Celebrate Seibertron.com's 9th Anniversary
Friday, June 26th, 2009 12:13pm CDTCategory: Site News
Posted by: Seibertron Views: 40,631
For those of you who don't know part of Seibertron.com's origin, let me tell you part of the story. Around the middle of June 2000, I had my tonsils removed. The doctor ordered me to stay home for two weeks while I healed. The night before I went for surgery, my girlfriend broke up with me. Needless to say, I was miserable during the days following my surgery.
At that time, I was still an active artist who loved to draw Transformers. I had had an idea for a Transformers comic series that I wanted to draw and write called "G-One: the Lost Years". The primary goal of the series was to fill the 20 year gap between the end of Season Two and the animated Transformers Movie. Some of the ideas I had included the arrival of the movie characters like Kup, Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus, a battle between the Dinobots and the Predacons, continued stories of the female Autobots versus Shockwave back on Cybertron, defending Cybertron's moon bases from the Decepticon forces, a heartwarming issue between Ratchet and Sparkplug which ends with Sparkplug having a heart attack, building "Autobot City" / Metroplex, and many, many ideas.
Since G-One: The Lost Years was to take place within the Transformers cartoon continuity, I wanted my art style to be as close as possible to that of the cartoon series. I spent the next few days after my surgery trying to take my mind off my pain and my ex-girlfriend by scouring the Internet looking for screen captures of as many of the characters from the first 3 seasons as possible. After a few days of searching the Internet via my dial-up modem (ah those were the days), I had only found about 1300 screen captures mostly of Optimus Prime and Megatron. Back then, screen captures were few and far between and what screen captures you could find were generally of poor quality from old VHS tapes that had been around since the 80s.
Rhino had started to release VHS tape collections of some of the Transformers cartoons in 2000. I decided that I would figure out how to make my own screen captures by purchasing some equipment to hook up a VCR to my computer (a Packard Bell with an 8GB hard drive) to allow me to begin making screen captures of the Transformers cartoons. Within a few days, I had well over 6,000 screen captures.
Shortly thereafter, I decided that I would start a GeoCities website (http://www.geocities.com/g1archive) to share all of the screen captures with the rest of the online Transformers community. I ended up having so much fun building a Transformers website with the help of Microsoft Publisher (note: Publisher, not even Front Page) that "G-One: The Lost Years" never saw fruition. I soon forgot about my sorrows and had successfully turned a tough point in my life into a very positive junction. The rest is history. The origin of Seibertron.com is a good story about how you can take a negative in your life and turn it into a positive.
Fast forward 9 years, and now Seibertron.com is one of the top two Transformers websites on the Internet. Over 30,000 to 50,000 people from around the world visit this site daily ... almost 500,000 unique visitors per month. These users generate 250,000 to 400,000 pageviews per day - almost 10 million pageviews per month! It's currently ranked in the top 30,000 websites on the entire Internet.
Here are a few interesting facts about Seibertron.com's launch 9 years ago:
* Beast Machines Season 2 had just ended in Canada when I started Seibertron.com. Season 2 didn't air in the US until two months after I launched Seibertron.com.
* I started working on Seibertron.com on a Packard Bell computer that I had purchased in 1998. This computer only had an 8GB hard drive.
* No high speed internet for the first 2 years of Seibertron.com. 56k baby!
* I owned about 350 Transformers when I first started Seibertron.com. I now own around 3,000+.
* I wasn't even a programmer yet and was still selling cars in Grand Rapids, MI. Seibertron.com created a career in programming for me that eventually lead me to my life in Chicago.
* Bill Clinton was our President. Vice President Al Gore was running for President against Texas Governor George W. Bush.
* Seibertron.com was launched almost 15 months prior to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.
* The first Transformers reissues from Takara hadn't been released yet.
* The most recent Transformers figure I had purchased online from a relatively new online store called BigBadToyStore.com was Car Robots Fire Convoy. I received him a few days prior to my surgery in June 2000.
* The online Transformers world was a little different back then. The big TF sites in 2000 were bwtf.com, bigbot.com, tfarchive.com and unicron.com. alt.news.transformers was still a very active community. tfw2005.com was about six months old at that time. Seibertron.com and TFW2005.com would later become the world's two largest and most popular Transformers websites.
* I bought the domain "seibertron.com" for $150 back in September, 2000. Today, you can purchase domains online for $10 or less.
* Online videos were few and far between back in the days of dial-up modems. There was no YouTube or iTunes. Napster was still the big way to download MP3s.
* Google was relatively new to most people online.
* My first use of the term "Seibertron" for a creative project was for a different Transformers comic book idea I had back in 1998. This series was supposed to bridge the gap between the end of Marvel Comics #80 and the debut of Marvel's Generation Two Transformers comics.
* Did you know that Seibertron.com's predecessor was a fanzine called "Trans-Forum". I launched the first issue of this "tranzine" back in May, 1996, a month or two prior to my first BotCon. Trans-Forum ran from 1996 to 1999.
* The live action Transformers films weren't even a blip on our radar for another 3 years. News about a possible live-action Transformers film first surfaced in June 2003. The second Transformers live-action film was just released a few days ago.
A lot has changed in the 9 years since the debut of Seibertron.com. I'm now a homeowner, engaged to my beautiful fiancee (who I met in Chicago a couple of years ago), and we have a gorgeous 2 month old daughter. I hope all of you will continue to be a part of Seibertron.com and that you'll be here for our 10th anniversary next year and beyond. It's been a fun journey thus far and I'm very proud to own this website. As my good friend Q (aka Ultra Magnus on Seibertron.com) always says to me ... "Seibertron till we die!"
