I was checking my account today and discovered JP Goth turned one on April 16. The site itself didn’t begin until May 2004, but that’s just by the by. I find myself trying to remember what it was that drove me to set this up and (once again) asking Where to now Rover?. Anyway, just some random (possibly narcissistic) thoughts and a few stats.

Pastel beginnings
JP Goth began in pastels, would you believe. The pastels were conjured up while hand-coding the original base design on my notepad. There I was, thinking about colors, when I saw the Google ads on my screen and decided they looked pretty swank. Got the color codes and dropped them straight in. It looked all nice and dandy, but was about as Goth as Doris Day. Black soon entered when my beautiful, significant and much better half pointed the pastel problem out to me (yes, I needed someone to tell me pastel was not Goth).

Hand-made for 2004
I love notepad. It’s the only software that does not tell me what I should do. It lets me screw up all by myself. It doesn’t spell check, correct code errors or replace code with non-compliant alternatives. It’s the faithful ol’ chow dawg that lets me learn things myself and does what I want without question. The base templates and hand-glued (or nailed) stories probably came from May through August with marginal help from a basic database. I also got side-tracked by blog-mania which ripped my thoughts straight online.

One person a day was a good day!
Yeah, no one knew about this place and Google indexed the few pages by accident. The first three months were ridiculous with almost no-one looking in except by freak accident.

Things start moving September ~ December
September saw a few changes. Visitors started coming to see the blog, the search engines were getting friendlier with JP, the events pages were picking up the odd page view, and new life was breathed into the news area thanks to nyotai mori. Yes, one look at a Mainichi article on the naked sushi phenomena had more pull than anything else on the site. People were falling into the site from Australasia and Europe, but strangely not the US (does this mean they didn’t know about nyotai mori or that they were typing “naked sushi” instead). I added the first version of the bulletin board for kicks but that passed away quietly into the night. I also added Google ads to see what happened.

Pages accesses crept from around 30 page views per day (generated by human beings aside from myself) to around 150 page view per day (again, humans excluding myself). How did I know this? Well, I went through the logs by hand every day to pull out the precise figures – it takes a special person to do that for fun. In terms of people, the number went from around 10 to around 40 per day. Woot! I was excited.

Meeting people!
I’ve exchanged e-mails, got a lot of good information and met some really cool people in the scene. That’s been one great by-product of JP, especially because everyone I’ve met has been really amazingly cool!

JP Goth 2 Emerges
December/January saw me being a real pig at home as I madly downloaded various content management platforms for my vision of JP2 (sounds grandiose doesn’t it). I had no idea what I was doing, and, rest assured, I still don’t. But this CMS stuff had it all, news submissions, member set ups, link database, events could be tacked in and one bulletin board could be hooked straight in (albeit in a pretty ugly way with regards to template handling). That was it! It was hot! During this period, Igor was not popular with those around him at the time – even the ferrets (and ferrets are very forgiving things), but JP2 was going up. And up it went, complete with a home-made neon on black layout.

Pop goes the weasel, coz the weasel goes pop!
Three months from the start of JP2, 12 months from pretty pastels and it looks like we have community, brethren! Not just guys dropping in from search engines, but heroes who signed in and put out for Goth in Japan! We’re currently cruising with around 150 real living/undead entities and 500+ page views per day (if I included bots, spiders, machines and spammers that would be around 2,000 per day!). I danced a jig and the ferrets danced with me (for different reasons of course). And yes, Truffle did go pop – he actually pops quite a lot, truth be told. He has entire conversations for minutes at a time – although nobody, not even Truffle, knows what he’s saying. Oops digressing again.

What’s NEXT?
So, I’m sitting here thinking what next? Heck, I don’t know. I’ve never been good with plans (remember the guy who couldn’t organize a piss up at the brewery? His name was Igor). I just want to enjoy making my wee site a place you guys would like to drop in and check out what’s up, down and whatnot.

Now here’s a plan.
All, I know is that Tokyo Dark Castle is on this weekend and Igor’s gonna get himself to that party for sure.

Props to all!

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