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TomFulp
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Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:21:09 Reply

Ok, I feel the need for a history lesson right now. In general I keep my cool about sites that copy off of Newgrounds, but I realized today that kids don't even know who is copying who. It seems plenty of users think that a "Flash Portal" is a common concept, all Flash Portals inherently look alike, and there is no way around it.

My rant was inspired by this thread.

Now for the history. I started the Newgrounds website in 1995. It became popular in 1996 due to my html (later, javascript) games such as Club a Seal and Assassin. I was just finishing high school at the time.

In 1998, I started working with Flash. Back then, there were only a few notable Flash sites. Each site generally showcased the work of one person - the webmaster of the site. Newgrounds was my personal showcase.

In 1999 I created "The Portal" to showcase the Flash I made that wasn't big enough to be a "Newgrounds Feature". Fans started submitting their own Flash, so I showcased it in The Portal. I'm sure I wasn't the first guy to host someone else's Flash work, but Newgrounds did explode as the first community of Flash authors. I was receiving so many submissions via email that I worked with my friend Ross (an amazing coder) to build an automated version of "The Portal" (now referred to as the Flash Portal due to the existence of the Audio Portal) that same year.

So YES, Newgrounds was the first Flash Portal. I don't make many bold claims, but I will tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that we created the entire "Flash Portal" system that seems so common today. We were the first one to automate submissions, we were the first with the "three columns", we were the first with awards, we were the first with blams, saves, under judgements, and EVERY OTHER FEATURE you find on Newgrounds that is familiar on other sites. That is one thing I don't bullshit about... We have spent the past FOUR YEARS refining this system and making it what it is.

Nowadays, there are a lot of copycats. This past year has seen the biggest boom of copycat sites to date. Plenty of them have nice webmasters who really are cool guys, but none of that changes anything. They know where they got their inspiration (and much more), whether they admit it or not.

Every little aspect of NG has taken a lot of thought. We put tons of thought and work into our submission form, and now other webmasters simply copy the html code, paste it into their own page, and edit the values to submit to their database instead of ours. IT ISN'T THAT HARD TO RECREATE THE NG PORTAL, BUT CREATING IT DESERVES SOME CREDIT. I've spent countless hours brainstorming, as did Ross and as does James to this very day. We are still working on new features that require expansive planning. No doubt, a few years after their launch, they will seem simple and common as well.

I have never been a fan of copycat sites, but I've always accepted them as the reality of the world we live in. People see something they like, so they want to have their own version of it. That is just how people work. However, I was very disappointed by the above thread when I saw how many kids think a Flash Portal is just a Flash Portal. For years, NG was THE Flash Portal. Now it appears NG is "just another Flash Portal". That sort of thing really pisses me off, so I just had to say it.

You can go ahead and visit those other sites, but always know where it started. As one of the few Flash Portals that was actually started by a Flash author/enthusiast, I know the bottom line for artists is to get their work out there. Because of that, I can't simply say "don't showcase your work on those sites because it hurts my business." However, I do feel those sites cheapen everything that Newgrounds worked so hard for, and I think it is lame that fans of those sites don't even consider how they took all of our ideas and simply mirrored them for their own gain.

So once again, I just had to say it.


This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.

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Ranger619
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:24:34 Reply

NewGrounds will always be the one and only.

Tezzerr
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:27:26 Reply

yes newgrounds rules and the others shall bow down before it


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deckheadtottie
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:28:42 Reply

No one is better than Newgrounds anyway. Now get back to work!


#coys

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SNARE
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:28:59 Reply

Tom dont worry, newgrounds is the best site there ever was, no one will have the genious programming of this site, the flash portal is also copyrighted, so you may possibly be allowed to sue,and all people on Newgrounds shall be your all important army of witnesses!!!Go NG

That-Is-Bull
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:30:28 Reply

Yeah, I completely agree with you. You should make that the new slogan;
'Newgrounds.com - The home of the very first Flash Portal.'
Or put something of it on the front page.


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WTF-Kurdt
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:32:23 Reply

yeah. ok.

EviLDoG
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:32:31 Reply

At 6/9/04 01:24 PM, NinjaSpectre wrote: NewGrounds will always be the one and only.

I agree, it's not as if the other flash portals are bringing anything new to the internet, all they are doing are copying implementations on their portals first introduced by Newgrounds. I am not too keen on the other portal sites as they have few flash choices, and what they do have are crap.

I prefer the sites which hand pick the good flash from sites around the internet and display them on their page.

