Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade
|Name:||Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade|
|Fandom:||The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul|
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From a May 28, 1999 post by misscleo/Nicole to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc: "hey! Don't be afraid to join up! The list already has 47 members, believe it or not! The site is getting plenty of hits, and we may even get newspaper coverage!" 
The Creator Describes Its BeginningFrom an The Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade Interview with Nicole:
A group of women on Rec.Arts.SciFi.Starwars.Misc (also known as RASSM) were discussing how sexy and appealing Maul was. Someone by the name of AmidalaEp1 (yeah, the list aunt) mentionned she was looking for help in starting an Estrogen Brigade. I knew what Estrogen Brigades were, but I had never been interested in them till I saw those four words together: Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade. I told her I'd help, and I put together a few pages, based on her comments and the other founding members. There were six of us at the beginning. I've pretty much implemented everything they asked for except for one, which I regret not having done. They wanted a place so they could talk about themselves, presenting the members of the Brigade. Eventually I delegated this to ECircles. So the idea is not mine by far, I just helped in making it a reality. The first webpage was online May 25th, not quite a week after the movie opened in North America.
It was *very* time consuming over the summer. On average I was spending 8 hours a day on the site and mailing list, and email feedback. The site used to run on my private server, where I have lots of work related items, and I didn't feel comfortable sharing that password, so I was doing it all alone. Once the site moved to its own domain, I could share more easily. For a while I had someone help with the Fan Art section, and that allowed me to breathe a little. Right now, the site does not take much of my time anymore, apart from participating in chats and on the message board
At first, I thought we would attract about 10 women, and we'd have fun together for a couple of weeks then move apart after that. I guess that's why my initial design for the site didn't allow for growth. I had to discard it real fast. ;-) But what surprised me the most was the interest in the press, which started with the San Francisco article, but kept going for a couple of months. I even received a paper from Australia, and there was a mention in Empire magasine, a huge publication from the UK. It was the first time one of my sites was mentionned in print ... No, that's not quite true, my Due South site was mentionned in a book, but by the time the book got printed, the site no longer existed.
If you want a few numbers about the DMEB's popularity:
1. at first the mailing list had around 150 messages *daily*. 2. in June, I had 101,000 visits to the website, with over 3 millions hits, and a transfer rate of 42 Gig. This landed me in hot waters with my hosting service, because I was only paying for a transfer rate of 2 Gig, not 42! 3. In July, the site was just as popular with the UK people coming onboard. I was kicked off my hosting service and had to move the site to another host. At that point I came real close to shutting the whole thing down. I didn't want to pay for two hosting services (it's 20$-25$ per month each) and I had to keep the first one which was job related. I mentionned in chat that I was closing the site, and there was an uproar. People were telling me they would pay for the second host, so I got a postal box, and put that address on the site. Within a couple of weeks, I had enough money to host the DMEB for a whole year. I was really touched by that. I refuse to take money now, there's no publicity on the site, except for other sites or WickedCoolStuff (they sent me free tshirts ;-) and AllPosters.com cause they have good posters for sale.Come next August, we'll see how popular DMEB still is and I'll decide what to do then. Maybe we'll have another funding drive. It's also important that the site stays non-profit. LucasFilm tolerates fan sites if they don't make money. Look at TheForce.Net. They made a profit this year with the publicity on the site, and they gave it to charity.