What I like about the year as a unit of time is that it's completely non-arbitrary. We users of the Arabic counting system find numbers with lots of zeroes significant, but that's not based on anything concrete, just a choice to use 10 as the base of arithmetic. The year, on the other hand, has a basis in physical fact -- the Earth is in roughly the same position relative to the sun today as it was one year ago. And so it is with 5MV. Unfortunately, I've lost track of the exact date the site began, but I started the News page on June 15th last year, making Five-Minute Voyager officially a year old.
And boy, have things changed! The last time the Earth was in this neck of the solar system, only two elements of the present site existed -- the Episodes page and the Statement of Purpose -- and they were on the same page. At that point there were only five or six fivers, seen only at Deltachat ("Caretaker" was first and "Unimatrix Zero I" was second, but of course I couldn't finish the latter until Part II aired). The site's trademark Voyager-on-the-number-5 graphic didn't exist yet; instead, the clock image I currently use for front-page links was at the top and much, much larger. And so on.
A year later, the site has grown from a few fivers to more than 70, including 21 by guest writers. The range has expanded to cover not only Voyager but Shakespeare, the X-Files, Babylon 5, two RPGs, and now one of the TNG movies. The site has even gone beyond fivers with a group of Top 10 lists and a secondary feature, This Just In. Two major redesigns have come and gone.
In that time, 5MV has had a profound effect on me personally. My skills as a webmaster have improved greatly from the pitiful state they were in at first. I've had the chance to create my own comedy format and run with it. My work has been read by Trek fans around the world, through both the site and the forums where I publish fivers (Deltachat, Psi Phi, the Trek BBS, the J-Team, and alt.tv.star-trek.voyager). I've become acquainted with some of the most prominent members of the ST community. I've gained something to do with all that spare time. :)
Anyway, now that I've got a year under my belt, I'd like to thank those who've aided and abetted this belt enlargement....
In honour of 5MV's birthday, I've completed my first non-Voyager fiver: Five-Minute First Contact. There should also be some minor (very minor) layout changes in the next short while. My collaboration with VVS8 begins today too; the timing is a coincidence, but I'll take it.
- The denizens of Deltachat have been 5MV's first and best supporters. I've said it before, I say it again: the site wouldn't exist without them. Thanks, guys.
- Remember what I said about prominent members of the ST community? The first of them was Lis of J-Team and TrekToday fame; she's been a friend to 5MV and me ever since I wrote Five-Minute "Counterpoint." (To a J/Kashyk shipper, a little goes a long way.) Lis gets many thanks....
- ....as does Julia Houston, another of 5MV's first supporters. When she listed the site in her about.com newsletter, it underwent its first big popularity boost.
- Undoubtedly the site's biggest promoter and popularizer has been Jim "Review Boy" Wright. Not only has he added 5MV to his links at the end of each review, but he's kept a front-page link posted for quite a while now. Remember that record hitcount I got a while back? Only by piggybacking off Delta Blues could I have hit 562 in one day. It's amazing to get such great feedback from the guy whose reviews I've been admiring for years. Thanks, Jim!
- Behind every good webmaster, there's a good webhost; Owen "BoneShintai" Jacobson has been the best webhost I could have asked for. Ever since the move to 3sygma, Owen's been an indispensable help to me with countless site-related issues. He's also, incidentally, a very cool guy. Muchas gratias.
- Also in the "very cool guy" category is Caillan Davenport. He hasn't done anything that directly benefitted 5MV to my knowledge, but he's been a great benefit to me, and that in turn has been a benefit to the site.
- One of 5MV's lesser-known supporters is Pat "Scoop" Stuckey, author of the webcomic Scoop Hamster. Sadly, our plan to collaborate on a comic has fallen through for the foreseeable future, but Pat's help has nonetheless been appreciated.
- Kudos also to everyone involved in the creation of Star Trek: Voyager -- writers, producers, cast, and crew; without them, my source material wouldn't exist. Special thanks to Robert Beltran for giving me so very much to make fun of.
- A few shout-outs: Christian Sparborth, for publishing my TrekToday articles; all the guest writers; the gang at Psi Phi; the gang-like thing at ATVSTV; monkee, Trek shipperdom's most valuable primate; the VVS8 crowd, especially Thinkey; Marill and her cohorts at 5th Voyager; SimonBob; and finally Neroon, the most decent guy at the Trek BBS.
- Finally, a big rousing "Thanks, y'all" to my readership. Your responses are what make it all worthwhile; I'm delighted to have been able to amuse you.