Sometime in early 2001, I was introduced to Livejournal through a friend. I thought the idea was brilliant and at the time there was little cost involved and no codes. I've always loved to write and have kept a written journal steadily for over 20 years. At the same time, I was one year into the ownership of the MUD I discovered a year earlier and quickly beginning to understand the whole sub-culture/community aspect of online gaming.
As we moved into 2002, I began to think. There are a ton of Gaming sites from the Mud Connector (the grand poobah of game listings) to individual sites, they're all over. What I wasn't seeing was any sort of journal community that focused on Gamers. Hours were spent discussing the concept with my Immortal staff, would people actually use a journal site where all writing was to be either in-character or about a character or game?
The original plan was to use the LJ sourcecode and run a LJ clone called The domain was registered and the LJ code was downloaded (over 95 libraries and 900 files). Having absolutely no experience with PERL, the job was entrusted to one of my higher level staff members with the knowledge. The process began in March.
With patience and excited apprehension, I waited to hear those magic words - "It's working now." Given the size of the work, there were no expectations of immediate results but there was high excitement. The site had become an obsession I was spending way too much time dwelling on. Ideas were forming for clan and group pages, for students looking to get extra credit in a creative writing class - it became a passion and an obsession and the focal point of my day to day.
As the months progressed, I began to worry a bit. Ideas are wonderful things but time works against ideas and it was just a race against the clock before someone else came along and did exactly what I had been dreaming about. I've missed other opportunities in the past because I didn't act fast enough and for all the planning and thought that had gone into this one, I knew I'd never forgive myself if someone else got in there before I did. The person doing the work was most reassuring in his words, yes it was a huge and difficult project but he was slowly gutting through it.
December 2002 brought me a dark Christmas present - the person doing the work had in fact not been doing the work and the code had been sitting basically untouched for six months. The reason was never made clear, perhaps the level of the work was too much and he didn't want to admit defeat or perhaps he's just a sadist who enjoys deceiving people. Crushed, I was literally crushed. The seeming death of a dream is a bad place to be, particularly around the holidays.
I withdrew into myself as 2003 moved in, I created walls between my Immortal staff and myself, alienated those closest to me and took up permanent residence in the Pity Palace. This overall funk lasted through the first quarter of the year as I awoke every day and went to check the internet to see who it would be to bring my dream to life without me. I'm a web designer/web host by trade, this was a dark place to be in that threatened to put an end to all online work I had been doing.
I had pretty much given up on the whole idea in June when I did one last futile search on open-sourced journal code. Movable Type came up on top and I went to look at it, I had never heard of it. LJ had gotten too big for its britches by this time and the love affair was over as they beefed up the charges and initiated the code required stuff. As a paid member I was seeing excessively long lag periods that left me annoyed.
The Movable Type control panel examples caught me immediately. It seemed almost as if the Lady Fate had finally decided to give me a break, I sat there staring at the Movable Type website and allowing my hopes to rise for the first time in six months. As hesitant as I was that the answer could really be that simple, I felt the fire start to burn once more for my poor trampled dream.
The domain '' was registered in June 2003. I wanted to move away from the LJ clone concept and I had become interested in blogs and blogging during the war in Iraq when they blasted into the public eye. '' was simple to remember and explained the point of the site, it clicked for me. Unlike the LJ code, Movable Type strictly prohibits charging for use of their program, I sat and thought long and hard on that one. I was willing to trade my first-born (if I had one) to the Gods to get the site working but did I really want to limit myself in such a harsh way. The server the domain sits on is mine, rented through a company that is stable but lacking in customer service, to keep the site running requires work and cost.
Those thoughts lasted about ten minutes. This was never supposed to be a money making venture, this was a labour of love and a thirst for literacy. There are enough extras that can be added through donations that do not violate Movable Type's agreement. This site was meant to be a place where people who might not otherwise write, write. A cheap attempt to stir the cranial juices and provide a community feel so people from different games and worlds can get to know each other.
June 23, 2003, the installation of Movable Type was complete. It was more of a religious moment than a complete installation. I went right to work trying to set up an index blog and now I can look back and say that first design was rather hideous but at the time it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
July 1, 2003, (BoRCom) was opened to the public with my Immortals being the first guinea pigs. I cried as I hit that first official "publish" button and the three-year dream finally became the reality. Slowly word began to spread and people from Games I knew nothing of were requesting blogs and we got our very first donation from Primal Darkness MUD.
As I pen this, tomorrow marks our eighth month of life and every step of the journey has been a good one. As familiarity with Movable Type continues to grow, the site expands and improves. As new Games find us and new bloggers come along, the site expands and improves. Every day as I sit here and look at the site now, I smile. The goal of keeping a free and flexible journal community for Gamers has been met.
Three years in the making, will never forget its humble origins or those who were there from the start. From the Elf Crew and myself, we thank you all deeply and look forward to continued success, creativity and good bloggy mojo.