You do have to remember though that it is the flash that makes the portal, without the flash, it would be pointless. But the portal has improved the viewing, submission and judgement of flash movies/games significantly and i don't think anyone could disagree that Newgrounds is the ultimate Flash portal.

Dezmo-1
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:36:51 Reply

well yes but you cant not copy in some places it just count for absolute copying ,but i think people today when they need an idea they think about other good ideas instead of being creative but i must admit with the amount of things these days it is hard to find an unused idea but its all about being creative

WadeFulp
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:36:54 Reply

At 6/9/04 01:32 PM, EviLDoG wrote: I prefer the sites which hand pick the good flash from sites around the internet and display them on their page.

You mean you prefer sites which steal other people's work and put it on their site for their own personal gain? Unlike Newgrounds where the artists actually submit their work to us directly.


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SpinTolk
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:38:23 Reply

obviusly, this portal is the best one, I don't know many other portals actually...

Blue-Flame
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:39:37 Reply

Newgrounds is the best of all the automated portals anyway, without a doubt.
There are many up and coming ones, I've even seen a few with the same colour scheme and such like as NG....it's not good..
Newgrounds also holds the records for the highest fanbase out of all these 'sites', so, if you want the highest amount of people you can to see your flash, showcase it here....

Keep up the good work Tom, can't wait to see all these 'new features' that you, Jim and Wade keep mentioning in passing every so often.

Alpe
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:41:59 Reply

Tell me bout it. I know what you mean by copy cating...
Think about it, everyone, you found out something new, but suddenly, someone else has that same idea that you made up. After hard work. The dude just comes and tears your dreams apart... Ok, maby I made it too dramatic but still.

We will always remember NG as the "First place ever" and when I say we, I mean 500 000 people. soon 600 000.

EviLDoG
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:42:55 Reply

At 6/9/04 01:36 PM, WadeFulp wrote: You mean you prefer sites which steal other people's work and put it on their site for their own personal gain? Unlike Newgrounds where the artists actually submit their work to us directly.

No, by hand pick i meant go to the trouble of asking the author if they can display their work. I have known few which have asked me.

Don't get me wrong, i am not complaining about newgrounds, you hand pick them in your sections, features, series e.t.c. that you have. And i am not saying the flash autors don't benifit by their flash being displayed to millions of visitors and i appreciate your very sarcastic and rude manner as always Wade.

Will Alien Hominid be avaliable in the UK upon release?

Zwickel
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:43:38 Reply

Newgrounds is the best and will always be the best.
They could try and make a million other sites but they won't get anything compared. All the years I have known Newgrounds, there isn't another website that I actually visit everyday that isn't newgrounds.

deckheadtottie
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:44:04 Reply

At 6/9/04 01:41 PM, Matt999_1 wrote: Like Newgrounds, only they get their flashes directly from the artists. So you know it's legitimate and sexy.

How ironic, you were the guy that stole that flash from ebaumsworld. How low is that?


#coys

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freakimus
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:47:09 Reply

NG is a thousand times better than any other sites, it has a great design, celebrates the authors and the hard work they put in and has a ton more features than all the copycat sites.

And now, get back to working on all those great features you've got planned :)

CabritoGoat
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:52:43 Reply

At 6/9/04 01:39 PM, _Joe_ wrote:
Keep up the good work Tom, can't wait to see all these 'new features' that you, Jim and Wade keep mentioning in passing every so often.

Newgrounds is great, i've been with it for a while now. i can imagen the hard work this must have been and how it can piss you off that somebody rips you!
but like he says: keep going! keep making new and improved features, keep going! U will have the credit and exclusive, others will pick up the scraps. if you keep coming up with new stuff, you stay ahead! now days innovation is a great key for succes, since everyone copy's everyone. fuck the others, cuz they're nothing compared to NG!
just stay ahead and leave the others behind.

Tremour
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:56:02 Reply

Believe it or not, Newgrounds wasn't the first flash portal site I came across. Two years ago when I first discovered the magic that is flash, I came across a curious little site. I can't remember the name of it now, but I remember think "Wow that's a great idea, well done to this guy" I visited the site regularly to see new works (Which only appeared once a month anyway, as it was a small site), and was really intersted by it. But then on my search for more flash madness, I came across Newgrounds on Google. The sheer size of it astonished me. Flash was coming in thick and fast, it was amazing. And here i've been ever since, a proud user of Newgrounds.

Anyway, the point of that story is, no matter how many of these sites there are, they will never, ever, compare to Newgrounds in either size nor style. So anybody that thinks other wise, let them. You have over 500,000 users who know the truth. The most users I've ever seen one of these copycat sites have is 500. Just goes to show you, the original is nearly always the best.


