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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Would the three of you please kick my ass?"
11975 members | you are not logged in | 02 June 2020


December 29 2005

Say Goodbye - Official Serenity site to close January 3rd. So long and thanks for the good times.

Now would be a good time to start archiving stuff from the site.

Ok, I just posted on another thread by Gossi, I guess it was removed. Anyway...
OHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I loved that site. Couldn't they have given us more warning, more time to prepare like 1 month????? I mean couldnt they have allowed us to pay at least some of the fees??? I wouldnt mind doing so. I guess this was the behind the scene stuff Gossi was talking about. Thanx Gossi for the alternative site.
Man, that truly sucks. What is the reason that they are closing? Is it more a money issue or a time issue?
I guess they didn't take my suggestion of dumping the archives to CD-ROM and making them available for points in the store.
That is very sad.
I haven't felt this bad since The Bronze went down from
Ok thought the said Jan 31 - so yikes - guess it's back to, and the Fox boards. This does not bode well for Universal carrying on with more Serenity/Firefly stuff.
theonetruebix - without getting into detail, the prospect of transfering the entire forum database was explored in detail, but ruled out due to technical and legal reasons. Sorry - both myself and Universal really tried to keep the site archives.
As sad as a day this is... we'll hold.

We will always fly true.

We've been through worse, and that makes us mighty.
If we are indeed the mighty, then oh how we have fallen.
Hm.. companies have posted CDs filled with usenet postings, where people don't "agree" to anything before posting. One should think that all posts belong to Universal on this board. And technically I don't see why it should be a problem. Wether or not its particularly interesting is something else of course.
Gossi, I'm not looking for the archives to be transferred somewhere. I'm looking to make them available somehow. I don't care if they are online and usable as a forum -- it's just that the material can't just vnaish into the ether.

Way too many fans have put time and energy into discussing this thing that they love -- far too much time and energy to have the studio and whoever else just go, "Eh, tough sh*t."

If that's their position, then they really are -- from the lack of real ads after opening, to the crappy DVD art, right up to this move -- pulling a FOX with this property.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-12-30 00:10 ]

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-12-30 00:11 ]
theonetruebix - I'm not going to debate what Universal are doing with the property as I honestly don't know the details. I will say I'm not kidding when Universal were very helpful trying to supply an archive of the site (trust me, this has been the subject of discussions at length) and it just won't happen. Sorry. (By the way, that's my opinion, nothing to do with Universal)
Wow, this is horrible.

They're not even giving us any notice...damn them...
It is a shame but it was a commercial site and forum set up to sell the movie. In Universal's eyes this is now done.

However, it would have been nice if they had given people more notice especially as there is a huge community there.
They are giving notice.. Just a few days. Somebody archive Joss' posts!
That's really, really depressing. Just three weeks after the DVD release - why?
And Nathan's! (Maybe we can persuade him to start posting here??)

I wasn't there much, but it seemed to be a nice enough place. And Joss posted there at length, and that's always of the good.

Well, whatever the case, gossi -- and regardless of whether the talks you relate were about making them available IN SOME FORM or about transferring them into some other forum somewhere (which isn't even what I'm after) -- I won't be satisfied until THEY post an explanation for why all of this material just gets to go to the dumpster.

Until THEY make a statement, I reserve the right to ride them on it, and hard.
Yea, I had a feeling it was gonna be this! Man, that really sux!
Fair enough, theonetruebix. You won't get anywhere, though. It's a commerical site, and as such if they want to pull the plug they can - Fox didnt even give notice for the Fox board. They didn't even tell Mutant Enemy.

However, Universal people actually tried to make a full archive available but it fell over for various reasons at the last minute. It was outside of my and their control (the internet management of that site was outsourced).

That's all I'll say on the matter
Well... its sad.. although just to mention there is the alternative site Gossi has set up(on which I posted on every forum of that saying we should move LOL). But there is also, and, and the old board... but for some reason the site just felt good to use, I can not explain why. Seriously why didn't they give us more time? They could have sent out a notice over a month ago.

Wohoo I can edit now! I just wanted to add, is there a way to archive certain threads? At least Nathan_Fillion and Joss_whedon's posts.. as well as the DVD design cover thread. I loved that thread.

[ edited by kurya on 2005-12-30 00:38 ]

Wanted to add, that we should archive the page full of local browncoat groups. It would be great if we can transfer that.

[ edited by kurya on 2005-12-30 00:42 ]
Gossi, I suppose this is why your mood was so dark this morning :-(
How do we go about archiving Joss posts! I got a small mention in one of them and would like to keep that!
I suppose we could screencap them.
Copy'n'paste.. ? I don't really know if there's any better methods.
Well... its sad.. although just to mention there is the alternative site Gossi has set up(on which I posted on every forum of that saying we should move LOL).

