ActionScript.org Turns 10. My memories.
About 121 months ago, I was browsing FlashKit (thanks Mark) and FlashZone (thanks Dave) and trying to help people with their Flash woes. More specifically, I was helping with ActionScript problems. By no means an animation or design expert, I had taught myself a little ActionScript, and found that helping others with their problems was the best way to expand my own knowledge. I tended to spend a few hours each day browsing around, looking for interesting problems to solve.
Back then, ActionScript was a very differently language. You couldn't type code free-form. You had to navigate through the tree structure, select the operation you wanted, and enter arguments into pre-defined boxes. Apart from anything else, I remember how this made the process of helping people out very time-consuming, as you had to write up the code from scratch in your forum posts; you couldn't just copy and paste!
At the time I'd authored about 5,000 posts on various forums, and written a few short tutorials. ActionScript was not a very advanced language, so peoples' issues were quite common and rudimentary. The idea of creating my own ActionScript-focussed site with tutorials addressing these problems had occurred to me several times.
Then I came across a post from a guy based in Canada. He had recently bought a domain (actionscripts.org) and was looking to partner with an ActionScript 'expert' to launch a new site, focussing on ActionScript.
Over the next few weeks I got to know Strok, a man of many talents. Working via email only, from opposite sides of the globe, conceptualised the layout, structure and content for our new website, ActionScripts.org (yes, with a trailing 's'). The site launched on this day, 10 years ago.
I continued to help out a lot around the community, and when I came across seemingly common problems, I would write a generic tutorial addressing the root of the issue and post it on ActionScript.org. I would then direct people towards that tutorial and explain how it could solve their problem.
Meanwhile, we reached out (individually, via email) to other authors of tutorials and open source, asking for their assistance in growing our content base. Over the course of many months, our content base started to grow, and so too did our traffic.
Several weeks after launching, Strok and I celebrated: the site had served 100 page views in one day! We were ecstatic! We also had almost 50 members on our forums, and were accumulating posts fast.
Over the course of the last 10 years, ActionScript.org has faced many challenges. In the early days, as the site's growth skyrocketed, we were taken offline for going over our bandwidth limits. A few months later, we were down again when our web-host took us offline for using too much CPU on a shared server. Soon, even our own dedicated server wasn't enough! We've been successfully attacked by hackers three times (that I remember) with pages defaced and content lost. We've gone through periods of stagnation when Strok and I were too busy to update the site with new content which was pouring in via email – this is back before we had content management systems and automated process. But the trajectory has been constantly upward.
Today, our little site, which once served 100 pages in one day now serves over 2,000,000 pages per month, to 500,000 absolute users from every corner of the globe. Our forums, which started one day one with three users, now boast 110,00 members who have contributed over 1,000,000 posts.
And we couldn't have gotten there without you: our community.
From the very beginning Strok and I have wanted this to be a community-driven site. We both learned Flash for free from others willing to invest their time in trying to help us solve our problems. We wanted to launch a site in that helped others the way we ourselves were helped.
Alongside our day jobs, growing and running ActionScript.org has taken a lot of hard work, late nights and weekends. But even more substantial has been the amazing growth and drive attributable to every single member who has ever contributed to ActionScript.org.
We're extremely proud of where ActionScript.org has ended up, 10 years on from inception. Thank you all. Here's to another 10 years!
Here are a couple of fun facts which I recall about the site:
Congratulations Jesse and Strok and to the entire community. That's a great story and has made for a great community, some interesting facts for sure. Thanks for sharing the story along with all the hard work by you two and others over the years and thanks for the great community everyone.
Long live the Flash platform and the Actionscript,org community. ;)
I remember reading my first AS tutorials here 5 or 6 years ago written by you. That helped me start to build my Flash knowledge. Years later I decided to join the forums and give back some of that knowledge and of course wrote a few tutorials which have helped quite a lot of people too. Anyway I can only say thank you Jesse and thank you Strock, you certainly deserve your success! ;)
Wow, its been that long already. I've been here for 9 years now. I remember all the hacks, downed servers, and the explosion of AS[org]'s popularity.
I came here with a very simple question, which was answered by CyanBlue, learned a whole bunch, gave back, and learned some more. Met some cool people along the way. I have 2 people that work with me that knew me here before they ever knew me in person.
Jesse and Strok have put so much into this place and done such an amazing job. My hats off to you guys! Here's to 10 more years!
You guys are awesome and thank YOU guys... :)
thanks to the both of you, and everyone at as.org who has made this site such a success.
Wow, 10 years. This site was founded about when I started AS. Good 'ol Flash 4, limited but creative days for sure :) I haven't been around a long time at this site unfortunately, but I've done a lot of tutoring in other ways, I must say I really agree with Jesse's words about learning by helping others, and the joy when you see other people (and yourself ofc) are suddenly hit with a new piece of knowledge.
Anyways, congratulations on the great work you guys have done, and are doing, helping driving the platform forward :)
10 years? Cripes, that's a long time ago!
I think Pink and Vile have 2 kids.
ActionScripts.org is the only site I've actually donated money to.
I joined this site due to Jesse's impressive tenacity, knowledge and willingness to help others.
I tried to meet Strok at the "Flash in the Can" festival (thanks for the tickets!) but he was too elusive even back then. ;)
Thanks Jesse, Strok and everyone else who takes the time to help "strangers" on a public forum such as this one.
Wow, just awesome. I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be where I am today without AS.org and the amazing people here. So on behalf of myself (and the wife), I'd like to personally thank Jesse, Strok, and all the senior members here for the mind-boggling five years I've spent in this community. If it were not for you guys, I would literally still be delivering pizza.
I think we should all get bitchin gangster tattoos across our stomachs:
Really, this site has been a great blessing for me, I've learned so much, and continue to learn from the great community of developers here. Thanks Jesse and Strok for all your hard work!
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