A Night With Redlow

By: Ginger Rogers

This was a special interview I had with Redlow at night. We talked about things that you never heard of and things that you need to know about Redlow...

GR: Why has your site been less about UO as of late?

Redlow: A couple reasons. And first I'd like to say that maybe it was a mistake - I don't know yet. The first being that I think UO is getting boring and dying out (it is for me at least). The second that I wanted to branch out to general internet humor and not just about UO. I wanted more people. The more souls the better :)

GR: Do you think that your most successful features were UO Porn and ABT, which are related to UO?

Redlow: UO Porn? No, I think that idea people just liked because 1. People like porn 2. People like UO. But was it really all that funny? No.. it just hadn't been done before. ABT? Yeah, probably. Along side the surveys (which, as you may or may not have noticed, I'm burned out with. They're harder than they look (For me anyway). 60 some entries takes a long long time to sort through.

GR: How do you figure if something is or will be successful. Why do you think that ABT was successful, and other things were not (Sel Sydryn)?

Redlow: It's a learning process.. that's what the site is really about to me. While I care if people come to my site or don't, it doesn't bother me if someone says "this is stupid" because it's their choice to read the site. I have learned a few things. People don't like having to work (ie: Sel Sydryn). Most don't want to write a well thought out story. Most people go to a website to be entertained. ABT, so far as I can tell, was most successfull out of everything because it was zany off the wall and required no thought. As for Sel Sydryn in paticular, it probably failed more because I lost interest in it. Some things also start out good and then fail because they get old (ie: Never Ending Story, and now the surveys I think). ABT didn't get to that point because I didn't let it.

GR: What was the idea behind ABT and using the characters behind it?

Redlow: Originally, ABT was going to be something serious... a real soap opera. Then while writing it, I realized two things. First, soap operas are boring, second.. if they wanted it to be real, why read ABT? Why not just go play UO - the real thing. So there I was, already having announced ABT.. left with real characters to use realizing it was going to suck. So instead of writing a soap opera that would inevitably be stupid, I decided to poke fun at how stupid soap operas were. That's something else that made ABT so popular - it had real players in it. If they had been fictional, I don't think it would have got half the atention it did (at least attention from certain groups).

GR: Did you change to AtNS to get away from UO, or did you just need something new?

Redlow: As The Net Spins is a replacement for ABT. When I decided I wanted the site to move away from UO, I realized I'd need a sort of mascot for the site like ABT was. So I created it to be about the internet geek's life. So far, it's more social humor/commentary than slapstick.

GR: And you went with IRC, which is what people seem to be using now instead of UO?

Redlow: IRC and other games. People seem to be playing more than one MMORPG at a time now, but instead of researching a bunch of games like EQ, AO, and whatever else so I could actually write about them, I just made up one that everyone could relate to.

GR: How has the site been doing since moving away from UO? Have you been getting more or less people?

Redlow: Slightly less. I can't advertise to UO sites anymore, and also I've been slacking off (ie: I still haven't completed the porn shack part of the site and there really hasn't been all that much new material).

GR: Tell me about the porn shack

Redlow: Heh...

GR: Were you really going to put porn in there at first?

Redlow: No... PG-13 images (women in bikinis submitted by visitors), joke porn movie scripts (like Titties-anic), merchandise (website tshirts), and an archived list of every image that has ever been on the site (which is up, by the way). If it wasn't forbidden by my host, now I'd actually consider putting porn up since it seems people WANT me to do so.. but don't expect that to ever happen.

GR: Where did you get the porn to create the logos?

Redlow: Where do you think? :)

GR: Can you name sites?

Redlow: *Shrugs* www.atkingdom.com usually. It's tastefull. Unless you're a woman.. in which case you probably either don't care, care because you're a lesbian, or think it's disgusting to see women put on display.

GR: I think I'm a lesbian. Anyway, speaking of your host, I remember your very first host, before it was www.redlow.net...

Redlow: Hehe. Oh?

GR: ...and it was deleted.

Redlow: Yes, I saw that.

GR: Was it because of UO Porn?

Redlow: No.. it was there for years and didn't even have UO Porn if I remember.

GR: Why did you switch to your own url?

Redlow: I had money to spend, and it sounded cool to have my very own domain. Back then, not everyone had domains. Now of course, a lot major guilds have bought domains and some individuals.

GR: Exactly how much money do you spend on it every month?

Redlow: 18 a month... I've spent over 300 so far on the site.

GR: Did you ever think that it would someday become too popular to keep? Do you still think that?

Redlow: No and yes. I didn't think it would ever become too popular because my host claimed to have unlimited bandwidth. Now however, they've put limits up (though, it's still pratically unlimited) and if I ever really wanted to get serious about the site, it's more likely now to become too popular to maintain. Wouldn't have ever happened if it was just about UO.

GR: Why exactly have sites been dying lately? For example, Lumthemad.net just went down over the weekend. How is their host different from yours?