Yeah, I've already signed up over there.
Nixy, I saved them all, I think. I could mail the word file to you. It is sorta messy.
But... where will Joss go to post stuff?!

Wow, that's pretty sad news. I wasn't there much, because I was a total Joss with that website (I kept loosing my login and password. I couldn't be 'GVH' there, and I'm GVH everywhere so I tended to forget the alternatives I used. And then when I lost my password, I kept forgetting the e-mail adress I used, etc. So without my login *and* pass, there was just no way of retrieving the information. Yes, I could've written it down. But I'm lazy ;-)).

But the times I was there (usually to read what Joss or one of the BDHs wrote) it seemed like a great community. I got my browncoat kicks from the Dutch website (and lurking on, and ofcourse through Whedonesque, so for me personally this won't change much. But it is a total bummer that all the things written there will be lost.

But, hey, the browncoat fandom was lively and fine before and it will continue to be so after it's demise. It's just sad that it has to happen, 's all.

As for archiving the Joss posts: if you want to save them in all their original glory, including lay-out, it would seem screencaps are the only way to go, yes. Otherwise, just archiving the text would seem like a fine enough plan, right?
Joss can come here and post stuff. That is of course if he can ever remember his password.
Joss and Nathan can go back to posting on the OB like Adam still does. Or here. :) Nathan checks in there and lurks every week or so and maybe someone could email Joss his password.

I don't think Fox Home Video will be taking down the OB anytime soon since they are still making ridiculous money off the Firefly DVD.
Oh thats sad .. and really sudden.

As for the Joss etc posts I already have posted some at the german Firefly board. I could add the others so they would be save.
But i had another idea: why not do an Vip posting Board archive for all the Firefly boards like the one of the Bronze? Bronze archive
Can someone track down all Joss posts, and archieve them somewhere.
May I make a suggestion? If everything is okay with the big bosses of Whedonesque, it could be done over our .org forum.
I'd try starting it, but things are kind of mess up right now, since I preparing for a trip overseas, tomorrow night, and I still have tons of stuff to sort out at home and at work, before departing.
Hey that is not a bad idea Numfar PTB! Also that would be awesome Lioness, do you have my email?
The day before my birthday, yeech. Since I'm moving tomorrow I probably won't even be online when the final bell rings. Boo!
Why??? :(
Domains and hostings are soooo cheap...
Hmm, is it possible to save the pages as offline content? Not all of them, mind you, just the Joss and Nathan posts? I mean, we can't lose the call to arms against the comic store!!
Why are they doing this?
Someone need to track down every sentence, word, footnote or comma ever jotted down by Joss, and publish it as a book. :) (Or perhaps an E-book. That way, we could constantly download the newest version :)
I'm pretty sure I don't have time to do this, but if anyone else has Acrobat, it does have the capability to download whole (or partial) web sites into a single PDF. (Would that make it a BDPDF?)

There are limitations; it will follow links, but won't go through a form button. I don't know offhand whether one could "log on" through Acrobat to get past the password check.
So, we have two dates given to us from them. Jan 3rd and Jan 6th. Does anyone know which one it actually is?
nixygirl - I think it's Jan 3rd.
There's plenty other sites and communities, but that's still really sad. I hope all the important stuff is saved somewhere.
In the 'comments' at Universal's board I mentioned that I would be happy to contribute, I'm sure a lot of people would. But I guess that isn't enough. The really discouraging thing is that the DVDs only just went on sale, they aren't even available over-seas yet, so it seems like Universal is losing interest at a time when the fandom is really growing. It feels like they have no faith in every making enough money off of 'Serenity' to warrent a sequel, while I was so sure that another year would prove that the BDM has legs.
I've saved all the Joss, Nathan, and Chris_B posts, as well as all the most important news item posts.
Does anyone know if archives site content from open account sites? That would save us alot of trouble and also we would have to save a select few things.
We will never know who Dusty Bottoms was.
I just saved the .html page of all of Nate's replies. Also saved a few of the videos from the AV room. hasn't indexed the site as the Universal site requires a username and password to browse.

Simon - Chris B was Dusty Bottoms
The community there may be too large for it, but really, you have to roll your own board. I understand the heartbreak, we had 24 hours' notice before the Bronze closed, but we all pretty much knew the WB wasn't going to host us forever.

