Sunday, September 03, 2017

A Chapter Closes

A long, long time ago, an Oz fan had a dream of creating a website. After finding free hosting, he tinkered around with HTML and built a small but original content-rich website and titled it "Dorothy and Ozma Productions." The website offered capsule reviews of Oz films, an original biography of L. Frank Baum, e-texts of the Oz books (including the first e-texts of Dot and Tot of Merryland and Queer Vistors from the Marvelous Land of Oz) and original content for free downloads, as well as old digital Oz games for systems no longer made that would have to be emulated to be played. (With a copyright disclaimer, of course.)

The website went through a few iterations, eventually being retitled "The Royal Website of Oz" and getting its own actual domain. Thanks to a generous friend, it was hosted for free and a forum was added when the International Wizard of Oz Club decided to close their forums. An ambitious wiki project was started.

However, the fan who had started the website found other ways to express his love of creating and sharing Oz content. He had begun blogging, which spun off into a podcast and even a series of videos. He even began writing Oz stories and even published a full-length Oz book and attending a regular Oz convention. So progress on maintaining and expanding the website eventually ground to a halt.

If you haven't guessed, of course, I'm talking about my own story here.

About two months ago, the Royal Website of Oz went offline. I still have the domain, but the server is no longer active. My generous friend who had hosted the site has yet to reply as to what happened, but all I can assume is that the free ride the website had is no longer open. The forum is gone, the wiki has some pages archived through Internet Archive, and an older version of the website is still online. A later version of it is also available through Internet Archive as well.

While it's a little sad that this has happened, it's not as if all is lost. I still have that content I had, and I believe I can use the blog to bring some of the best of it back. I had even begun a secondary blog titled The Royal Library of Oz, which managed to present e-texts as blog entries.

If you want an Oz forum, there's a Wizard of Oz subreddit that could use more members.

Why am I not looking to get my own host and revive the site? Well, with writing Oz stories (and now other non-Oz stories) and running a podcast, this blog, helping with "Oz and Ends" for The Baum Bugle and now chairing Oz Con International 2018, I don't feel the drive to pursue such a venture.

So, one chapter closes as others open and continue. See you in Oz, folks.


Anonymous said...

So You are closing the Blog?

Jay said...

No, I have decided not to start a new iteration of The Royal Website of Oz.