FUCK

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someone-else
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 13:58:10 Reply

Words cannot explain my appreciation that you have done, Wade and Tom. This site was awesome. I first came to this site way back when you had that weird techno music on the portal. Back then I didn't think about creating a account or reviewing, but after awhile, you made this site the best in the net. This may sound corny, but thank you.


int experience, posts;
while(experience/10 >= posts)
{posts++};

Xiivi
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:00:01 Reply

Doesn't matter, let them copy us all they want. We'll still be better than them by probably 100 fold. A new one will pop up here and there every now and then, but it won't matter. The sites will lost intrest because they aren't as good as this one. They will just fade away out of existance...


Wi/Ht? #28

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Xada
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:01:45 Reply

Hey. I just wanted to say something. I'm fairly new to NG, but I love it here. I know that others do too, or else there wouldn't be so many copycats. Yeah, I know. If they love something, why copy it? People get inspiration from everywhere, and sometimes they don't even remember where they got it from. No, it's not okay to copy, but NG is one of a kind. It may be copied, but no other site can ever be better, so no worries. Often imitated, never outdone.

<deleted>
Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:02:33 Reply

Tom, I know that you have worked very hard for very many hours dedicating your life to this site, and I can only say thank you for everything you have done. You have created a community were I can argue my points, discuss subjects with other people, and completly demolish the opinions and feelings of others at the comfort of my very own home. Just for this you deserve recognition.

However, your portal is just another portal. You and Ross may have come up with the coding and such, but look at how many things in the real world copy other things. Fighting games. Racing games. MMORPG's. Even people's own flashes that get submitted to this site (Ganryu's Blade). You expressed how you can't do anything about this, and you are right, and it is a pitty. You do deserve credit, however, the people who created Mrs. Pacman didn't credit Pong for creating a game.

Tom, if I was able to create something that has become even a third as big as what you have created, I would be so full of myself at all times that someone would have murdered me by now. You have created what is common practice today. You are the pioneer. I was watching a movie the other day about the "Blue Baby" operation and the story before/during/after it and the person who pretty much did all the work got no credit untill the end of the movie. However, if I created something as big as you, I would be humble with the fact that I created it. I would be smug about it, but I would also be content knowing that people actually want to copy things that I make.

"The greatest compliment one can recieve is that of one copying anothers work."

You do deserve credit, and in time, you will.

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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:04:04 Reply

It would be pretty funny if newgrounds took over the internet, and any time some one steals it's design, we can flag that site for review.

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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:04:51 Reply

In 3 words: Newgrounds is legendary.

IM-KOOL-R-U
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:05:18 Reply

Well thats good. This will always be the best flash portal but I like the photoshop portal from Retrogade.

http://www.retrogade.com/

some-guy
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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:08:32 Reply

I never thought any portal was "the portal", because i read the literature. I got my facts straight, and I think everyone else should.

Long live NG portal

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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:10:11 Reply

You tell 'em Tom! I went to check this "portal" out and it's really a complete ripoff from yours down even to the placement of the most recent and so on... minus the flash portal banner of course.

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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:13:02 Reply

No matter what, Newgrounds really is THE place. For one, it's by FAR the most popular, and it's just been established as THE place.

I try to make everything on my site as original as I can. I code everything by myself, and I don't steal ideas. It's unbelievably hard, these days, to think of something that no one has ever done before, so it's therefore harder to make something original than it was back in 1996.

Tom has a right to be pissed. I've been seeing "portals" popping up all over the place, and in the Programming forum there's about a topic a day that says "how do u make a flash portal". It's really understandable that he is upset that his original idea is now common, yet he gets little or not credit because no one wants to admit they stole the idea.

Sorry, Tom, I know how you feel.

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Response to Copycat Rant 2004-06-09 14:15:45 Reply

Newgrounds will always be the largest. Other flash portals might be good, but most of the stuff you can find on NG too, and they probably stole their ideas. The most annoying thing to do, though, more annoying then multiple portals, are sites that steal flashes from sites(mostly from NG, probably), and put them on their site. Sure, you might get a lot of good flashes, but they didn't make them themselves. Dutch flash gaming sites are a good example of this. Don't deny it, you all know it's true. For example, www.funnygames.nl, etc.
That is much worse then someone copying the NG portal.

So, my statement here is: don't make a flash site/portal, unless you'll submit flash to it yourself. Otherwise you're a no-good thief.


fucking magnets man how do they work