Did you ever wonder what spurred on the the webmasters of some of your favorite fan sites to spend hours on end in front of the computer bringing you a fun site to visit? In Soapdom's Site of the Month, you'll have the opportunity to find out!
Site of the Month
Julie Porter, Webmaster
Talk!talk! is a must-visit site for all General Hospital fans. Webmaster Julie Porter strives to compile the best GH links in cyberspace. But she doesn’t stop there. She scours the net for juicy tidbits of news and gossip on the goings on in Port Charles, and publishes the info in a concise, upbeat, and easy-going format.
It’s no wonder. Julie has just the professional skills to do it. She is a newspaper editor in North Texas! And she has been a fan of General Hospital since the mid 1970s. Bet you’ll never guess what her favorite thing is about the show. A romantic couple? A storyline? Luke and Laura’s wedding? Nope. Her favorite thing about the show is the online community that is devoted to GH -- which is why she spends time compiling info and links for GH fans.
Would Julie change anything about General Hospital if she could? If she had her wish, she would tell the powers that be to curtail some of the repetition. “The writers are bent on one or two storylines, which have been told and re-told for the past three years,” she said. “Move on to new territory!”
We caught up with Julie – thanks to the wonders of cyberspace – to find out about her inspiration for the site, how much time and energy she invests in it and why she does it. Here’s what she had to say:
Soapdom: talk!talk! is a wonderful site, but looks like a lot of work. How much time do you put into it?
Julie: Two nights a week, I come home from work and give it two or three hours; throughout the week, I collect stuff and have it ready to go when I sit down to work on the site.
Soapdom: Do you work the site alone, or do you have help? If yes to having help, how many and who are they?
Julie: Originally, I had help, but I haven’t had a contributor in awhile. They’re still welcome, though!
Soapdom: What inspired you to create this site?
Julie: My newspaper background. You pick up the newspaper, and you get a rundown of the news of the day in one spot. I wanted to do that with GH stuff online: I wanted to try to round up the best items of the day, then present it to people as a “news bulletin” with links to the sources. And I wanted to try to collect every single GH and PC link possible. I wanted the site to be a resource for people so they wouldn’t have to spend so much time surfing the net looking for things.
Soapdom: Is this a labor of love, or do you anticipate earning revenue from it.
Julie: Maybe someday, but it’s not on my mind right now.
Soapdom: How long has your site been running?
Julie: It started in its current form in December 2002. Before that, it was up for a year as a Sonny and Carly site.
Soapdom: What is your favorite thing about the site?
Julie: I love having a lot of visitors because I like knowing that people are using it and finding it helpful. And because I have a news background, I like hearing about a news item and being one of the first to spread the word.
Soapodm: What is your least favorite thing about the site?
Julie: I have a dial-up connection, and sometimes working with the site-building software can be incredibly drawn-out and tiring.
Soapdom: If you had your wish, what would you like to see happen with your site?
Julie: I’d like to learn HTML and better banner-building skills to give it a more polished, professional look.
Soapdom: Do you have any anecdotal story or stories to share with us about something that happened to you as a result of running this site?
Julie: My favorite story still involves Sage (a cyber columnist who writes witty takes on GH). I had toiled on the site for a year without many visitors at all – maybe only 1,000 that whole first year. A short time after I changed the content to the way it is today, Sage recommended it in his column, and it was the big chance I needed to get my name out there. I would not be having nearly the amount of fun that I’m having if not for Sage; he is the kindest, funniest man online.
Soapdom: Anything else you want to share?
Julie: I appreciate each and every visitor. And, if you have a GH site, let me know about it!
Updated twice weekly, talk!talk! gets about 16,000 unique visitors and 62,000 page views a month.
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