Well, a pretty self-explanatory section, but anyway, here's how this site got started.
It was a hot summer day in July 2000 and like any other fourteen-year old during the summer, Valerie was bored out of her mind. She decided that something needed to be done to remedy such boredom. Her brother had recently gotten her interested in building web sites, so she surfed the web looking for ideas for a new site. For nearly a week she struggled to think of a site topic - something fun, something challenging, something that would last...
Valerie sat one night glued to the tube thanks to her most recent addiction, an ABC TV show, "Making the Band". As a new fan of the show, she went online to read up more on each of the final eight contestants. Looking at the official site and thinking it to be rather mediocre, she was suddenly struck by the great potential a site based on such a subject could hold. Satisfied with the idea, she quickly grabbed a pen and paper and began jotting down ideas for the sections and the layout which would form the foundation of the site. The next task at hand was to think of a name for the site. So, wanting a somewhat simple, official-sounding, and non-corny name that she wouldn't get sick of, she came up with the O-Town Fan Page (creativity was not her strong point :P). Getting it all down on paper was a piece of cake, but setting it all up was easier said than done. After several late nights skimming through html tutorials and writing up the code, the site was officially opened July 29, 2000 on a Geocities account.
Somewhat discouraged by the few number of visitors the site received, Valerie decided it was absolutely necessary to submit the URL to search engines. She promoted the site visiting message boards, going into chat rooms, and telling just about anyone that she came across about it. A couple of weeks passed since the site's opening and one day, Valerie went to check her Hotmail account to find a flood of e-mails in her inbox, a discovery with which she promptly followed with a "Huh?!" She went to the Yahoo search engine to find that The O-Town Fan Page was ranked first under the band O-Town (yes, before the official site was opened).
This newfound fan base helped the site to grow over the months with new sections, numerous fan submissions, and the addition of The O-Town Fan Headquarters club on September 16, 2000. With the release of O-Town's first CD and the increased promotion of the site, updating had become completely overwhelming to the point where the webmistress could not go on vacation without running out of disk space on her e-mail account. Keeping up with schoolwork and other priorities slowly became a problem for her. Tired and frustrated, but not wanting to terminate the site because of the great number of loyal visitors, Valerie decided to auction the site off and have it serve a double purpose in helping to fund her upcoming church mission trip that summer. The top seven bidders, soon to be narrowed down MTB-style, were interviewed to be sure of their capabilities and work ethic.
A group of three prospective webmistresses, Erika, Emily, and a young lady named Lindsey, saw the opportunity to take over the awesome site and continue working with everything that had already been established. They met online after learning that Valerie was passing on the torch to people who could maintain the site as well as she had. The three agreed to do their part on the site and after some discussion, they decided to be the three-person team to take the O-Town Fan Page to the next level. After Valerie interviewed each of them separately, she felt confident that she had found the best people for the job. The new webmasters all clicked instantly and were on their way to continue one of the most popular O-Town websites on the net.
Lindsey made a huge difference in this site and was the one to purchase the domain, www.o-townfanpage.com. She used all of her website knowledge to really boost the site, in addition to doing a whole lot of revamping. With a new layout, awesome graphics, and website organzation, her skills as a webmaster shined through. Emily's monetary funding is what really helped launch the whole project that the three of them had envisioned, and her devotion for O-Town continually motivated the others. Her sweet and friendly attitude, site ideas, and opinions let everyone on the team know that she was definitely in this for the long run. Erika, although a very busy person careerwise and homewise, was always there to post the latest news and let everyone know what was going on with O-Town as soon as it happened. Her dedication and heart is what helped the site continue to be the one of the only O-Town sites to bring everyone daily, or near daily, updates. The support of her husband also encouraged her to work on the site as much as she could depsite having two small children needing her attention all the time! As months went on, Lindsey unfortunately had to step down as one of the webmasters due to a lack of time which was spent mostly on school, work, and a life of her own. Although they were sad to see her go, Emily and Erika had been greatly helped by her to see their own website talents which were reflected in the many contributions they made with daily updates and new section ideas.
About a month or so before Lindsey took her leave, Lisa was asked by Erika to join the team because the site had gained a whole new world of popularity. With thousands of e-mails coming in weekly, the girls needed an extra hand, and so Lisa was invited to join. Erika and Lisa lived (and still do) in the same hometown and met online as well. Their friendship grew even bigger after they met in person for the first time at the most perfect place...an O-Town concert! They got to hang out and soon after that, Lisa began showing off her talents with the site. Her determination to update and her colorful graphics, along with her bubbly personality won everyone over. She had a high position to uphold working with such a popular site but did so with no complaints and was always willing to learn. Lisa was a great addition to the team and always offered a helping hand to everyone on the site as well as to those who visited the site.
Now that Lindsey had gone off to further pursue her education, Emily, Lisa, and Erika were left without someone who was as vastly knowledged technically as she was. Although the three of them had some experience here and there, they still needed someone to really make their visions come alive. And then a slight tragedy happened! www.o-townfanpage.com was shut down due to accessive bandwidth use. What does that mean? Too many visitors and not enough money to keep it up. Access to www.o-townfanpage.com was no longer granted. Not to the visitors nor the webmasters. What else could go wrong? So the remaining team had to think of an idea and think fast. They decided to purchase a new domain with www.o-townfanpage.NET. But because they had to start the site over from nearly nothing, they had to find extra help. Someone with more website and HTML knowledge. Someone who could help them make the new domain even bigger than the other one. They all brainstormed to find the perfect person for the job. The outcome? "Why not bring back the person who created this awesome web site to begin with?" That's right...they asked Valerie, the original owner and webmaster of the O-TFP to rejoin the team. Her "words-cannot-describe" graphical skills and extensive knowledge of HTML brought her back. Missing the site, she was quick to say yes, and soon after that, helped launch the new O-TFP at www.o-townfapage.NET.
Many people have contributed to this website. Not only the five people who have actually worked on it, but also the thousands who have voiced their opinions to the webmasters, the numerous fans who have sent in information, ideas, and so much more. Along the way, the O-TFP team has gained a new Yahoo group co-founder, Alicia, a Yahoo group fan fiction founder, Melissa, and hundreds of friends. The six of them have pulled together through everything to bring O-Town fans what they want - a site that is nice to look at, updated often, and as accurate as possible, with online communities that stay involved and have brought along so much fun for everyone. They thank everyone for the continued support and participation that they have received since day one.