BioRx-Bandits.com was originally created and run by Jonathan Hart, who conjured up the site because the official web site was very uninformative. Rx-Bandits was started in March of 2001 and Jonathan owned and operated the site up until December of 2001, when he was hired to develop the band's official web site Jonathan put up a request for anyone interested in taking over the web site to contact him - that was when my friend Justin and I put in an offer to take over the site.
As luck would have it, Jonathan decided to hand down the web site to Justin and me. Unfortunately, this was during winter break and I had no Internet access from my house. Justin was able to talk to Jonathan from work, and we discussed some of the things that we needed to do to get everything working right again. The problem was that the company used to host Rx-Bandits.com was going out of business at the end of December. Justin and I had to download the whole site, and put it up on a new server in about a week - hence, for the first part of the New Year, the site wasn't working.
When Justin and I first talked about what we want to do with the web site, we very quickly realized that we needed to do something... different. When Jonathan took over the official web site, it pretty much made Rx-Bandits.com useless. The official web site got ten times better, and all of the stuff that made our newly inherited site useful was gone - all of the lyrics were now on the official site, as well as updated news, even the mailing list was transferred to the official site. To make sure that our web site stood out, we had to make it more like an online fan club; the buzzword we used at the time was that we were building a "fan community."
First, we restarted the newsletter from scratch, followed by re-launching the message forum. Then, we gave people topics to discuss with our new editorial section and let readers post their own opinions in the forum. After that, we added a downloads section, giving our viewers a few freebies including: exclusive .mp3's, wallpapers, AIM buddy icons, screen savers, etc. We launched a fan photo section at the same time which gave viewers the opportunity to send in their photograph, e-mail address and location. We even started a fan site of the month contest, which showcased creative and unique personal web sites With all the new additions, it is easy to see how the "community" buzzword came to be.
Needless to say, this was a tremendous effort that took nearly five months to fully realize. Originally, Justin and I planned to implement these new features along with a snazzy new Rx-Bandits.com, but the timetable just wasn't there. We had to scrap the idea that we were going to redo the entire site until we got everything settled and running the way we wanted.