GiantRobot.com Website War is Over - Fuck Yeah
If you're a long time reader of Giant Robot, you've seen the many iterations of our website. It began somewhere in 1995 or 96 and it was simple. Over the years, we've had the help of many to make it work. From the first single column information site built by Darryl who also owns Darryl.com (yes that's how old we are), then a site that designers loved since it was made by design maestro, David Yu (http://dhky.com), to an overnight, self-built shopping cart built by Aaron Chan. I thank the helpers who really helped make the technology of websites work for us.
The list of helpers go on (thank you) and pretty much ended with a well paid developer (maybe not so many thanks) whose work kind-of lasted, but ultimately was built to break down. Most web folks literally laugh and then cringe at what was built. The front end is one thing - it was decent, but the back was a mess. I liken it to a new idiom, "Party in the front, disaster in the back." It's a line that no one should ever want to be part of. In fact, I remember not too long after the build, it broke down and a fix? More money. Their plan might have been to bleed us, yet I wouldn't know since from there, we ran away quickly, bleeding. From there, the site slowed, parts broke down, and it's functionality was hardly passable. The pages would time-out due to many factors behind the scenes. Readers and supporters like you, left.
Our situation is quite different than many other magazine websites. How many magazines opened shops, then art galleries, and even a restaurant? Not many. How can all that be captured in one site? It's near impossible, and it's been a puzzle that's now refined and simple, post magazine and shop closures. We're at a newer place and our site is still something unique and hopefully useful.
The decision to move the site to where it is now might prove to be the best decision ever. The site is now handled by us alone. It's less design and more function. We're now in control of the backend as well as the front. You might not see the blog posts all of the time, but they never deserved to be there all of the time, right? You might see more of our gallery and shop happenings more often, and that's the evolution of Giant Robot. We hold perhaps near 40 events a year and we've helped many build careers. In fact, we're also working on exhibitions and events outside of Giant Robot and that deserves more words.
On a personal note, I'll be writing about my experiences with Giant Robot here, since my life continues to be deeply intertwined with the events we hold, whether it's at GR, GR2, or at other institutions around the world. Whether I get credit, likes, retweets, or not, I'm still working to make our lives better, 20 years in. The site will have it's ups and downs, but if the ups beat out the downs by a ton, then we're in great shape.
P.S. We're fixing the old images so they appear, so you can read some of the older blog posts from Martin, Michelle, Ed, and the crew, and will keep working on getting the site better.