Here's how Seibertron.com has evolved over the years:
2000 (Located at http://www.geocities.com/g1archive/, screen captures and COTM debuts, does anyone have a screen capture of the old G1 Archive?)
2001 (forums, caption contest and Before Carly make their debuts)
2002 (based off Playboy's design, screen capture galleries by episode debuts, forums switch from UBB boards to phpBB)
2003 (sofachrome logo launched in late 2002, HMW and Vector Sigma Database roll out in 2003)
2004 (based off VH1.com's design, Toy Sightings and Toy Galleries sections debuts in 2004)
2005 (G1 box style design, you got to choose an Autobot or Decepticon theme)
2006 (my first attempt at trying to get away from using tables for the design)
2007 (designed by my good friend Diablien, first time Seibertron.com was designed by someone else)
2008 (completely tableless design, layout driven entirely by CSS)
2009 (current design)
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Posted by Fires_Of_Inferno on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:30pm CDT
Very nice. I've been around since 2004 only (under three diferent ID's as passwords were lost or forgotten), and this is the only place I go for my Transformers news. Congratulations on 9 years Seibertron, thank you mods and admins for a brilliant TF home, and let's all have a BIG party for the 10th!
Posted by King Henrik on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:35pm CDT
oh and send that lost years idea to hasbro so they can make a cartoon out of it
Posted by christo on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:40pm CDT
Posted by Mirage22 on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:43pm CDT
Posted by Counterpunch on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:45pm CDT
Posted by Lackadaisical on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:46pm CDT
I must say Congratulations and thanks, since you're my best reference to the transformers I've bought, which have grown geometrically since I've met you, and then I knew there were so many I didn't knew about, now I can call myself a transformers collector, a big money entered to hasbro's or takara, and I've known some people with this interest. Even I'm currently in my lunch hour but I can't stop telling you how much i thank God that you exist... I hope We'll keep seeing you for very long...
One last thing, I LOVED the reviews from users, isn't a way to bring them back?
sorry about the bad english.
Posted by Tigertrack on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:48pm CDT
What can I say, I've enjoyed this place for quite awhile.
Posted by Editor on June 26th, 2009 @ 12:56pm CDT
So when is Before Carly coming back?
Posted by T-Macksimus on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:08pm CDT
Thank You for all that you have done for us fans and for providing such an invaluable resource for all of us.
We are all looking forward to what you have in store for us in the years to come...
(Thanks also to the Mods and Staff who have helped maintain the quality and integrity of this site. It truly takes a community effort to maintain something like this and all of you and your efforts are appreciated)
...and Editor poses a good question.
Posted by Evolution Prime on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:38pm CDT
Posted by Segor on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:41pm CDT
Not the first one, I must say haha
I've been around seibertron since around 2006, I was very active in unicron.com by the end of the 90s but since I was just a young boy who couldn't read english I didn't really know what a forum was so I never posted a single comment , I was there just for the galleries hehe, I used to visit bwtf.com and tfarchive, but to be honest, I consider this the best site for transformers fans!
Congratulations my friend for all this success, girl, job, baby, home and seibertron... it is true, terrible times is when people find the best of themselfs
Posted by Ultra Magnus on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:45pm CDT
Ryan and I met back in 2000 when Seibertron first started because he was a fellow Michigan Transfan. I used to put on micro-cons called "The Big Broadcast of 2000/2001(respectively)", and Seibertron was the primary Internet presence for the shows. From there, Ryan and I's friendship blossomed beyond Transformers, into Beer, Parties, Careers, Life... In no particular order, mind you. He's been a second big brother to me and an incredibly positive influence both in trying times and good. He's let me sleep on his couch when I had nowhere else to go, helped get me into the working world, introduced me to the Windy City, and took me under his wing(Saber ) when I got here. So, I continue to supply at least 1(or 100, depending on the day) of the fifty bajillion page views this site gets each day; I don't even bother with other Transformers websites. I'm proud to say that I was there at the Pupae and Larvae stages of this grass roots community's development. I've seen this website evolve along with the Internet itself(I remember when it was just one loooong page, then I remember when Before Carly started, and, when it ended.), and it's no surprise that the site is what it is today. It really has a life of it's own these days.
The vast majority of Seibertronians have NO idea how much Time, Money, Blood, Sweat, Tears(Oh, quite so literally), and overall Effort has gone into creating this resource for the World at large to enjoy. We'll say this: No one asked Ryan to do this. Let's make Seibertron's 9th birthday a great one!
It's also, coincidentally, my Nephew's 5th birthday! And he's already familiar with Seibertron! The Next Generation approves; he said it himself!
Posted by Mr O on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:50pm CDT
Posted by ChrisR291 on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:50pm CDT
Posted by Mykltron on June 26th, 2009 @ 1:52pm CDT
I really appreciate this site for keeping me up to date on all the latest news, esp. toy releases!
Posted by Didicos on June 26th, 2009 @ 2:05pm CDT
Happy Bithday Seibertron!!!!
I wish the very best for all seibertronians.
Posted by Jacob P. Galvatron on June 26th, 2009 @ 2:05pm CDT
Posted by Ronynus Prime on June 26th, 2009 @ 2:09pm CDT
Happy Anniversary Seibertron.com!
Posted by UltraPrimal on June 26th, 2009 @ 2:12pm CDT
Posted by JesWal on June 26th, 2009 @ 2:14pm CDT
So here's to Seibertron's 9th anniversary. Let us wish for many more to come.
Energon drinks on me!