The Making Of...
|The A-List|

For those just dying to know just how this lame page came to be.
(Why? Because I have nothing better to write about...)
Send in a complaint. Read the misfortunes of others.

6 June, 1999
The counter breaks 100,000, forcing an update of this page.

18 April, 1997
Following the stock market, a strong Friday jump gives the A-List a firm lead over the magic page but still a distant second behind the internment page.

17 April, 1997
|webtv| Another form letter from WebTV... to my long dead account which was about to expire in 5 days. Shows just how much they care, but hey, it's the thought that counts right? So in return, I thought about replying to them (and saved a bundle on postage).

Received: from (uucp@localhost) by (8.8.3/8.8.2)
From: (Todd S. Carlson)
To: cyu@MIT.EDU
Subject: WebTV Promotional Opportunity
Date: 16 Apr 1997 12:21:17 GMT
Organization: The Tyee Group

Dear A-list Web Site manager:

Tyee Productions is producing an infomercial for Philips/Magnavox WebTV.

The Philips/Magnavox WebTV infomercial will, in part,  highlight certain Web
sites which are of particular interest to subscribers.  We have identified
your site as one which we believe will be of interest to WebTV subscibers and
would like to show your site in our infomercial/commercial.

To show your Web site, we request your written consent to use images of the
site in our commercial.  There will be no charge for this promotion of your

We hope that we can highlight your Website to everybody who is interested in
WebTV.  If you agree, please fill in the information at the bottom of this
message to confirm your approval and authorization for Philips/Magnavox to
use your company's name and logo, or your website's name, logo, and pictures,
in our advertisements as descibed above, and return this note to me via fax
(503) 228-0560 &/or mail:

        Tyee Productions
        513 NW 13th Avenue
        Portland, OR 97209-3000

Please contact me by e-mail at, or by phone @
800/772-5666 ext 281 if you have any questions.


Todd Carlson
Production Coordinator

        I, the undersigned, do hereby authorize Philips Consumer Electronics
Company, its representatives, employees, agents, affiliates, and parent
corporation, and those acting under their permission and on their authority,
to copyright, publish, and use in all forms and media and all manner for
advertising, trade, promotion, exhibition, or any other lawful purpose
whatsoever, pictures, portraits, video pictures or photographs of me or my
possessions which may be included in whole or in part in or through any
        I hereby waive any right that I may have to inspect or approve the finished
product or the advertising or copy which may be used in connection therewith
or the use to which it may be applied.


Company Name:







12 February, 1997
|Oscar| Ebert "For the first time in memory, the Oscar nominations looked much the same as film critics' year-end awards," cheers Roger Ebert. Here's hoping freedom of information on the internet had something to do with it.

15 January, 1997
This week, with a mysterious sudden jump in visits to the magic page and students back in school, the A-List falls to third behind the internment page.

8 January, 1997
This history page is created.

6 January, 1997
The "Misc News" section premieres.

3 January, 1997
|Yahoo| Yahoo reorganizes its movie review section and moves the A-List into a sub-directory. Visits suddenly drop by 60%. I was hoping people actually bookmarked this page... oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Maybe this page should be titled "The Rise and Fall of The A-List". This site needs more, but what?

28 December, 1996
This week, the A-List suddenly regains the lead over the internment page after students turn in their assignments and return home to relax.

26 December, 1996
|Globe| |NBC| Learning that NBC will soon be tooting its own horn over its Golden Globe Nominated (TM) TV shows, I harvest my own.

11 December, 1996
The 32768th visitor browses through the reviews.

7 December, 1996
|oz| Because of server problems at, the A-List is mirrored at The same is done for the internment page. However, people continue to prefer geocities (it's usually faster).

26 November, 1996
A note from Larry Owen convinces me to add more links to actual review text and take out the background music (which was even starting to annoy me as well because of the lame delay Netscape and IE take to set up MIDI).

14 November, 1996
The A-List is overtaken by the internment page this week as the semester winds down and students start working on their term papers.

