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DoomNation, touted as “the marine’s one stop for Doom news and information”, was a Doom news web site from early 1998 until mid 2000.
The site is notable for going through a rather large number of webmaster changes, and then disappearing almost without a trace. DoomNation was hosted by the now defunct Frag.com network and meant to be a competitor to the other two major Doom news sites of the time, Doomworld and Doom News. This was during the height of Doom's renewed popularity thanks to id Software's release of the source code, and also the end of the Internet boom.
Early in its life, DoomNation was shrouded in secrecy, controversy and dramatics. During the beta testing and early development the site founders said that DoomNation would 'crush' Doomworld, which obviously later turned out to be false.
DoomNation, partly thanks to having forums, went through a variety of webmaster changes before perhaps becoming the site most remember it as when Mike "Cyb" Watson was webmaster.
In mid 2000, Frag.com shut down for a supposed revamp of the servers, but it only came back in the form of a “we are fixing things” placeholder page.
- Hanif — Founder of DoomNation and co-owner of the Frag.com network, Hanif was responsible for getting DoomNation off the ground, but had little to do with the site after it become established. Near the end of DoomNation's life, Hanif had very little input as to how the site was run and in all honesty, probably didn't care.
- DarkFang — The first non-founded webmaster, DarkFang started out as a newsie for the site but was promoted when Hanif stepped down. DarkFang's tenure was fairly short, and when he quit the site, the remaining tension between DoomNation and Doomworld faded away.
- FunkyMonk — Also started as a newsie, and similarly promoted to webmaster upon the departure of the previous webmaster. A few months after he began, however, FunkyMonk resigned as webmaster due to personal reasons.
- JJ — Likewise, JJ started out as a newsie and was promoted when FunkyMonk resigned. Once again, a few months into his tenure, JJ opted to turn in his webmaster badge due to personal reasons.
- Cyb — The final webmaster for DoomNation, Cyb was not a newsie of the site prior to becoming webmaster, but rather was asked to take over the site by JJ. It is during Cyb’s tenure that DoomNation developed the persona and style that most remember it as, which was a far cry from seriousness of Doomworld. Cyb's time as webmaster ended when the Frag.com servers went down sometime in April or May of 2000, taking DoomNation with them.
During the end of its life, DoomNation was most noted for the somewhat crude and overall wacky updates by Cyb. Most notable were the daily “Spankage” updates, which were often inane ramblings by Cyb followed by a random link dubbed “the link on crack”. This was quite a stark contrast when compared to Doomworld, which strived for professionalism at the time. This drew quite a bit of controversy among the Doom community, as many enjoyed DoomNation's more humorous and silly updates (noted for their headlines which often had nothing to do with the update itself and were a major source of complaints), but others preferred Doomworld's businesslike and professional updates.
In the end, like with most arguments among Doomers, nobody won, and the controversy was laid to rest upon DoomNation's death. For what it's worth, Cyb still has people tell him that they miss DoomNation every once in a while.
DoomNation also was the first Doom news site to house forums, which broke shortly after Cyb became webmaster and were never repaired or replaced. It also featured some in-depth editing tutorials for newbies, a comprehensive listing of source ports and editing utility downloads, patches, a help center, and a multiplayer section.
Probably the most prominent aspect of DoomNation was the site design. It was standard fare for the time it was made, but the logo was oddly reminiscent of a golf club and it also sported an odd zipper sort of graphic down the left side and a bar code graphic at the bottom of the page. As for content, it featured a not-quite-accurately-named “picture of the day”, and a poll that was changed every few weeks.
One of the more notable events took place on April 1st of 2000, when DoomNation and Doomworld switched places for the day. The joke was met mostly with a hearty laugh from community members, but some were inexplicably annoyed out of their minds.
Life After DoomNation
The domain name itself remained under the Zyfly's (the Frag.com maintainer and co-founder) ownership until late 2004, when it finally expired. It is currently being squatted by a company called Sedo, and you can purchase it for a minimum bid of around 40 euros, though it will probably end up costing you much more than that.
Most of the webmasters have faded into obscurity, though JJ is still around if you can find him, and Cyb is currently a staff member at Doomworld. The various news updaters have had similar fates, though newsies such as Derek "Afterglow" MacDonald and Brad "Carnevil" Carney are still prominent and active members of the Doom community.