I was contacted by Mark Hill over at Vice.com a few weeks back about a fan fiction story he was writing. He asked about the early days of fan fiction and what was going on back in 1995 when the site started. Back then, I was a college student at the University of Pittsburgh. The site was being run from my university computer account then. I covered how the site started and what has happened since then.
Mark also contacted Peg Robinson about her involvement in fan fiction back in the mid 90’s. Several of her stories are located here on the site. I corresponded with her quite a bit back then. It was good to get her point of view being that I hadn’t heard from her in years.
You can read the full story here: The Forgotten Early History of Fanfiction
I tried to locate a copy of the site from ’95. the closest I have found is this version from 8/23/2000. The site was also mentioned in the December ’97 and December ’98 issues of Yahoo Internet Life magazine. If anyone has those issues and can find the reference, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem with user registration is now fixed. Things are acting a little strange while we work to make some additional changes. If you’re posting a new story you should see a new option to broadcast your story to our new site: Fan Fiction Nexus. That site should be ready to launch later in the week. More details are to come as we get closer to launch.
We’re working on some issues with user registrations. If you’re having a problem send an email to email@example.com. We’ll be sure to resolve y our issues ASAP.
In preparation of making some changes later this week the server the site is hosted on was updated. That included upgrading to PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6. Unfortunately, it was discovered after the fact that some of the code on the front page was too old. That lead to some downtime this afternoon as the code was updated. The problem is now fixed.
There are some larger changes coming later in the week. We’ll keep everyone posted as things are closer to ready.
If you are registering a new account to post stories on the site you now need to confirm your email address before continuing. This was an unfortunate requirement due to the number of fake user accounts that have been registered in the last week. Using a captcha was also an option. But that would have been the greater of two evils. Hopefully this solves our problem.
Having spent the last few days removing fake user accounts we decided to take a closer look at the accounts in the database. There were a large number of user accounts that did not have any stories associated with them. The decision was made to remove these accounts from the site. We apologize if your account was one of the ones deleted. Removing these users will allow us to block spam/fake users more efficiently.
Several fake user accounts have appeared on the site over the past few days. The sole purpose of these accounts were to SPAM the site with links. They all seemed to originate from the same IP address. That address is now blocked. If you see anything strange please report it. You can email the support staff directly a firstname.lastname@example.org oruse the Feedback tab on the left of every page. We’ll be sure yo get back to you ASAP!
I usually check the site everyday to see if anyone/thing made it through the spam filter. This week, one post made it through. I did not find it till today. All should be good now.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to visit the site. Here is to our 17th year on the web!
Posted in Blog
I stopped paying attention for a day and Google came around to declare the site as spam! Many of you have probably seen the warning. I can assure you that the site never hosted any malware, badware or spam. After some investigation I traced the problem to approx. 5,000 tags that were not associated with posts. Those had to have been left over from the spam posts that I cleaned up in December.
I have no idea why Google decided to look at those now and declare them bad. Any way… I’ve cleaned the problem up and things should be back to normal within a few hours.
Posted in Blog
Sorry for the downtime this morning. I forgot to renew the domain name and it expired. The problem is now solved and the site is back in business.