I had some free time during the last few days but since I wasn’t into a creative mood I decided I should “surf” the internet and check what’s going on in the Pokémon fansite scene. I didn’t have to do that on a regular basis since many sites have adopted the RSS technology; Pokéfor was the first to use RSS feeds. A recent look into my logs reminded me of this:
Session Start (AIM – LPArty2:Meowth346): Sun Oct 05 11:07:57 2003
LPArty2: hm and btw, since your site is already in valid xhtml why don’t you make it RSS compatible 😀
Meowth346: What would I use RSS for?
Meowth346: I’ve thought about RSS, but I wonder how many people would use RSSR.
Meowth346: Yay, my RSS2 works (so far)!
Meowth346: Now to actually get the updates into it.
Legendary Pokémon got into the RSS trend after the big XHTML+CSS redesign; the revolution had began. Soon many realized that RSS feeds were useful, they realized that the visitor doesn’t need a fancy layout or loads of decorative images, it’s just the content he/she needs. Legendary Pokémon started syndicating other sites’ news and more sites followed; sharing news was a big positive step for the online Pokémon community. I think it about time we also discover trackbacks/pingbacks too.
Another big step was made by Bulbapedia. It was (and still is) supported by a historical Pokémon fansite with many dedicated people. Many more people responded to the open invitation and contributed their knowledge and time, for no personal profit. If only there weren’t those lamers that like destroying such efforts with spam… Yes, open source content is nice even if it requires a lot of moderators…
However, there’s also a sad fact about the Pokémon fansites. Some site owners/webmasters think of other webmasters as rivals. That’d make sense if every Pokémon fansite had as many ads as IGN does, but that’s not happening. Those webmasters turn their websites into dead-ends linking to no-one, as if their visitors will find a better site and never return. It’s really annoying when you visit a website that has no external references, a website that never gives credit for news. Seriously, no one is making big money out of their websites, many don’t even have ads. I know I am never going to get the money I spent on this website back, but I never banned external links and I never hesitated to give credit to another site.
What’s my point? There’s no need for Pokémon fansites to be ego-centric, they can co-operate and help each other instead. What people really want is content, and additional information on a certain topic is always welcome. For that reason, I included related links in our Pokédex, so that visitors can easily get additional information.
Note that I have nothing personal with any webmaster; I am doing well with all of them.
Really, what’s with people not being able to use Google (or name another search engine)? Like, how much easier must the interface become in order to be usable by anyone? Why can’t they just search instead of sending e-mails and/or asking in IRC/forums? WHY?!