★ The Abh Nation History 2004-2006 ★

Enter: The Abh Nation

If there was any remaining doubt about the victory of NationSafugnoff, it would soon be laid to rest. In September of 2004, I met a new member of the NationSafugnoff Forums, "cyberstorm". He proposed the idea of using a content management system (CMS) for the next version of the site. This way I could have a universal template design that was easy to navigate. Additionally, I could add and modify content with ease from an administrative control panel. Best of all, the site could be linked with the forums. But there was a catch, the old forums would be vacated, meaning everyone must move to the new site.

It was around this time that democracy became the law of the land. Thus the issue was put to vote, and succeeded by the majority. After working with cyberstorm for a month, The Abh Nation was unveiled on October 2nd, 2004 to much praise. Finally, there could be no doubt as to the supremacy of the new Abh Nation.

So why did the name change? That issue was also voted on. Cyberstorm mentioned, and I agreed that the new design was so much more grand that it warranted changing the name of the site to something that could project a sense of grandeur. The Abh Nation was chosen, and quickly adopted by the community. By the end of 2004, the forums were alive with levels of activity never before thought possible. The Abh Nation was expanding it's content base, and I was adding new features almost daily. It seemed that the nation was in it's golden age, but there would be new heights to conquer.

The Golden Age 2005-2006

With victory achieved, The Abh Nation entered it's golden age. I expanded the site's content base many times over. I added full galleries with screen captures from every episode. The downloads page was reorganized with new content, including high quality wallpapers. Discontent with the red forum skin, I designed many additional skins, some of which became wildly popular. An arcade was added to the forums for a brief time, but later removed when it proved to be a security risk. Throughout 2005 and 2006, the site was hacked many times, forcing me to constantly improve security. The community began a number of ambitious projects. The first was a program to apply a skin to Google, emulating the appearance of The Abh Nation. This was a yet another huge success. Then came the game mod, which is still a work in progress to this day. In late 2005, members of the community and myself finished the most comprehensive Baronh-English dictionary ever made. It laid the groundwork for the next phase of glory for the nation.

Pinnacle of Success

In early 2006, after completing a successful project to translate and release the first three novels of the Seikai series, it seemed The Abh Nation could not possibly become more successful. One day I received an invitation from Kara Stambach to act as a fan consultant for TOKYOPOP's latest project, the translation of the first three Seikai novels. She needed an expert on the Baronh language, and I was it. Though The Abh Nation had already released translations, they were crude and difficult to understand, in large part due to a lack of Japanese speakers proficient enough to translate something as complicated as a science fiction novel. I gladly accepted the invitation, and work on the project began. By mid-summer 2006, three novels had hit the shelves of major bookstores, all with credits to The Abh Nation on the inside cover. The mood in the community was ecstatic. Unfortunately, sagging sales and internal wrangling doomed the project. No more novels were released, and contract with TOKYOPOP was canceled. The Abh Nation had made it's mark on the world. I love to use metaphors, so I shall use one now. The nation is like a ship, rocketing out of the atmosphere into the endless sea of space. We struggled and struggled to succeed, and at last we succeeded beyond all belief. Yet the nation had run out of gas. There were no more novels to be published, now new content to be had. However at the time, no one saw the impending decline, as we were all blinded by our success.

The Constitution

In June of 2006, after many months of deliberation, members of The Abh Nation unanimously approved the first constitution of the nation. The Abh Nation had always been run democratically, and had pioneered the concept of internet democracy. With a constitution, the nation was now officially a democracy, with laws and rights. Now elections would be scheduled regularly and be governed by rules. Members and staff members alike would be subject to a universal set of rules, yet have rights, a concept that was completely alien to the internet. With the passing of the constitution, a flag was approved along with numerous departments. The nation had grown so fast that the members felt the system of government was inefficient, and in need of replacement. With the constitution, came the rule of law and logic. In the past, the site was run on the whims of staff members. Punishment for infractions of the law were not universal or always fair. Additionally, with the constitution, ordinary members now gained a tremendous amount of leverage to decide the course of the site.

However the constitution was fatally flawed. It assumed the nation would keep growing and expanding it's influence. When the opposite happened, the nation was in dire straits, with a bulky inefficient government designed for a large forum. As the site declined, the constitution was ratified several times to reflect an ever shrinking population.

One Last Respite

After the wild success of the novels, and the impending decline, one last respite of hope presented itself. In late 2006, Bandai released Banner of the Stars III as a two-part mini series. The Abh Nation members quickly banded together to make English subtitles for the release. The piece was widely discussed for many months, but inevitably removed from the site after threats of legal action from Bandai. With the possibility of further novels of anime installments being released, the population of the forums plummeted. Numerous impractical projects, ranging from the annexation of other websites, to the expansions of the forums, surfaced in an attempt to save the nation from a long recession. As weeks turned to months, and then to years, the site slipped into a depression of epic proportions. More than once I tried to close down the nation, but the attempt failed after being rejected by the community.


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