About the DOA
The DOA was originally created as a DVD and home theater site for owners and users of the Divx home video system. By the fall of 1999, some 400,000 Divx-compatible players had been produced, yet there were no Internet sites left offering Divx advice and assistance; the site was intended to fill that gap. After Divx playback shut down on July 7, 2001, interest in Divx naturally waned, leaving the site in search of a mission. What that mission is remains to be seen, whether it is to provide a historical resource for the Divx home video system, serve as a test bed for this author's Web design skills, or become a technological blog.
Only the future will tell.
The DOA was founded in July, 1999, shortly after Divx was pulled from the market. The site was originally created by the Webmaster of Digital Disc World, with content limited to a single page, and the name chosen with a tongue-in-cheek attitude with regard to the acronym its initials formed. In the late summer of 1999, this author took over all responsibility for maintenance and upgrades. Due to unfamiliarity with Web design and other commitments, the project took shape slowly, but finally, on December 20, 1999, a stripped-down DOA version 2.0 finally went online, hosted in the author's private Web space.
The empty pages on DOA slowly filled out, and by the spring of 2000, there were several content pages in addition to the News and Editorial Page, including the FAQ, the list of titles released to Divx, a discs-for-sale page, and the Exclusives page. In June of 2000, the discs-for-sale page was replaced by a Reviews page.
Visibility-wise, the DOA quickly acquired notoriety amongst the home theater set, but listings amongst the major search engines were slow in coming, and for the first weeks of its existence, visitors were scarce. After several months, the site had just begun appearing in searches on Alta Vista and Lycos, when the hosting ISP changed all its user home page URLs, breaking all of DOA's painstakingly-established search engine links, and setting its visibility back to near zero. After that debacle, a domain was registered, hosting space purchased, and a scramble took place to re-establish the search engine links. After a few months, they were restored and more, and the site was listed with Jim Taylor's DVD FAQ, with the result that by the summer of 2000, visits to DOA had had risen to a very respectable level for a hobby site.
In July of 2000, Divx was finally noticed by some former and then-current Divx employees, who were quite pleased to find that someone amongst the many users of the product had re-established a fan site presence. After this, from time to time anonymous donors would send product-related resources in the feedback e-mail, although neither Circuit City nor Divx (defunct by this time) ever acknowledged the site. An e-mail to Circuit City on the subject received nothing more than an automated response, which was never followed through on.
After one reference in the national press in 2001 and a second in 2002, interest in Divx waned, and the anonymous contributions stopped. The decision was made to keep the site up as a historical resource, and it was moved back into private ISP Web, where it rested for five years. Recently, a hosting account upgrade made its own domain possible again, and work is underway to convert it to CSS layout.
When the site was founded, we, its creators, never expected it to last this long. Longer than Divx, and even longer than Circuit City itself. Where the future will lead is anyone's guess, but with luck, hard work and perseverence, the DOA may serve the online community for years to come.