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The Pine Valley Bulletin


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Pine Valley's very own online newspaper

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
December 2003

The Pine Valley Bulletin
Kathy Carano, Webmaster

If you are a fan of All My Children then The Pine Valley Bulletin, Pine Valley's very own online news paper, is for you!

According to the site founder, webmaster, and Editor-in-Chief, Kathy Carano, she created The Pine Valley Bulletin five years ago, November 21st, after having worked on another site for years and becoming dissatisfied with it.

Designed to be a simple, mostly text-based site for easy access to all visitors, the PV Bulletin contains scoops, breaking news, birthdays, editorials, 20 questions, a map of Pine Valley as contributed by one of the site’s regular visitors and so much more.

Kathy calls her site a "labor of love" that is like a full time job with no pay.  She does make a little money from her Amazon link, but not enough to pay for anything.  Instead she thinks that all the wonderful people she has met as a result of her site make it all worth while, even as she confides "...I'd like it to become something that I can make a living off of, but if that never happens, then so be it.  I'm proud of it just the way it is."

And it apparently is worthwhile for her fans as well.  Kathy spoke of one fan who was down on his luck and asked if he could move in with her and her husband for a while until he was back on his feet.  She says, "At the time I thought, is he nuts!?  And of course, we did say no.  But it's flattering.  I didn't realize it at the time, but my site has become so personal to so many that they feel they know me.  That's pretty special."

However, for all the fun and joy in running the site there is also a down side.  On November 17, 2003 Kathy's site crashed.  Now, we all know that servers crash from time to time, that's nothing new.  But what happened to the Pine Valley Bulletin site was apparently a vicious and malicious act.  It's called a denial of service attack and what is done is that the site is bombarded with so many hits (14 million hits in a span of less than 2 weeks) that the server could not handle it and crashed.  What’s worse, Kathy's site isn't the only one that is on this server. All the sites crashed. After the crash, the people who run Kathy’s ISP were able to pinpoint that the problem was directed at the Pine Valley Bulletin alone.  It was removed from the server and everything was reset.  But the minute they put the site back up, it all began again.   It took over three weeks to get the site back online again. It was not easy, but PV Bulletin is back in business. 

“Once the person who is doing this is blocked, they (the ISP) will have to add more security to the site,” Kathy shared.  "I don't understand why someone would do something so hateful and so cruel.  Once all evidence is gathered, appropriate action will be taken.  This is not the work of some bored hacker ... there is no technology on my site to try to steal.  This was the work of someone with an ax to grind.  And I have no idea why.  So I urge you all to check your security, activate your firewalls, and do whatever else you can to ensure that this doesn't happen to you.”

Now that the site is back up and running we encourage you all to check out the Pine Valley Bulletin and let Kathy know what you think of her site.  Let’s show the hackers that they can't keep a good site down!

Photo caption:  Kathy Carano with then AMC star, Mathew St. Patrick (Adrian Sward) at an AMC fan lunch on September 12, 1999 at the Mariott Marquis Hotel in NYC. St. Patrick got his start in daytime playing Marcus Taggert on General Hospital in 1997.  His stint on AMC lasted 2 years, from 1998-2000. Soon after leaving daytime he landed the controversial role of the homosexual police officer Keith Charles on the HBO series, “Six Feet Under.”

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