22 October, 1996
I get a form-letter from Sandra Bernardi, Product Marketing Manager at WebTV Networks, asking me to fill out a short questionnaire (no longer there). Not knowing I was treading on a giant's shoes, I probably didn't fill it out very seriously if at all (I can't remember).

5 September, 1996
|webtv| I get a form-letter from "Zara Haimo", Content and Services VP of WebTV Networks, asking for permission to use my logo. I say yes of course. It wasn't until over 3 months later that I realize just how big WebTV is going to be.

7 August, 1996
|Free| In preparartion for my impending eviction from my school account, the A-List moves to (hey, it's free!).

28 June, 1996
The A-List welcomes its 16384th visitor.

17 May, 1996
|5%| A pre-Lycos Pointcom tells me The A-List made it into the (pre-Lycos) Top 5%! ...disappointment sets in after I read their lukewarm review and see no significant change in the number of hits. (Amazing what a little hype can do.) But the review does help reshape future redesigns of the page.

26 March, 1996
|Consolation Prize| With the long speeches over, the production numbers forgotten, and the tears dry, I offer the consolation dimmed-oscar to those who claim "Just being nominated means I've won."

11 March, 1996
The A-List records its 4096th visitor.

9 March, 1996
|Does it move?| Pissed off by the fact that Netscape (2.0?) spams the "show what URL I'm hovering over" bar when running animated GIFs, I make this new and improved, much more static taxi.

6 March, 1996
|Move| Hopping onto the bandwagon of the animated GIF craze, I get gifmerge from Mark Podlipec and hack away.

24 February, 1996
|Yahoo| A new all-time daily high is reached the day it's listed in Yahoo. Over 20 times (!) the average number of daily visits of the week before. (Yahoo is scary that way isn't it?) The weekly average is "only" 6 times that of the previous week's. The A-List has taken the clear lead over my other pages (amazing what a little hype can do).

13 February, 1996
|I Thank the Academy| |Oscar| With Oscar season fast approaching, and the nominees itching to take advantage of this box-office windfall, I crop and shrink my very own Academy Award.

6 February, 1996
|Cinema Sites| The A-list marks its 1024th visitor after a record number of hits the day before (probably because it was added to Cinema Sites - I wish they'd stop calling it the Seeya Movie Page, but that's my own fault). The number of visits this week will double the number the week before.

12 January, 1996
|PixelSight| |Logo| Always on the look-out for new ways to make this page download even slower, I get a brand-spankin' new graphical logo from PixelSite.

6 January, 1996
Celebrate the new year after the 512th visitor sees the A-List at some point between the 23rd and the 6th (while I was gone for winter break).

21 November, 1995
The A-List receives its 128th visitor! (Quite impressive ain't it?)

15 November, 1995
I start tracking visits to 4 of my individual pages (hey, how else is a "webmaster" supposed to feel useful?). The A-List gets about a third of the visits as the (now defunct) anime page and a third of the visits as the magic page.

13 November, 1995
The A-List gets its own counter. |11/13|

10 November, 1995
I start messing around with counters. The A-List is getting a miniscule number of the hits compared to the hits the anime page (now defunct) was getting.

5 November, 1995
|SYL| In another fit of boredom, I made the S.Y.L. icons using xpaint.

4 November, 1995
|IMDB| |Thumb| The thumb icons are a version from IMDB that I modified with xpaint. I wish I still knew who made the originals (he deserves the real credit). IMDB would later completely change their own version of these icons (not to mention their own URL after going commercial), so I guess the originals have gone to meet their maker. Not being able to do transparency myself, I used some web site's cgi script that could do it for me. Unfortunately, I don't know where they are now either (somewhere in Germany I think).

16 September, 1995
|NCIFA| The A-List is reviewed by NCIFA. Why? Because I begged them to. The A-List was created probably just a few days before that (I can't remember). I thought I deserved more than 3 (out of 4) of those movie-clapper slate things.

|HOME| [email/finger/index]

Click Here! |count|