You can't depend on the charity of a corporation beyond the time that you are useful to them. The board served its purpose and now its gone. So what you do is set up a contingency board, some people contribute to code, someone volunteers to take donations, and you set up something like Buffistas, which is owned and operated by the community. At least then you can set up archives so you don't lose things, have an active moderation team, and when people drift away, they can hand over the keys to the next generation.

I'm always aware that I'm posting here as a guest of Caroline's, this is her house, and maybe someday she'll move and either transfer the deed to someone else or bulldoze it as she sees fit. I wouldn't begrudge her, I'd just thank her for her hospitality and either build my own Whedonesqueish blog, or move along to sleep on someone else's couch.

I think if the Serenity board is important to the people there, and they don't want to lose their community, it's not so productive to kick Universal around. Maybe they'll be willing to part with the message board code if asked. Then you just need to buy server space, set up an administrivia team, and launch.
gossi - I heard Joss' assistant was Dusty Bottoms. I think the Done the Impossible crew can answer this for sure since it was brought up in one of their interviews.
Oooooh, stand corrected danregal :)
Allyson - did you read the link? That's kinda been done.

(Edit for clarify: is a rebuild of the Fanpimp LLC software used for .com, minus commericial additions. The database was originally going to be bolted on, and it was cleared with Universal, but last minute technical/legal lead to that being abandoned. When the .com site is taken offline in Jan, it is being diverted to .org).

[ edited by gossi on 2005-12-30 03:15 ]
Nope, just the comments. Should I delete?
Yeah and Relight(you do best!) has set up an archive for materials from the Universal site.

[ edited by kurya on 2005-12-30 04:33 ]
I'm still shocked that Universal is closing the site. It was well used by fans, and the DVD is still to be released in most countries.

Are they closing the site too?

So does this represent the end of the franchise (i.e. surely Universal would have kept the site open had they felt there was a chance of a sequel?)
ncr - the site is going, yes. End of franchise? None of us knows that. Put simply, if Serenity makes lots of money, it'll return. If it returns, I'll hand the website back.
Relight, in what form have you saved all the posts?

I'm as saddened as everyone else here about this. It was to be expected, but the short notice is a little unfair. I was registered, but I seldom went to the site, except to follow links from here, and I don't think I ever posted. So I'm not feeling the loss of that community the way some of you are. Sadly, though, I didn't save copies of Joss's (or anyone's) postings, and now I wish I had, as I don't have time to try to search for them now.

I do like the idea of posting them in a thread over at Would people please post what they have?

ETA: Oops -- my question to Relight was partly answered while I was writing.

[ edited by palehorse on 2005-12-30 03:25 ]
what a bummer.
Gossi - good to hear (me wants a sequel or two!). I just thought they might have kept the site open for a few months more.
I've only been saving posts as text. They can easily be regenerated with the "look" of the board afterward if it's desired.
It is a shame but it was a commercial site and forum set up to sell the movie. In Universal's eyes this is now done.
What about selling the DVD, which only just came out? If Universal wanted to close it at the end of January or February I could understand, but so soon after the DVD is released seems to be a bit quick. I was hoping that Universal would give the DVD bit more of support.

However, Universal people actually tried to make a full archive available but it fell over for various reasons at the last minute. It was outside of my and their control (the internet management of that site was outsourced).
My full time job is a web programmer and backing up the threads shouldn't be that big of a deal. It's simply the matter of making copies of the database tables. I'm sure they would be quite big, probably several gigs of material, but it shouldn't take too long or cost too much. If the web company doesn't want another company using their forum code (which I could understand), they could still pass off the database files to someone who would could put together their own forum code to access the information.
Yeah, what Matt_Fabb says is exactly correct... I guess they just didn't want to do that.
Yeah, spent a while going through exactly those hoops Matt_Fabb. Didn't turn out to work.

I'm not bitter. At the end of the day, the Serenity website had an awful lot of people and companies involved, and transfering that site (which costs a lot of money to run due to all the people, companies and technology involved) to a free site - where those companies loose the money... Think of the challenges that might present. Plus, the .com site has a Privacy policy which explicitly states user details will never be passed on to 3rd parties.
Wow gossi, didn't know that much red tape was involved in message boards. I guess as long Joss' and other important posts are saved, it should be ok.
I'm not bitter. At the end of the day, the Serenity website had an awful lot of people and companies involved, and transfering that site (which costs a lot of money to run due to all the people, companies and technology involved) to a free site - where those companies loose the money... Think of the challenges that might present. Plus, the .com site has a Privacy policy which explicitly states user details will never be passed on to 3rd parties.

