“Such a lot of heart attacks- break out the defibrillators!”
Opened: 7th May 2005
Visitors: AFC has had over one million unique hits since it opened, from people from over 100 countries!.
Other: Eoin Colfer visited AFC in 2006, and answered user’s questions.
The Story of AFC
Written by TrojanCentaur, on the site’s first birthday.
I have two theories as to how fansites die out. First, lack of content, and want of change. Webmasters can’t be bothered to update, because they latch on to the next best thing. Website becomes uncool. Webmaster starts to take upkeep of the site as a chore, not a privilage. Webmaster no longer does this, he does something else. Site dies.
Second death of a fansite involves a site becoming TOO popular. Free service becomes limiting. Free service no longer can offer the needed speed, capacity, or features needed to become a competitor to other sites. Webmaster gives up due to site problems and/or no new features, and site dies.
These problems hound first year fan sites, to the point where it almost becomes an inviable idea.
Enter Matt Wall, our most respected webmaster. His sheer determination, inspiration, and motivation for the Award winning book series Artemis Fowl have ensured that the site stays up, long after most webmasters would have given up.
But he did hit one snag. Problem Two. The site was too popular. Too many visitors caused the site to go out for periods at a time due to Bravenet, AFC’s host, having a restriction on the amount of viewing a free hosted site could have. Almost every webmaster would pack up and leave now. They reached the best they could achieve, and could go no further.
Again, almost everyone, except Matt Wall.
He did something different that time. He bent the rules of amataur web design. He did the one thing most webmasters never dream of. He paid his own hard-earned money, for a paid account on Bravenet.
This made the Artemis Fowl Confidential take flight. No ads, a new very popular address as www.artemis-fowl.com, and constant, strong promotion of what he was giving to the world made everyone realise that this was the place to be. Matt made such an effort, that the site would continue, well into the future.
The AFC took flight. And took on the fight.
The site was secure. The introduction of a forum and the helping of a massively awesome community propelled the AFC higher than ever before. The community made it certain: the AFC would not die in the near future. But ever looming threats occured.
Regular promotion occurred on the leading movie news site, IMDb. Matt was on there regularly, where he met me. A trip by Eoin Colfer to New Zealand, where he mentioned to a reporter about the movie spurred me on to meet Matt, who was long basking in the glory of success. But all success comes at increased interest.
We meet on the site a peculiar individual aptly named ‘rand0mise’. Yes, this wee bugger caused quite a stir. At first he sounded like some random fella without any social skills, but deeds quickly turned, after serious Trolling occured. He damn nearly destroyed the IMDb board for Artemis Fowl, ceasing our main stream for awesome new members. What’s worse, he threatened the Artemis Fowl Confidential as the next.
So we worked together and broke him down. It wasn’t easy, certainly the trickiest case for a long time. Most Trolls are simply there to cause trouble, regardless of how others felt towards him. But we destroyed the one thing he held on to, his own image. He loved being the superior, the one thing that could manipulate others, but we took that away by staining his image, and making him actually laughed at. He sounded pathetic in the end, and eventually, he pulled up the white flag, muttered something about us being lame, and went.
The AFC was on high alert for some time. Members such as Battlebruvaz and other fanatical webmasters heightened our suspicions. But no serious harm was done, until a new threat loomed over to chop down the tall poppy…
Changes were made…
By now, AFC began to truly prosper. We were the ears, and the eyes of the AF fandom. Celebrities such as Eoin Colfer himelf started to notice. We reached record highs in our forum, and pageviews crept towards 1000 per month. We changed content, we changed faces, we even went through 3 massive style changes. But none so big as one.
A new threat loomed. We attracted spam. Kazorum (our forum host) got rediculous. Ads became immpossible to bear. We needed to move to greener pastures. We decided that, even at a loss of all our many, many posts, we needed to move the forums to a self-hosted service.
The AFC forums were about to take on a whole new look. With added features, more coming, and extra security to look out for spammers and trolls, AFC set itself up to become one step better than before. The best just got better.
And over the horizon…
And so it came to be. The new forums were set, the Webmaster never looked prouder, and the community got better. Gone were the days we fretted about the insignificance of the AFC, gone were the days tall poppies threatened our closure. We have prospered, we are prospering, and we will continue to prosper well into the future. We are going where no other fan site has gone before with research into the latest of technology for your convenience, such as Project CamFoil, and a new incentive invites system. There is even talk of an Artemis Fowl related gift store on the horizon.
And of course, all done for free by Matt Wall, all his budding moderators, and his ever-supportive community. Without the support of our fellow members, none of this, the memories, the triumph, the trials and the cheers, could have ever happened without you.
I raise my glass (yes, a real one this time) to you Matt, my fellow moderators, and everyone else, who have shown me that friendship, bonding and the right touch of community spirit can truly prosper on the internet. Thank you.