Goodbye Crater

Greetings friends and family of the Crater…

The Moon’s Crater Network has been alive and prosperous on the web for ten years now. It started as a single page on an AOL account and graduated to a tilde account at a dialup company in Abilene. Upon my discharge from the Air Force, I slid into a position at a web hosting company where I was given a dedicated Proliant 1850 Server with a RAID 5 and a meg pipe to the Internet. All for my own site. I thereby registered spacebrew.com for my humble online home. It’s gone through many changes and has seen many faces over the years. I once even turned it into a Star Wars fan site, though I’ll never publicly admit that. Many writers have come and gone, many columns have been posted and stolen and posted elsewhere. Many visitors came to visit and many memories were made here. During the Crater23 days, the site took more than 2000 unique visitor hits per week. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But not much.

The site(s) have seen many colors, have spawned many ideas, and have brought about inspiration in many other people to do the same thing. Some of these sites went on to become well known hard-hitters in the industry. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and FatXXX.com come to mind. Some of the writers here went on to pursue their own projects, never to be heard from again. For instance, none of you remember the catastrophe that was stellasite.com. I think I even paid for that domain name.

There’s much I’ve learned from these years of administering a large site. And though I can’t think of what right now, I know it’s in there somewhere. For a while there, every time I had an idea, I wouldn’t just write about it on the Crater. I would sit down and bang out a graphics set and fabricate a new structure and register a domain name that suited it and – BAM – there’d be a new web presence within 24 hours. Some of these went as quickly as they came about. NoSpaceHere, Storm31, Flatfifteen, etc. Some of them are even still around. StellarCafe, CallieNet, SpaceBasement. It’s a lot of fun, and I have no regrets about it. Though I am letting most of those domain names expire now. Of course the Callies and the Heathers will stick around because they are functional.

I’ve through the years experimented with different technologies as they came out, trying to give my sites more flair and snap. I’ve used everything from asp to server-side includes, flash, java and even black backgrounds. But I’ve always come back to the old school flat, raw, simple html. I think the site looks best, loads fastest, and attracts the most hits when it’s raw.

Moon’s Crater never was to me just a website though. It was an enterprise. An empire with an anonymous and very large imaginary corporation behind it. I mean, come on – you’ve seen the size of my staff! Before Henrietta Henkley passed away, there were almost twenty members of the team doing everything from selling the idea to stocking t-shirts in warehouses. T-shirts that advertise a site. That sells t-shirts. That advertise a site. It was genius. And who can deny the genius that was Flavio and P-Funk versus Lazarus and Makalo? Wars broke out on the site. Wars that lasted many years and saw many casualties. People would talk about them in the smoker’s pit with sour looks on their faces. Hell, half the company back then wrote for the site.

But this empire – this industry – even though it only grossed somewhere around seventy or eighty cents a year – felt like it supported me. When I got laid off from the very company that had turned the Crater into a superpower, I could still write on the site. I could still tell the world what was wrong with it. It was a place people went to look at pictures and read columns and – well, that’s actually about it. That and buy t-shirts with Flavio’s face on them. F Burt! he’d explain.

So with all this said, I’ve come to tell you goodbye. Moon’s Crater will be closing its doors in a little less than two months. On February 1, 2005, Callie’s first birthday, Moon’s Crater will vanish into the cosmic dust of the cold starry Internet. I’ve many reasons for closing the doors, but none of them would mean much to most of you. I’ve developed and honed a personality on this site that has become what you all know to be real, and that’s far from who I really am. I’m truly not this arrogant in real life. I’m better than that. I kid, I kid.

I’m not going away either. I haven’t tried this hard and got this far just so that in the end it wouldn’t even matter. I’m going somewhere. But not away. You’ll find me on other sites, doing other things. I’ll still write my 3000 words a day – maybe not viewable to the world, but written no less – and I’ll still rant about traffic and tits somewhere in the mish mash. I just won’t do it in a crater. I feel like I have a lot to offer the Internet still, but in different ways. And though I’ve grown very fond of the domain name and the idea behind Moon’s Crater, I feel bound by its title. I feel like anything I do only ever comes back to this site. And it has.

Crater23 was my biggest escape ever, and it did much better than Moon’s has ever done. But it was only ever meant to be a tiny part of the bigger Crater. A Moon’s Crater subsidiary. StellarCafe has come close, and took off for a while. But I lost interest. Hence Stella’s wanting to build her own site where she couldn’t be deserted. She’s been a great online partner and I’m sure we’ll do many other projects together before all is said and done. Just not here.

I don’t want to feel like I have to be bound by a name, and like I have to conform to an idea or a color code to make it work. That’s why I’ve opened up another site with a larger picture. It’s a fertile bed upon which I can grow my dreams. All of them. And within this new imaginative warehouse, I’ll hopefully be rendering some of my greatest work ever. I’ll be posting my music, poetry, books, drawings, projects and everything else that defines my day-to-day life. Anything I’ve ever wanted to tackle, I’ll be tackling and photographing as it goes down.

Over the years I’ve developed relationships (albeit mostly online) with a lot of people who share the same interests and visions as me. I’ve asked several of them to join me on the other side, and every one of them accepted the invitation. So I’m confident that we’ll have plenty to share.

Thank you to all who have visited and supported the site and its many facets over the years. Thanks for always coming back and clicking the mail link to let me know what you think of a particular article, or that I should really get rid of the yellow on blue scheme. I appreciate all of it. And I’ve kept most of those mails too. I have a pretty good-sized pst file full of fan mail I’ve collected. It’s those mails that keep me updating. They are the very reason I’ve done what I’ve done for so long. It’s compensation.

I’ll be around. You can always reach me through Callie’s site, or work your way through the forums and send me a note. I still respond to everyone who ever writes me. If you just want to say later, you can always drop a note in my hotmail box. Or you can try finding me at my new place. I’ll probably be there for the next ten years.

Good journeys…

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1 Response

  1. Stella says:

    this made me so sad. seriously. i’m gulping back tears brandon. :(

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