Which, again, is entirely different than the notion I keep pitching to them, which is to just dump the content in some reasonably-readable or parsable format, to CD-ROMs and let us buy them -- it would end-run around the issues of transferring to another actual website, would not require any personal user details to be given to anyone, would make the CONTENT available to people, and MAKE THEM MONEY.

At some point, someone over there is really going to need to answer me on that particular suggestion. So far, that isn't what anyone is discussing.
gossi, I'm currently looking at setting up a bbs ( for my trade) and I'm very impressed with how easily the browncoat board worked ( is another) and I'm wondering how're you're doing it and such. Any helpful pointers, urls ?

My searches didn't turn up much and anything you could proffer would be shiny! Thanks!
Well, feel free to try to lead that mission theonetruebix. At the end of the day the fact a major movie studio are pointing a movie domain at a fan is unprecidented and has taken a lot time to sort out. I'm thankful for that, as I think it's important to have a central place for fans to roam.

I very much doubt you'll get Universal selling CD roms of forums, though. With things like this ( from Universal - example - ran on exactly the same software as the Serenity site and had Crews and Forums and points etc), they just get deleted. It's a shame, but that's how it works.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-12-30 04:39 ]
That sucks that the site is getting shut down. Hopefully the site they said is taking its place will be just as good. :(
You know as a student... I am used to asking profs for extensions. Sometimes I am succesful. Is it possible to ask the people who run the site, to delay the closing time by like a week? Since people are transfering as we speak to the new forum, and people are archiving the stuff(theres alot to archive!)
Plus, the .com site has a Privacy policy which explicitly states user details will never be passed on to 3rd parties.
The user details could easily be deleted with a simple SQL statement leaving just the alias name behind in order to connect them with the posts.

Having worked with a number of web and advertising companies I understand why it's happening, but it's still annoying because the actual task of backing up and transfering the data shouldn't be that hard to accomplish.
You know as a student... I am used to asking profs for extensions. Sometimes I am succesful. Is it possible to ask the people who run the site, to delay the closing time by like a week? Since people are transfering as we speak to the new forum, and people are archiving the stuff(theres alot to archive!)
I doubt Universal would delay it now that the decision is made, as it costs money for the hosting, plus whatever maintenance costs there are. It's likely that there's a contract that the site will go down that day and Universal decided not to renew it for another month or whatever time frame the web company deals with.
I hate it when I'm right, but it is clear gossi has gone to the extremes to find the best outcome for us. Thank you so much for your hard, behind-the-scenes work and for giving us an alternative site! Thanks also to Relight! :-)

OK, we will all still come here -- and thankfully registration was just expanded (thank you, Caroline and admins, all hail!). Should we also go somewhere else? Where's best? The gossiboards (lol, theonetrue bix!)?

And, yes, Joss comes here (yay), but what about the others, Nathan and Chris B and all? Where do you think they will be going?

Rest in peace, 'Versal board. :(
Where can I sign up for the Wonder Woman board? :)
Yeah. Serenity, and I hate to say it, is in the past now. It's time for us to look to the future. Where can I sign up for a Wonder Woman board?
Well...palehorse, there's a mini site coming soon on the Josscentricality site. There's also a subsection on the forum. So theres a place to start.
I haven't got around to setting up the Wonder Woman website yet.

I joke.

I think.
I have been waiting, Gossi. You slacker!
Well Wonder Woman is his next big project depending whether or not He's going to do that before he does Goners. I think we should all really be talking about that project getting underway. That is the movie that will bring him into the mainstream. After everyone sees the great success that is sure to become, people will be clamoring for more Joss. Not just the Browncoats like it is right now. I can't wait to see Joss finally get his due.
I think having all these websites gossi you'll need help to run them. *pickmepickmepickme*
Not saying anything.
Yeah Gossi. You would need help. In my uninfluenced opinion I suggest you should pick nixygirl. She's got the motivation.
But, but, didn't you say "pickme" 3 times over Nixygirl? ;)
Anyway I am sure Gossi will need some help. Unless he quits his day job and manage all these sites fulltime. I wonder how he will eat.

[ edited by kurya on 2005-12-30 06:58 ] one saw nothing!
Altho...there may have been some subliminal messages somewhere?
Not saying anything!
Subliminal messages have no affect on someone as self aware as I am.

Vote for nixygirl!
Where can I buy my "gossi and nixygirl are my masters" t-shirt? ;-)
Hahahahaha....I'll get them set up on Cafepress right now!
Right next to the place that sells the "There is no such thing as subliminal messages" t-shirts. I also hear that place will start selling "Vote for Nixygirl" t-shirts as well.
SpikeBad, I totally forgot about Goners. I suck!

Gossi and Nixygirl rock my world! WW website on my radar now...looking forward to it.

