Edit: If you remember Ultimate Reviews ( our site before it became The Biasphere) I have taken the time to restore most of the original 2005-2007 backup from Freewebs as well as the redesign we used from 2007-2008. Feel free to take a look for nostalgia!
Believe it or not, Ultimate Reviews started ten years ago today. It's crazy to think that exactly ten years ago, four bored teenagers created a little web site that would eventually be viewed by thousands and turn into a successful career path for one of them (me). This site has been a great place for me to develop both my writing and programming skills and it's awesome to see that so many other people enjoyed it too.
What's going to happen to The Biasphere? Not much has been going on here for the past four years and I think it's fair to say that the site is dead. However, I still need to host other web sites (my personal portfolio being the most important one) and thus have no reason to take this one down. That being said, I will not be developing any new features for The Biasphere. Unfortunately, all of this code was written when I was a novice programmer. It would be really difficult for me to maintain now, so I will simply leave it as is. For now it will stay standing as a "ghost town"/nostalgia trip/whatever you want to call it.
Here are just a few of my fond memories of running Ultimate Reviews/The Biasphere in the past ten years:
* Seeing the Ultimate Reviews unique visitor counter on the home page increasing as fast as I could refresh the page.
* Constantly bothering other staff members to put in more reviews.
* We were featured not once, but twice (November 11, 2006 and December 15, 2006) on the home page of Webs.com (formerly Freewebs.com) and were later part of a rotating member showcase.
* Fans created ad banners for us and even made Youtube videos about our site. The videos no longer exist but you can see some of the banners on our old Ultimate Reviews advertising page.
* Ultimate Reviews was the first Freewebs (aka Webs) account to reach 1000 friends. We celebrated by hosting a huge "party" on July 27, 2007 where we showed off the new site design and linked everyone to a page with a chatroom and guestbook. Our guestbook received hundreds of signatures that day alone!
* Running the biggest site ring on Freewebs. Somehow we're still in the lead 7 years later!
* I got to moderate the official Freewebs forums (freewebsforums.com) while they existed.
* Talking to the CEO of Freewebs about new features and giving advice. I also pointed out some major bugs in their new features.
* When we migrated from Freewebs and became The Biasphere, the support we got was amazing. Hundreds of users signed up and a majority of them also contributed content to help us out.
* Having a whole team of online friends volunteer to help moderate The Biasphere. It definitely made my job easier and was also more fun!
Other interesting trivia:
* There was site redesign after Ultimate Reviews and before The Biasphere that was never released. I threw it out when I got a new Photoshop version and could make better images. You can see the evolution from the Ultimate Reviews style to the design we went with for The Biasphere. Links: Home, Game Reviews, Movie Reviews, Example Game Review, Example Movie Review
* For our third birthday in 2008, I posted screenshots of a design (which I don't have any more) which looks even closer to the current design. Links: Home, Game Review Example, Movie Reviews
* I also made special posts when Ultimate Reviews turned one and two years old.
* There are holiday-themed templates for Ultimate Reviews and The Biasphere. Some of these have never been released. The Halloween template automatically displays in October for The Biasphere.
* That new service I talked about making in my last site update in 2010? Yeah that didn't happen.
Anyone else have memories of Freewebs/Ultimate Reviews/The Biasphere that they would like to share?
The Friendly Neighborhood Administrator