2 February 2015
Monday, 1 February 1999, at approximately 6:50 PM (EST), from a computer on the third floor of the Carnegie Library in Downtown Pittsburgh - the birth of this website! I'd worked on this site the entire day. And most of the Monday through Friday of the previous week. I was determined to launch the site before the end of the day, GMT.
I had already created one site before this, of my poetry, (which I later deleted). But, I wanted to make another site. I wanted to learn more about web site building and to have a chance to apply it to a new site. I first thought of making my new site about another musician, Daniel Ash. But, I couldn't come up with ideas for it. It just didn't feel like that site's time had arrived. (The Daniel site's time came in 2002.) Plus, I really wanted all along to do something about Richey, but I assumed there were already plenty of sites about him. So, when I did a little checking, I was surprised to find no other Richey sites! I had found my new site's subject! I just had to come up with an angle, since I refuse to create just a general site about a performer, like so many other people are content to do. I thought of Richey's disappearance, and I decided to build my site around that.
Originally, the site was only about the disappearance, and had a survey for visitors to say what they thought happened to Richey. (I discontinued the survey after less than 2 years, because the results had obviously reached the point where they weren't going to significantly change anymore.) Later, I decided to add other information about Richey, thinking that it would be better, perhaps easier, to decide about what happened, with more information about him. I also allowed myself the luxury of adding things not strictly related to the original theme of the site.
However, I eventually decided that I had added too much material that had nothing to do with the site's original premise, so in 2004-2005, I removed some of it.
I have tried to keep coming up with new ideas for this site, without straying too far from the premise. Not everything's worked the way I wanted. No one ever used the chat room, which was a big disappointment, especially when I tried to let people chat with me in there at a predetermined time. Not a lot of people posted anything on the first message board I had up. It lasted less than a year - until I accidentally deleted it. The second message board/forum did much better, but I had to take it down because several people abused it. (They did apologise eventually, and I still may put the board back up someday.)
I started working on this site at the local public, and my school, libraries. In 2001, I got my own computer and was able to do much more, especially with the graphics.
In October 2005, Yahoo/Geocities vastly improved their web hosting service. I am now able to write my own CGIs, and put up several entire concerts Richey was involved with. Also, I was able to replace links to external interviews/news reports with my own mp3 versions of them. I prefer using my own versions of things, so that I have some control. I don't want visitors to have problems accessing something.
I have always been surprised with how well this site has been received. Almost everyone who has responded to it in some way seems to like it, (some have even thanked me for it!) I've really only had those three negative responses, through email, to the site in general that I addressed in 2001 in my "A Response To Critics Of This Site." According to the site statistics that I get from Yahoo/Geocities, this site gets well over 1000 hits a month. The following were the biggest individual days (all "days" are defined as midnight to midnight PST; usually, this site gets less than 100 hits a day):
There has been some criticism about some individual pages/sections, (by cowards who didn't tell me directly, but posted their criticisms elsewhere on the Internet). My answers to two questions in my old FAQ have drawn the most criticism. I've been accused of making wild allegations, outright lying, etc. in my answers. Some people have even, (unfairly, I think), based their opinion of the entire site on these two answers. Actually, my answers were "I don't know", followed by some information pertinent to the question, with the intention that the readers arrive at their own conclusions. Sadly, too many people are either incapable and/or are too lazy to think for themselves, and expect to be spoon-fed answers!! Which I couldn't do with these questions. So, I finally deleted them. I'm sad to realise I was expecting too much of some people.
I have a criticism with the whole visual aspect of this site. I think it looks amateurish, at best. But, I'm just not very good with visuals. Also, I won't do fancy things, like Flash animation, in part because I don't have the software to make them, but more importantly, because I know some people would have trouble seeing it. I want to make this site as accessible as possible for visitors.
An interesting thing that's happened as a result of this site is the half dozen or so people who have asked me for help with their school/university paper, or other kind of project. I've always been very happy to help, if I can. So, I can't understand why I never hear from some of these people again after I agree to help them, or why they don't tell me when to remove the info about their paper/project from the site, or don't tell me about, or show me, their resulting papers/projects - even though those are conditions of my help. Fortunately, my faith was restored somewhat by a very nice person who I helped in 2003.
Another interesting result of this site is that I've gotten emails from some people who had some personal connection to Richey. Besides Anna, (of "Anna's View"), I've heard from Stuart Bailie, from a friend of Richey's from his university days, (who claims he started Richey drinking), from someone who used to play in a band that once played on the same bill as the Manics, from the photographer on one of Richey's last photo sessions, from a second cousin of Richey's, (she never met him, though), and from several people who saw him around Cardiff and/or Newport, Wales, in the year or so before he disappeared.
One of the very nicest results of this site, though, has been the friends I've made through it. Especially the two people who I first met when they emailed me about the site. Oddly, they both first wrote to me in 1999, they both were telling me about an improvement I could make to the site, and in 2000 and 2005, (the last two times I've been to Britain), I spent some time with both of them in person. I've also kept in touch with them through email, snail mail, instant messaging, and a few phone calls.
This site wouldn't be as it is without the help of some wonderful people. I'd like to thank the following for their contributions and/or support: Grandma (I love you and I miss you very much!), Anna, Catherine (baa!), Matt (hi, sweetie!), Mel, M, Gemma, Jessica, Max, Richey's university friend, and the person who kept me informed of the address for the "Forever Delayed" site, (it's changed several times). (Sorry, I can't remember your name right now). I'd also like to thank everyone else who emailed me and said they liked my creation, or pointed out a mistake, or who participated in the surveys, polls, E - Friends, Fans' Pages, or either of the two message board/forums I've had on this site.
Additional thanks go to:
Stay beautiful -