What was Moddin.net
Moddin.net was a technology website created in June 2001 and quickly established itself as one of the best known and respected computer modification and review websites on the internet.
How I Started
I’m not entirely sure exactly how I got started with moddin.net, but basically I visited their newly opened forums and got talking with the founder, Anthony ‘Tigermain’ Main on the 17th August 2001 about his new logo for the site. After offering a newer version with a slight alteration to make it look better we kind of got talking and I probably mentioned that I had a rare Silverado HSF and was subsequently asked if I could do a comparison review of it with the ThermoEngine for the website as a guest reviewer.
So on the 20th August 2001 I did my first and last guest review which was a comparison of the rare and expensive (at the time) Silverado heat-sink and fan and the ThermoEngine. This comparison review of a new and elusive cooler laid the foundations for my reviewing pedigree and helped to launch me into the technology press.
As I had impressed the guys at moddin.net with my web and graphic skills as well as my Silverado review, I was confirmed as a full moddin.net staff member on the 19th September 2001. So along with being a reviewer I was now the lead graphics designer and web developer. Unfortunately this meant that I was being dumped with the whole redesign of the site – and all this on my first official day at the job 😉
What I did
On the 13th November 2001 the new Cactushead version of moddin.net was launched and was a big success with our forum members as well as the whole community.
Over the years I established myself as the lead reviewer and continued to do a whole load of other jobs. Obviously I continued being the GFX designer and web developer so I was called upon frequently to create or code stuff for the site. However I basically did anything and everything in creating and maintaining the site, if something needed doing it was more often than not me who dealt with it – from finding bugs to preventing hacks as well as basic forum administration.
Our Industry Links
Throughout our life moddin.net and some of our mods were featured in several publications including The Guardian, PC Format, PC Answers and Custom PC. We built up a good working relationship with our Affiliates, Suppliers and Advertisers. I myself gained contacts from manufactures who appreciated my quick, thorough, accurate and unbiased reviews – if something was good it was praised but if it failed to shine it was pointed out to our loyal readership.
In fact due to some of the things I pointed out some products were improved upon and a new updated version was produced. This is why we were a much loved website for our many readers and suppliers, as they knew that what we published was our honest opinion and we never towed the line just to keep our links with certain manufacturers.
How it Ended
Sadly although we were an established and respected website over the last couple of years of its life I pretty much became the only contributor for the website and Tigermain (founder and owner) decided on the 18th January 2007 that he was going to call it a day.
The reason for the decline may have been that modification of computers was less popular as manufacturers had taken the modding community’s ideas and used them to create what we called pre-modified products. The whole point of modification websites was to get away from the beige case’s that had plagued the computing industry since it started. So now that anyone could go out and spend a minimal amount of cash to get a great looking case off the shelf, kind of reduced the community’s popularity.
Added to this is that other staff members didn’t either have the time or inclination to produce content to help me and the site out so we got less traffic and things got a bit stagnant. I tried and succeeded to keep it alive for a good year or two beyond what it may have been without me by producing regular reviews but as it was not my website I couldn’t move it in the direction I felt would help it survive.
So on the 31st January 2007 the moddin.net website was officially closed and the end of an era.
Tigermain kindly wrote these words about me, they were much appreciated :-
I especially would like to thank Cactushead for his constant and daily efforts as he of all members of staff put the most work in with his graphics design, news posting and article/review content.
The new moddin.net
During the last year of its life I was asked to create a new website design using the Community Server backend. This took some time and I was in the last throws of finishing it when the Community Server had significant changes which meant that I had to do a whole load of alterations. This added a few months work to me as my design called for specialist coding of the backend software to get it running in a suitable fashion for the moddin.net design. It was yet again nearly completed when it was decided by Tigermain that there was little point in carrying on due in part to running costs. This was a shame as even though I loathed Community Server the final design was pretty good, even if I do say so myself.
My Time at Moddin.net
I visited the moddin.net website just two months after launch and became a full staff member a month later. I spent a total of 5 years, 4 months as a staff member where I wrote over 40% of the reviews and became a respected member of the worldwide technology community.
I thorougly enjoyed my time at moddin.net even though I was always busy with one thing or another. I made lots of contacts within the technology community, learned loads and gained respect not only from our members but also from other tech websites, manufacturers and suppliers.
I gave moddin.net a lot but gained more in return – it will be sadly missed.
Spin Off Projects
Through moddin.net, I have had many spin off projects.
In 2003 I helped out TechTV’s Yoshi in creating his book “TechTV’s Mod Mania with Yoshi : A Guide to Customizing Your Computer and Other Digital Devices” – available at all good book stores (ISBN-13: 978-0735714052).
I was the technical reviewer of the book which meant among other things that I had to make sure the facts were correct, that things had not been missed and that it was organized and flowed.
If you do pick up a copy of it you will find that I have a half page profile under Yoshi’s profile at the front of the book.
Due to my exposure from moddin.net, I was asked by many websites to help out in either GFX, HTML or coding. These included sites like digital silence, arena computers and probably most famously insideproject.com which I have totally redesigned from top to bottom twice (soon to be three times).