I'll miss the Serenity board. I only went there when there was a post here that linked there. This will always be my true home, but enjoyed reading our BDH's posts and about fun contests and such. I appreciate all your hard work, Gossi. Thanks for everything.
I haven't posted there a lot recently, as I prefer the format of the prospero board (bit of irony here... the original FOX Firefly forum *still* around, while Universal is shutting theirs down so soon).

But this is very sad news. Nowhere on the net can you find that many tens of thousands of 'coats. I'm really sorry for all those that made it their primary home on the net (and would like to point them to all the other places they can move to, but I understand that the group dynamic is never the same on a different forum.)

BTW - I understand that an archive is out of the question, but how about saving all of Joss and Nathan's posts? I would like to have the text from those somewhere so we can always look back on it. At least that is a major part of the history of the movie, and the fandom. Anyone up for the job of hunting down all those threads? (I'm sure they were all linked to Whedonesque at some point)
This is sad news indeed. I knew the day would be coming soon...but didn't expect it this soon. Major KUDOS to gossi and Relight for taking the torch and keeping space alive on the net for all us Browncoats to gather. Let's hope that Joss, Nathan, and the other BDHs show up in the same space from time to time.
Good news, then, AnotherFireflyfan . Relight's working on saving Joss's and Nathan's posts (also Chris B's posts, production blogs, some A/V, etc.) like, er, someone who works very hard. You're just one thread away from our discussion about it: "Archive site for Materials from Universal..." Or, just go straight to the new Archive. :-)

[ edited by billz on 2005-12-30 14:45 ]
Gossi, thanks for the new board to which I have signed up. But again who are you using for the board or are you doing it yourself. I discovered today but they are quite ugly-seeming to mine eyes. You could alway e-mail me seperate from this thread. Thanks. And thanks for opening membership on Christmas Day!
But again who are you using for the board or are you doing it yourself.

It's hosted by myself, with software by phpBB with a few bells and whistles tacked on.
BTW, gossi, I've been taking time to get on your new board. (I hope the name "gossiboards" sticks! ;-)) It's really great, and there's lots of things it does that I like even better than the 'Versal board, like ease of navigation, search, listing threads, so forth. Woo-hoo! :-)

I imagine, though, you are working your a$$ off getting it up and running, and still checking out archiving etc., so thank you, thank you, thanks from us all, times a million! :-D
I'd just spent almost two hours on the board on the alternative DVD cover thread, thinking how cool it was, all these people coming together and sharing stuff. Then I went back to the start page.....
Eek!!No!!Not now!!
I'm sad to see the Serenity board go. I might not have posted as much as some others, or talked to and got to know as many of the people there, but it still was my favourite place to be on the net.
It will be kind of weird without it.
Thnaks Gossi! Also, I signed for the new board last night but haven't received a confirmation e-mail yet.

Ohhh just checked out phpBB, thanks sooooooooo much!
malformed - phpBB is what we use for our work BB. Its easy to tweak the code if you need to.
It would be better if people emailed gossi with any problems etc with his forum rather than post about it here.
Sorry to see that site go...but there's still plenty of Firefly/Serenity goodness online.
And as for Joss and Nathan's posts, weren't they all copied to the OB, and here at Whedonesque?
Anyway, don't cry y'all.
Universal's Browncoats boards, like the boards for most movies, have a limited life. These days, you can only expect a movie's website to last 'till the DVD comes out.
In Firefly's case, there was a community before Serenity was even greenlighted.
Now there is a Firefly/Serenity community that will continue.
And when the sequel is greenlighted, and a site is put together, we'll all get together there as well.
Let me add my voice to the chorus of thanks to Gossi, our man in the UK. (He is in the UK, right?...I've only recently figured out that he is a he.)

I gotta say, I think Matt_Fab is right in that I think they're being precipitous here. They should have kept the thing up for at least a few more weeks to a month or so to support the DVD roll out. Would it have cost that much more? Well, the marketing HAS been fairly minimalistic throughout, so I guess I shouldn't expect that to change now.

Boy, I sure hope Joss has someting good cooked up for "Wonder Woman"...I mean, if I see her fighting some peroxide blonde super villian with a British working class accent and yelling at her little sister a lot (she has a little mythological sister doesn't she?), I'll know we're in trouble.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-12-30 18:58 ]
Yeah, as per Simon, email problems to with username.
Ah, closure. Signed up for Whedonesque last week, sign off on the browncoats board next week, it's the beautiful circle of life for the Whedon fan.
Oh shit! I was just going to buy a window-cling yesterday too!
Now is the time, MySerenity, before they close down.

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