Redlow: I don't think sites have been dying lately.. it's just that we're noticing the oldest UO sites going under. Not really even because UO may or may not be dying, it's just that they were started by veterans whose lives have changed in the past 4 years. Lumthemad.net, if I know my stuff correctly, is hosted by XRgaming. They're a game info site. I'm hosted by prohosting.. they're just website hosts.

GR: How long do you plan to keep the survey up? Do you plan on getting rid of it in the next few months?

Redlow: No, I will probably change the survey next month. So far the survey has been about sex and how pathetic the survey is (always funny to me to poke fun at oneself). New format, different questions, just as pointless. I don't think I'll ever get rid of the survey. People just LIKE surveys if there's no effort involved (like mailing it). I used to fill out surveys when I was a kid and then throw them away. It was entertaining for some reason.

GR: Also, how long will you be doing AtNS?

Redlow: AtNS will probably go as long as ABT. I may try to keep to a schedule with it soon (ie: the 15th of every month or whatever).

GR: Is there anything you've been thinking about doing that you haven't done?

Redlow: Oh yeah, there's always things I would like to do. But the big things I either don't know java/cgi to do, or they require the help of other people.

GR: What exactly was the thing with Wind about

Redlow: Geez, that seems ages ago. Wind was a player run city.. my first attempt at starting one. Its main purpose was going to be to run events and quests, but for some reason not many showed up for the few events we ran (looking back, we.. no.. I didn't give it enough time). The people who joined were my friends and a lot of them were there because they were my friends and weren't necessarily interested in working on events.. I lost interest. That's the few reasons it failed. I'm not a leader. I like to make something and then put someone else in control.

GR: How has redlow.net affected your real life?

Redlow: I spend way too much time working on it sometimes when I'm doing a new survey or soap. So, sometimes its sucks up free time, other times it's just annoying that I have this fairly big deal that really, a lot of people know about (my best guess is that around 10,000 some people from around America have seen my site). But I can't really talk to anyone about it because no one around here understands.

GR: Has anyone ever been offended by anything at your site? Has it been attacked?

Redlow: Attacked no, offended yes. Offended a couple times, actually. When it was still active, the TTC (Trinsic Town Council) had me take their banner down that I made for them and another banner is still down. As far as I know though, no one has been seriously offended to the point that they're enranged. I haven't received any threatening emails or anything.

GR: Are you considering making a porn site?

Redlow: Yes. Not serious consideration, but it's in the back of my mind

GR: What ideas would you throw out there?

Redlow: If I come across a host that I can move redlow.net to, but that allows adult material, I may make something like porn.redlow.net. I'd love to set up some sort of system for free trade. Or set up something so people can submit solid website urls that offer porn without charging.

GR: Do you think it would offend people that already read your site?

Redlow: Nah.. I don't see why it would. It wouldn't be a pay site, and it's not like they'd have to go to it.

GR: Are the people who read your site dirty people?

Redlow: Define dirty?

GR: Do these people look at porn all the time?

Redlow: I can't be for certain, really. I'd guess some do. I'd also guess that some of them hate porn, but go there because they're a friend of mine.

GR: Do they have nasty thoughts when visiting your site? Are they thinking of sexual things most of the time?

Redlow: If they're anything like me they do! :P

GR: When you first started Redlow's pointless website, how much time did you think you'd put into it and where do you think it would end up?

Redlow: I didn't think I'd put much time into it at all. It first started out as being mainly for quest information and just the usual "about me" homepage. As for where it would end up.. I didn't have a vision for the future. Really didn't. I was just goofing off and using the site as a canvas for ideas and stories.

GR: Was the new contest created for more material to add to the site?

GR: Oh.. kinda. Yeah, a little of it was me wanting to be lazy. Most sites aren't ran by one person. Mostly though, I wanted a reason for people to come here every day.

GR: What do you like to see people do when they write articles or stories for your site?

Redlow: Quirky/humorous short stories. Maybe three paragraphs long.. something people can look at and read and roll their eyes at or chuckle. If it's too long, they don't want to take the time to read it. Ash is doing game reviews. That's ok. Good for a player's point of view. Though, not exactly what I'd prefer, since there are professional gamers and professional writers out there who do them.

GR: Were you disappointed with the lack of material submitted?

Redlow: Yes hehe, I am. It's a lesson learned though. If I want consistent submissions, I'll have to "hire" someone and not just put up a form.

GR: Have you ever been offended by anything anyone has sent in?

Redlow: In the surveys, yes. There have been some off color comments that weren't even funny that I accidently on purpose didn't post.

GR: Has anything ever freaked you out, maybe from Auntie Dae? I remember one time when someone posted an emotional problem and it was pretty serious.

Redlow: I get the feeling that at least some of the submissions to her aren't sent my way by their request. She's hinted that she has helped with some very major problems. Actually, I talk to her a lot with it. She's very helpfull, but nothing I've actually seen (it's optional whether it gets posted or not - I only see the ones that are to be posted) has freaked me out. And sometimes whoever sent it in chose to have it posted and it looked too personal to me, so I didn't. Auntie Dae may actually be more popular than I think.. I've never asked her how many people ask for her help.

