Voice your opinions at the Gordie.ca
April 1, 2002
Web Entities That Died On Me
It should be fairly obvious, given that I've been writing a weekly column for
Gordie for two months now, that I spend a healthy (ahem) amount of time online.
My morning routine is set: get in to work, read through (and possibly reply)
to my e-mail, and then I fire up the web browser and check through my comics,
automotive-related sites, and then onto the news-type sites. Then I can start
getting work done.
This routine hasn't been with me for too many years, but I have been an avid web
citizen (sycophant?) ever since my university days. Having been online so long,
it's no surprise that the web has changed a lot from when I started. Bigger
sites, better sites, more content, improved searching capabilities, and of
course, a lot of content has dried up and blown away, some has simply died.
Today I lament the sites that are either floundering or have outright expired.
I mentioned that comics are a part of my online morning routine. I currently
have 5 comics bookmarked that are updated daily, plus one more updated 3 times
a week, 3 more that are weekly, and two that are updated... well, whenever
(Gordie being one, of course). Comics are good. You can then imagine my dismay
when I found an excellent comic, made by a Canadian no less, with a suitably
weird and sick sense of humour, only to watch it shrivel up like so many frat
boys swimming in Lake Huron in early May.
I talk of the galaxy-class interstellar sodomite
Spacemoose, a creation of the
once-fetid-yet-fertile mind of Adam Thrasher, way out in the tar sands of
Alberta. Sadly, I found Spacemoose when it was on the decline, and updates
were getting spaced further and further apart. Luckily Adam is kind enough
to keep a full and authoritative archive, so that even new readers can enjoy
Spacemoose in its entirety, right from day one through until present. The
site is still active, and has everything that it's ever had on it still, but
there hasn't been an update in a long time now. Bald Dwarf will probably be
the only one to cheer the seemingly unavoidable demise of Spacemoose.
Comics are not the be-all and end-all of existence, however. (Food is, but
that's another article.) Sometimes one just wants to go shopping. My online
shopping experiences have been rather limited, however, and are almost solely
comprised of eBay auctions. Now eBay is great
and wonderful and you can find just about anything you need on there, but dealing
with an America-centric site always has its pitfalls. Now more than ever the
exchange rate is the big impediment to eBay purchases, but payment and shipping
exercises also dull the excitement. I was quite happy to find a Canadian
alternative at www.Clickabid.ca.
Clickabid.ca was anything but just another eBay.ca.
It was based in Canada, and hallelujah, it had Canadian people auctioning Canadian
items in Canadian dollars. Wow!! Sadly, the volume of items was rather anaemic,
and it appeared (to my eyes) that most of the items were located in Saskatchewan,
of all places. About a year after I discovered it, Clickabid.ca closed its doors
forever, leaving Canadians to the mercies of
Back before I even knew that Gordie.ca existed, I was
to a quirky e-zine based in Ottawa called papmag.
Strange name, strange people, and 3 wonderful articles published each and every week.
Well, for a while, anyways. Things were going swimmingly until the summer came,
and the staff decided to spend summer like so many of us would - away from our
computer and desk. Not to leave their readers stranded completely, they kept
publishing once a week.
The problems began after the summer was over. The banner "publishing once a week,
'cause we're on summer vacation" stayed up through August, September, October...
and just kept staying there. Eventually there was a small flurry of activity,
but since the brainchild of the site and concept had moved, things floundered.
I fear that, although not quite dead, papmag is well on its way to taking the Big
I found out about papmag through another site that I had much more involvement in,
Buzz.ca. (Buzz and papmag were going to try to exploit
each other's strengths and collaborate, a.k.a. "utilizing synergies", to bring up
each site's readership. Sadly, that never happened). Buzz.ca was a slash-based
site that sprang to life just before the recent-ish federal election, focusing
exclusively on Canadian news and views. It provided an excellent forum for
discussing the hot Canadian topics of the day, as well as a more than a few rants
and raves of a Canadian bent, and lots of Canadian politics.
Now, I can't really say that Buzz.ca is dead, and maybe it shouldn't be included
in this list. But this particular beaver is somewhat endangered. A few months
back the author of Buzz.ca decided that wrangling slashcode (the powerful program
that ran the site and allowed its legendary flexibility) was just too much for one
mere mortal, and decided to look into alternate methods of running Buzz.ca. At the
same time, he was going to move the site from an expensive $100/mo host onto his
own machine running over a DSL connection. Sadly, this meant that the original
Buzz.ca site never got transferred to the new server. So Slappy the beaver is
in limbo, showing only a to-do list. I know he's busy, but there's a lot of us
that hope that eventually Buzz.ca will be returned to its former glory, and then
some. I miss the white phallus, dude.
Coming full-circle we're back to another comic strip. Thankfully, this one is not
dead. It's still being updated fairly regularly, but it is showing the classic
signs of falling by the wayside a la Spacemoose. I am talking about the unbelievable
The Parking Lot Is Full. I won't even try to
describe the style of this particular comic, as it has to be experienced. The duo
who create this strip are a strange pair. One lives in Canada, the other in Korea,
and they collaborate via e-mail. I first saw this strip in the rag of a university
student newspaper back in my university days, and have been following it ever
since. I even own a copy of both of the collections they published, and I've won
a 3rd collection, whenever it happens to come out. They're my kinda guys - if
you're into really weird stuff, and like offending people just to get a laugh.
I sincerely hope that the fire hasn't died on them, as they really do have
something worth keeping alive. Unfortunately, the recent turn of events leads
me to think that greener pastures are calling both of them elsewhere, or at least
away from their current project. Only time will tell.
Don't feel bad - I still have lots of comics and such to read during my morning
routine. All I can say is I hope that the other beaver
I love so very very much will stay quite healthy. After all, I'd hate to lose yet
another good, clean, waste of time.
Rate this blog column at