THE HISTORY OF THIS WEBSITE
The Internet is already getting old enough to begin to be nostalgic about its early beginnings, and I'm particularly nostalgic when talking about this web site. The main reason that is is because this was the first web site I ever created, and it started out as something small and simple, and has since grown to what it is today.
This web site actually started out being called American Cinema on the Internet, and was my early attempt at putting together my own kind of publishing place for my own movie reviews, as well as setting up links to some of the other film related sites I had discovered in my first early journeys in surfing the web. I created the site before I even knew HTML, using the most basic of visual editors to put together a basic one page site. I bet a lot of you didn't know that the huge company that has since become Yahoo Geocities to host personal web sites for free, was actually called Beverly Hills Internet back in 1995, and I was one of the first to sign up for its free home page hosting service, and in October of 1995, I created American Cinema on the Internet, one web page which contained my first movie review, a brief one for Strange Days, as well as links to six other web sites with film related information.
As I began to learn more about HTML and web site creation, I began to expand the site, including a section called Oscar Watch to put up basic predictions and discussion around Oscar time, as well as put together a section to compile people's votes for the best films of all time. Over the next few years, the site molded and changed according to different ideas I had, but eventually I realized that I tended to focus most of the sections of the site on the Academy Awards, so I changed the title after a couple of years to Oscar, Oscar! As I began that focus, I created new sections dealing more specifically with the Oscars, including a section on the best and worst Oscar moments of all time.
Finally, I moved the site from Geocities to its own web address, oscarworld.net, and redesigned the site several times before I finally came up with a design I was happy with (needless to say, that design didn't last long, as you'll soon see!). I also began a very fruitful partnership with Oscar Dearest co-author Jim Pinkston, and through some of his ideas, expanded the site even more.
In 2001, OscarWorld introduced its very own Academy Awards predicting contest, offering prizes to the top three winners. Called The OscarWorld Open, it's a much different predicting contest from any other out on the internet, and the very first contest was very successful, drawing upwards of 275 some participants from all around the world! It was a new tradition to continue every year.
Since the web site had been put together with new additions over the years, the site eventually became quite difficult to navigate and needed some order. So also to prepare the site for the celebration of Oscar's big 75th anniversary, I finally did a complete redesign of the web site in 2002, giving the site a much more cohesive design and making it much easier to navigate with a sidebar pop-in-and-out menu on every page. I also added some new features along with that redesign, including a feature to allow others to submit their worst Oscar snubs and oversights of all time, as well as moving my 100 Greatest Movie Sequences web site, merging it into the Oscar, Oscar web site. At the same time, I also signed up a new contributing editor to join Jim and I. Arkaan Semere had discovered the site quite a while ago, and became a regular contributor to the online message board. Around year end time, he would regularly take up the task of calculating everyone's top ten lists, coming up with a year end best list for all the posters to our message board. His passionate writing about film prompted me to finally make him an official part of the website, and now he contributes his articles on film and the Oscars throughout the year along with Jim and I.
By the end of 2006, I felt it was time to redesign the site again and completely overhauled it with a cleaner, more advanced design, and also launched my new online radio talk show dedicated to discussing the Academy Awards once a week at BlogTalkRadio.com/oscaroscar.
And then, as often happens, going for a more advanced look to the site can also bog it down, so it was time for one more redesign to return to our cleaner, faster design roots, and the new redesign was launched in January of 2009. Plus that was a great month for "change" anyway. ;-)
A completely new renovation came for the site in the summer of 2020, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the site. It made the site truly mobile friendly for the first time, streamlined the site to get rid of things that weren't being used anymore, and also added more multimedia links to the Oscar history listings.
I was recently cleaning out some old papers, and found some printouts I made of the American Cinema on the Internet site when it just started, and I thought you might be interested in seeing these scans of the web site's humble beginnings ...
October 1995 -- Actual Printout of the Debut Page of the Web SiteThank you for revisiting this site's history!
December 1995 -- The Web Site Expands From One Page to Many, Here was the first page of the main page
Second part of the main web page from December 1995
One of my first in depth reviews written for the site in Dec 1995
Continuation of first movie review page