Even Flow collective
My fanlistings history
I don't remember how I actually discovered fanlistings. It was sometimes in 2002, I think, at the "real beginning" of my Internet experience. My first Internet steps were made in late 2000 and 2001 (yes, that late), but I've become a regular in the summer of 2002. Around that time, I guess, I've stumbled upon some fanlistings and joined. I don't remember which ones (probably the ones related to "Lord of the Rings" novel). But I might be mistaken here.
The network was still young at that time, and many of the today's most popular subjects were not that popular and were available (Johnny Depp, for example). Obviously, when you learn about the fanlistings concept, you're either completely uninterested or hooked. I was hooked. And a natural step 2 is making some fanlistings of your own. But the problem was: tfl.org required you to have a website (to show you know HTML). And I didn't have one. The funny thing is, I did know a bit of HTML, I've learned it in faculty, but very basic things and very boring ones. But I've decided to make a website. What I didn't know, back then, is that tfl.org doesn't really require a big functional website full of content, anything can do (well, at least back then). So I've spent months learning more about HTML and CSS and trying to make my website better. And after that, I had to find a suitable free host (the one that won't put 6123512 ads on your page). It took time.
Finally, in early 2003, I had my website and I rushed to tfl.org to apply for a fanlisting. And there was a disappointment: most of my dream subjects were taken in the meantime! The network grew very large during that time, and it was nearly impossible to get a popular subject (as it is today). But I wanted to "dive in" the world of fanlistings, so I applied for the first thing that popped on my mind- Matrix costumes. I'm not quite sure why I chose that one (apart from being available). I'm not that crazy about the costumes or the film itself (though part one was good). But I didn't know the fanlistings rule number one back then (apply only for the subjects you really care about). On the other hand, it wasn't that bad idea. I actually made my first fanlisting and I started my fl owner career. Needles to say, I was updating manually (rule number two: use a script or don't build a fanlisting at all) which was pain in the ass. But I was learning.
My first fanlisting was followed by others, mostly smaller ones (there's nothing wrong with that, don't get me wrong). I think tfl.org reached its peak (in terms of fanlisting numbers) around 2003 or 2004. I might be wrong here, maybe there are more fanlistings today, but the place was certainly more busy back then, or at least it seemed like it. It looked like every subject was covered by many fanlistings, from the big to the miniature ones (Harry Potter's left shoe, so to speak). It was fun. Challenging to get a fanlisting you like, but fun.
And then, in 2005 or so, something happened with the network. I am not sure what, because I was busy at the time and didn't have much time for the Internet leisure, but I've noticed a change. I often rant when asked about it. Oh, maybe it's just me... But it really looked like the network went crazy around 2005. There were way too many owners and fanlistings, and too little staffers. It was too crowded, it was unable to control the whole thing - at least, it looked like it. I can't really explain what I felt and what was going on, but something was missing.
In 2006 or so, I've lost my first domain. And my friend's fanlisting collective (where my fanlistings were hosted) got hacked. We all lost many of our fanlistings. Almost all of my fls were gone (usually because of 404 error). After that, I didn't quite lost the interest in fanlistings, but I wasn't joining or applying for the new ones.
In late 2007 I got my new domain, http://jefflion.net. At first, I didn't think about making some new fanlistings. The bad experience was still fresh in my mind. But then, an opportunity came. It was an anniversary of my friend's website (Invisible-Movement) and I decided to make a fanlisting as a surprise. And we all know it's impossible to stop after just one! I'm happy to say that tfl.org is working great again. I guess all they need was more staffers.
Today, I'm happy with my fanlisting experience. I don't really own many fanlistings, but the ones I have are the ones I really like. I got some of my dream fanlistings that was impossible to have in the old days (Pearl Jam, Contact the movie), and I am so happy about it. I also adopted a few fanlistings and actually got approved for several that I owned before (RHCP song "Otherside", for example). There are still several fanlistings on my wishlist, but I don't complain. I've learned the most important thing about fanlistings: create only the one you really care about. It's not important if the subject is popular or will you have 1 or 1000 members. All you have to do is care about the subject.