GR: When you don't spend your time on Redlow.net, what do you do?

Redlow: Hehe.. ah.. *looks down* I have no life. Reading a lot... some TV... soon a job. I'm out of money ;). Oh.. and getting porn. Duh.. kinda goes without saying.

GR: What job would you like to have next?

Redlow: A writer for.. anything.

GR: What's the strangest thing that happened at the donut store?

Redlow: I don't know if it's really the strangest, but one night on my way in I apparently totally ignored the stop sign right before the store (how dumb was that). When I parked, I was surrounded by three squad cars, all with their lights flashing. I thought there was a murder or something, then they told me I ran the stop sign. Thankfully, when you work third shift you can just say "uugh.. I'm so tired" and they understand.

GR: Have there been any strange customers?

Redlow: I worked with my back to the counter.. towards the corner of the store, so I didn't see many customers.

GR: Do you know if any strange things were done to the food?

Redlow: Someone found a fly under the glaze of a donut once. I swear it wasn't a night I was working. All of my co-workers were strange though.

GR: Tell me about them.

Redlow: Ok, let's call this first one Jill. She was short, very short. Just under 5'1 and hyper.. and a hell of a lot of fun to work with. I wouldn't have been able to stand it there if she didn't work there.

GR: How old was she?

Redlow: 20.

GR: Was she the friend you were trying to go out with?

Redlow: Yeah, I liked her.

GR: What was happening to her? Were you too tall for her?

Redlow: Um.. well, yeah. It was a bit comical looking for us to stand next to each other. I'm a full foot and a half taller than her

GR: Has anything strange ever happened to Jill?

Redlow: Eh, not really. I called her a chihuahua.

GR: What did she say?

Redlow: She laughed, and thought it fit. I called her that a lot of times.

GR: Have you been visiting the store ever since you quit?

Redlow: Sometimes. I haven't been in there for a long time.

GR: What was your last day like?

Redlow: The day I was *supposed* to quit was fun. Jill came in and I was training my replacement, but I had to work another day.. which sucked.

GR: Tell us about the day.

Redlow: Not much to tell.. the person I trained cut the dough for the first time that night.. and I was working with the other girl (who I called Sue). It was boring and long.

GR: But you said it was fun...

Redlow: The day I was supposed to quit was fun. I was training someone and he caught on very fast.. so most of the time I was just standing around. And Jill came in later in the evening. We threw donut dough at each other, hugged, joked, promised to keep in touch, etc.

GR: Have you kept in touch?

Redlow: For a while.. but I haven't talked to her in months now.

GR: Why is that?

Redlow: Well, she got a different job than the one she had been working at, so I didn't know how to get ahold of her in person. A few times I've called her.. but *shrugs* dunno why I haven't kept in touch better. She's not making much of an effort herself though.. so oh well.

The next.. call her Sue. She was fat. And annoying. And a bitch. Everyone I knew couldn't stand her.

GR: Tell us about Sue.

Redlow: Sue is a bitch. We all thought so. And a suck up.

GR: Anyone else?

Redlow: There was 'Jim' let's call him. The guy who'd been there longer than most anyone else who cut the dough most nights... real good guy. Kinda quiet like me, but a good guy. I think he kinda figured out that I liked Jill.

GR: How?

Redlow: *Shrugs* Just had a feeling he knew. She probably told him, actually. They were close.. we both kinda thought of him as like a dad.

GR: How old was Jim?

Redlow: Early 50's.

GR: Did he also like Jill?

Redlow: The same way I liked her? *blinks* I don't think so. Heh.

GR: Are there any secrets about your town?

Redlow: We put up this huge ass cross, does that count?

GR: Where did they put it?

Redlow: It has killed someone.

GR: It killed someone?

Redlow: It's by the interstate.. people stopped to take pictures of it and one such person was killed when he/she was hit by a car. Personally, I think it's a stupid idea and wish they'd stop trying to push their religion onto other people.

GR: Is it a Christian town that you live in?

Redlow: Oh yes.. yes, yes, yes. The majority of the town seems to have the attitude that if you're not white, middle classed, christian, you don't belong.

GR: What was it like going to Texas for the Faire?

Redlow: A blast. I always have fun there.

GR: Are you going again?

Redlow: I'm sure I'll be back in TX sometime next year again... maybe for the fanfest now that they've pushed it back.

GR: Where did you stay up there?

Redlow: First time I stayed at Krista's appartment with a bunch of other folks. It was kinda like a sardine can. Second time, also with Krista. This last time I stayed at Ed's house with Arakasi. Foolish me, I think I missed out on Indian Food because of it. There's this kick ass Indian restaraunt there called the Star of India. Ed's family's nice though.

GR: What is Texas like?

Redlow: My first two visits were kinda unusual in that it was cloudy at all times and chilly and drizzly. This past May was more normal.. it was hot... and being from Illinois, it was odd to see leaves on the trees in the winter (first two times there).

GR: Thank you for the interview

Redlow: Thank you, Ginger! It was fun.

Anal