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Two-Year Anniversary!!!!
Ah, two years. The Pallet Gym has been on-line for two years on September 25th, which is a long time for a web-site, no less one dedicated to a small electric rat. Some of you have been around ever since that day in 1998, while most of you discovered the Gym more recently. For the few who have been hanging around since the first day, you know the Horray! Two years on the web!entire torrid history. The Pallet Gym started off as Josh's Pokemon Page, which was an off-branch of a Nintendo site I had on Geocities. Initially only about five pages in total, I really didn't expect to put too much into it, just a small walkthrough and a link back to my Nintendo page. Well, anyway, I decided to submit it to Yahoo!, never thinking it would be listed. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was the luck of the draw being one of the first US Pokemon sites to spring up near the launch date of the now legendary Gameboy games. Or maybe guy at Yahoo hit the "Accept" button instead of the "Delete" button. I left on a short vacation after I submitted the site on a Friday, and when I came back that Sunday, there were over 50 e-mails in my mailbox, wanting to know how to get through Viridian Forest, how to open up Viridian Gym, how to beat Brock, and if I knew Pikachu personally.

Things just went up after that. I gave my Pokemon page it's own hit counter, which quickly went into six digit range. I added new sections, revamped the look of the page. Many of the sections that are the big parts of the site now (Fan Fiction, Reader Teams, Episode Guide) were actually suggestions by readers. At one point, I wanted to stop updating the Pokemon Page so I could focus on my new Zelda page. A couple dozen e-mails from readers later forced me to change my mind. So it went on.... and on..... and on.... I joined the Pokemon Top50 list and Josh's Pokemon Page went straight to #1 for several months, before being dethroned by the now monolithic But even after that, it was still in the top ten. After a failed move to Acmecity, I revamped the site on Geocities some more, and was even given extra server space by Geocities, since my page was so popular! Things were looking up. I found myself in the ranks with such pro pages as the Pojo, Pokemon Abode, and UPNetwork. Then..... it happened.

It probably happened about a month after the first anniversary. I'm not really sure. I'm also not sure why it happened, but for some reason, when I typed in the address of my Pokemon page one morning... it was gone. Geocities deleted You mean the page is gone?it. They also blocked my account. I still have no reason why they did it. After a few frantic e-mails to Geocities, which I might add, they only responded with bull-**** form e-mails that was no help whatsoever, I scooted my butt over to Yahoo to change the address on my listing. But they ignored me too, opting to just delete my listing instead changing it. With my tail between my legs, I fled over to CheatPlanet, which had offered to host me before. Luckily, I was about to move over there anyway, and most of my files were intact. Still, the loss off the thousands of readers who had bookmarked the Geocities site kind of depressed me, and I didn't want to update the site anymore. However, I managed to stop feeling sorry for myself and took the opportunity to get a fresh start on things. After a temporary name change to Josh's Pokemon Page X, the site's name was changed to The Pallet Town Gym, later shortened to The Pallet Gym, as suggested by Matt Powers, the owner of Pokemon Canada and the designer of the Pallet Gym logo. The site got a fresh new look, and I went on with the updates.

Josh's Pokemon Page, or shall I say The Pallet Gym, never fully recovered from the drop from Geocities and the loss of almost 90% of readers. Before the drop, the hit counter was only about 100,000 away from hitting two million visitors, and I'm sure it would have hit the million mark a couple more times since if it wasn't for the drop. Still, it goes on, getting about 300-500 hits a day. As I look back, maybe the drop was a good thing. My mailbox isn't flooded with Ya gotta have friends!50-100 emails a day (I try to answer all my mail), leaving me more time to work on other things I care about, like The Nolans, my comic strip and working towards my degree in Graphic Design. I also have affiliates who are very nice friends, such as the good chaps over at Poke Isle, and Matt from the now defunct Pokemon Canada. I provide some voices in the Cerulean Gym's upcoming fandub of Electric Soldier Porygon. And had I not been dropped, I might not have found the time to find my way back to DMGIce and rekindle my friendship with the staff over there, and not have ever come up with Fresh From The Icebox!

Many Pokemon sites are now beginning to generalize themselves into general anime sites (aka Pojo). In my opinion, that only shows that they are only in it for the money and that they believe that Pokemon is on the way out. That's not what I think. Like it or not, Pokemon is a important part of videogame history. It changed the way people think about video games. It changed the way people think about Japanese anime. It helped save Nintendo when it was facing Sony Playstation. Sure, the cards, the toys and the TV show will eventually go away. But the games will still come. Pokemon is a Nintendo franchise, just like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. You'll be shopping for a video game ten years from now, and when you look on the shelf at that copy of Super Mario 512, you be sure to see a new Pokemon game sitting next to it. And you can smile to yourself and remember how it all started... as a humble Gameboy game.

The Pallet Gym has been a learning experience for me. I learned all sorts of HTML tricks during those two years that many people do not know. I've gotten all sorts of new programs and gadgets that help make the site even better, and with the addition of hand-drawn artwork and the totally revamped design a few months ago, the Gym is finally the way I envisioned it when I first started out on Geocities.

I hope you've enjoyed my site. I've worked hard on making it the best I can. The best is yet to come!
-Josh Nickerson

Oooh! Lookie! A Design Timeline! Click on the pictures for a blast from the past!

September 1998
Josh's Pokemon Page
as it first appeared on
October 1998
The design most
people remember from
June 1999
The design before the
drop from Geocities
January 2000
The design that came
after the move to