My view of what happens on Fly Anglers OnLine
(FAOL) may differ a bit from yours - or your
vision of what we do here.
My husband, (you know him as JC or Castwell)
is up before I am - actually I work late,
usually well after midnight, and he turns on
the first computer usually around 6:30 am, PST.
He checks the Guestbook first, we've had a
problem with some unwanted porn links being
posted, and then runs the Bulletin Board.
By then the first pot of coffee is brewed,
and he dumps whatever is left of the cup he
took out of the nuke machine when he got up,
and gets a cup of real coffee.
When he's pretty much awake, he turns on my
computer, and if there aren't any major problems
on the website to be addressed when I get up, he
downloads the email for me.
JC gets me up at 9:00 or so. It might be a
bit later if he knows I had a 'bad' night.
(That's another story for another time - allergies.)
If there is bad stuff to be removed from the
Guestbook, that becomes my first priority.
We keep a list of ISPs (Internet Service
Providers) used by the porn merchants and
those are passed on to the proper authorities.
At this point we have 'blocked' three ISPs
from accessing FAOL. We can either do that,
or several times each day remove the porn and
hope we don't have any one who has read it.
We may have lost some readers because of the
porn problem, folks who used those ISPs who
can no longer get to FAOL. Sad but true, and
in my opinion, a form of terrorism used by the
porn merchants...if we block them, we take the
chance of blocking some of our regular readers.
After I've had a couple of cups of coffee,
I check the email, download any new articles
which have come in and put them in their proper
files. They are printed out for the Editor to
go through. Inquiries from potential Sponsors
are also printed out, filed, and their websites
and businesses checked out. I usually respond
to those inquiries within 24 hours.
Sometimes our readers just send 'atta boy' notes,
or cute stories as something possible for our
Lighterside. Occasionally I'll hear from someone
who was very active on our Bulletin Board or Chat
and just seemed to disappear. Illness, death in
the family, divorce, change in jobs are all part
of life, and it is always nice to hear from our
FAOL folks and catch up.
There is also something called maintenance;
archives to be checked, error files to be
read and the errors to be corrected, logs
to be trimmed or deleted. Sponsor pages
to be updated or corrected (new phone numbers,
Pages must be created for new Sponsors,
graphics done, text created and the whole
thing checked and rechecked before the
Sponsor ever sees it. Oh yes, and there
is the job of attracting and contacting
new sponsors - companies, businesses
recommended to us by others (and yes our
JC also makes a 'town run' every day except
Sunday. He gets the mail at the Post Office,
runs errands and picks up the groceries.
That gets us to about noon.
Not true, but that is only part of the story.
Each week we create a new issue for the
following week. There is a 'run sheet' which
I created, similar to what your daily newspaper
uses to schedule what articles go in which
section. Some sections do not get a new
article each week. For example, we haven't
added anything to our Bamboo section lately.
However, I did have an offer recently for an
article for the Bamboo section on building
'poor man's quad rods' which will be very
unique. As we are contacted by folks who
wish to write something for FAOL, we schedule
it - or in the case of the Readers Cast section,
we may have enough articles to run several months.
This is a really good situation for our
readers, since it allows us to create an
issue with a variety of articles on several
different subjects and try and have new and
fresh ideas as well.
Then there is Fly of the Week. We really
could use some help on this one. We do have
tons of books and permission to excerpt from
them - and in fact, this week's fly is from
a brand new book. It's a great idea and a
neat fly - but the truth is, we would rather
have flies from our readers. Ones which work
for you - they don't have to be complex, but
it is okay if they are. I believe our readers
would rather see your fly than one from any
expert out there. We are grateful to the
'experts' - but many of them are overexposed
and it makes it difficult to know if they are
tying a fly for a book to sell the book or
because the fly really works. Where getting
one from a reader we pretty well know it is
going to work or the reader wouldn't send it.
Back to the schedule. By about Wednesday
the run sheet for the next week is done,
and the code work begins. We average
between 40 and 50 new pages each issue.
It is all coded by 'hand' - no programs,
just written (typed) as it is created.
All of the graphics are done by JC and
we coordinate which is used where. For
those who have asked, yes, it is just the
two of us who produce the whole thing each
week. Note, I said produce. Without the
help of all the writers who contribute we
would be totally out of gas.
From Wednesday until late Sunday night I'm
pretty much chained to my computer. It
takes that long to get all the new pages
coded, graphics added and uploaded onto
our server ready for the 'rename' process
on Sunday night. The 'old' week is transferred
to the archives, a new front page created and
One of the things which makes me feel very
proud is the Bulletin Board. The sense of
community which exists there is just incredible.
Getting an answer to a tying question, or
someone asking about a piece of equipment
rarely goes unanswered. The help our readers
offer to each other in times of crisis can't
be matched. It is a marvelous resource.
And yes, there are times when my eyes fog up too.
We spend far too much time working on
FAOL - and not fishing. But on the other
hand, if we weren't doing this, how could
we possibly have met so many wonderful people. ~ DLB
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!