Nalaholics Anonymous has exploded from it's quiet beginnings
into a larger organization than initially expected. In addition to being
located on lionking.org, having the combined talents of Nala lovers everywhere
has added to the credibility and stature of this organization. The original
site, which was thrown together in the span of an evening, expanded into
this massive piece of programming that is now the home for Nalaholics Anonymous.
I'm proud to see the interest has driven this place forward.
Now for the truth of the matter. With the rapid
expansion of Nalaholics Anonymous into more and more circles, it becomes
important for me to make known the truth of NA, it's background and reasons
for existing. This is a personal essay from the Head Administrator, but
I speak for my organization in several moments. I hope this will be as
informative as it is cathartic.
Nalaholics Anonymous began mostly as a joke. A long
time ago in a mailing list, a member made a wildly erroneous claim that
the only way to become popular was to want Nala in bed. The effects of
this rant did not lose their intangible touch on me, and in fact I was
somewhat hurt that someone would dare lower us all to the level of simple
horny fools. I knew for certain that did not describe me, and I had no
intention of letting it slide away.
Instead of posting a flamy letter back, my mind
started turning in a more creative direction. What if by chance this person
was correct? What if popularity was based solely on loving Nala? And if
so, how could it be proven? There was no standard in character loving at
this time. Thus, Nalaholics Anonymous began to formulate in my mind.
I applied for a geocities location that night, beginning
to put together the programming ideas for the site. My intention was to
go for humor, not seriousness. I was going to 'certify' people as Nalaholics
and have a steady running list of those that qualified. Well, the qualifications
have not changed, and they are unutterably simple. I created it in the
guise of a hospital offering 'therapy' to people. The therapy was not to
abate Nala cravings, but to intensify or control them. It was based on
the idea of taking an aspect of personality, intensifying it, then using
it in a productive manner.
Version one of Nalaholics Anonymous went up at http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/2437/
on July 8, 1997 and the legend was born. The first thing to do was to publicise
it. My theory was that IF the mailing list were filled with hot-blooded,
lusty Nalaholics then they would want to be a part of ANYthing that had
to do with Nala. Certification would be so essential to them that of the
80 some odd people on the list, all of them would flock to become part
of this. That is, of course, IF this person's assumptions were correct.
I sent off an enticing letter to the list, advertising
this new site and advocating for it's use and authority as a Nala-certifying
location. That very same day, I received three responses. By the end of
the week, I had only received five. It took at least several months and
several invitations before it even reached 10 members. Regardless, my point
had been proven. The mailing list was NOT 'infected' with people who wanted
Nala in bed and we now had irrefutable proof. And I rested after that.
Even as I rested, Nalaholics Anonymous didn't. Applications
came in spurts. Two here, three there, one another time. It was not until
Takeshi joined that I realized that people were actually coming to this
site regularly. I wasn't particularly interested in hitting my site simply
to see if the little numbers had gone up or not. Takeshi wanted to write
for NA, and I was very much for this. Adding a section for the members
was a great idea that I thought needed to be explored. This was the beginnings
of the first fan-writing sections.
The pictures began to pour in from other sources,
fan art was graciously donated from several fine artists and the numbers
began to grow again. Nalaholics Anonymous reached 15 members and I was
quite pleased to see the group getting stronger. Still, there was very
little I did with the site besides answering the occasional email.
After contracting a bit of a flame for trying to
make 'everyone' like Nala, I reworked the information section to be a bit
more permissive. After all, at this point it was still somewhat of a joke
that played out simply because my point had been proven. So I made sure
that the information included plenty of details, especially things that
advised our position as not extolling characters over another exclusively.
Another group had popped up at this time that was making it so that prospective
members had to hate everything but one character. I wanted to distance
myself from this.
Time passed, and suddenly I was informed that two
of my sites had been placed on a list for people to hit and sent to a large
community of people. Well, my count jumped from just over 1000 to over
50,000 in the span of a few months. Nalaholics Anonymous had hit the big time.
And membership jumped 50%, going from 20 to 30 in that span of time. It
was amazing for me to see the guest book filling up with compliments, suggestions,
and honors that I had not intentionally had in mind for this place.
I took it all in stride, but it did begin to make
me think. I had set myself up as the Head Administrator of a group for
a joke. But there was a fateful day when someone actually asked me why
I liked Nala. And it all came out. The fact that I had ALWAYS liked Nala.
She was that secondary character that left me craving for more. Beauty
and grace surrounded her face and I felt I could follow her almost anyplace.
Yes, I was smitten, but it was not a debilitating kind of thing as some
people have described it.
When it got to around 72,000 hits, I decided that
it was time to make a move. Nalaholics Anonymous now boasted a strong group
of 40 Certified Nalaholics. With my new image skills and a gracious grant
from Brian Tiemann, I began the process of rewriting NA for it's move to LK.org. Armed with new life and a new look, NA burst onto the scene once
again bigger and badder than ever before. And I was REALLY proud of this
site. It has undergone some changes, but altogether it has been a lot of
fun, leaving me anxious for the next developments.