course. This was the start of my Lunar Ephemeris (a name I later used on one of my webpages). Over the next 6 years I built and maintained 37 websites, mostly on anime, some on writing, a few on American cartoon shows and even a little dip into the world of comic books (Alfred’s Archive – a Batman fansite). This all grew into my own little empire of sorts (another great “E” word) with thousands of hits every month, a constant struggle to find free bandwidth, and instant recognition at Anime Conventions (OMG, I can’t believe I’m talking to YOU!)

Oh, it was fun…

Sadly things came to a crashing halt in 2004. The server I eventually bought space from went under (left town in the middle of the night with all the money, taking all domains with them) and my websites were all gone overnight. Looking at what I’d had, what I’d BUILT, I lost heart and didn’t bother returning. It seemed too big of a task to start all over again. I’d spent years building one of the most comprehensive Sailor Moon websites on the internet…for what?

At the same time, the Internet was changing. There weren’t as many of us anymore. Back when every kid with a computer was making a fansite of some sort or another, it was fun. Now when the internet was taken over by professionals, the actual companies that made the shows…I couldn’t see where there was room for me.

In looking around tonight I found something interesting. My first little Ephermeris has been preserved – the main page of it. The design I’d placed a week or two after 9/11. A group trying to find and keep those websites alive that were part of HISTORY had chosen this as one of their site worth keeping. I am humbled.

So, here you have it, the link to the main page of one of my webpages from October 2001.

I think about it sometimes, doing it all over again. But I’m not sure I’m wanted / needed anymore. Not for this kind of thing. People have Facebook and DeviantArt and other such places to meet and talk.

I’m a dinosaur. We used to talk in ICQ and build our websites on places like Geocities, 50Megs, and the like. Now and we pin our interests and see each other face to face on Skype.

I miss my Lunar Ephermis. The worlds I’m trying to build seem so…corporate and cold sometimes. Maybe it’s time we began again, at least with our online presence.

Maybe it’s time to build again.

What were your favorite places to go in the early days of the Internet?

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3 Responses to “E is for…Ephemeris”

  1. rwiggly April 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Your SM website was one of my favorites. This really takes me back.

    • Kristine Pratt April 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      Wow, thanks! It’s so unbelievably awesome that you remember. You’ve made my night!

  2. P@mmy P@m (@Pamlovesbooks) April 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    ok i’ll admit i’m not into sailor moon; i like that you remember them so fondly. i did try to open your old site; it was down.

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