REVISION DATE: June 3, 2012
Q: Who are you?
A: Carrie Carolin, a work-at-home foster mom, researcher, professional writer, and book reader.
Q: When did Darklinks begin? What's the history of Dark Side of the Net?
A: It began in 1993 as a one way email list named Dark Side of the Net. (More like a newsletter than a mailing list, since it got emailed out (by hand, I might add - cutting and pasting email addresses myself!) and nobody could reply to other members of the list). In the beginning Dark Side of the Net simply consisted of a list of newsgroups, mailing lists, FTP sites and gopher sites with dark, occult, pagan and gothic material that I would mail out to people who had asked or subscribed to it. I also posted it to alt.gothic - unfortunately you can still see archived old copies of it on Google Groups. How embarrassing.
As the web grew, I spent more and more of my time adding web pages to the list, which spawned Dark Side of the Web and also Arachne's Web, my now-defunct pagan links page. Back then, many people still could not yet get to the web (but they could get to the Internet, newsgroups and email.) So in 1994 and 1995, I kept the two versions of Dark Side of the Net and Web separate. Dark Side of the Web started in 1994, and was originally a very long list on one page, with a gray background. Dark Side of the Web was renamed to Dark Side of the Net in late 1998, to make a more uniform brand. Darklinks.com was registered in late 1998 and I trademarked the term "Dark Side of the Net."
In 2009 yet another lazy thief stole all my links, took my name and copyright notices off all 102 pages of my copyrighted compilation and added my 15 years of hard work to their horror website without my permission. They then advertised their shitty horror website as the largest horror links list in the world. Since this kind of thing tended to happen a couple times a year, I was sick of my work being stolen and passed off as someone else's work. So after consulting with many Darklinks.com fans and readers, I removed the links directory, archiving it for my own personal use. I also sat on the 8,000 carefully sorted, described and edited hand-picked Halloween and horror links I'd been planning to add to the site for people's enjoyment.
In 2010 I turned Dark Side of the Net into a blog, and I've been really enjoying the format, though many people have written in saying they miss browsing the large links directory and visiting various sites that piqued their interest.
In 2012 I am trying to restructure my workday a bit in order to be able to present link-filled dark posts several times a week instead of the infrequent postings I've been doing up til now!
Q: How do you check Dark Side of the Net's links?
A: Now that Dark Side of the Net is a blog, not a links directory, I no longer go back and check old blog posts for dead links. It would be simply too time consuming. Blogs are meant to represent the times they are posted in, so it's understandable and generally considered acceptable when the content in them gets outdated. I've had a few requests to go back and update links (usually from Blogspot bloggers who finally migrate to their own domain names) but I hesitate to get into the habit of doing that, as it could become quite time consuming and take away from the time I use to find and showcase new links.
Q: What other pages have you built?
A: Over the past 20 or so years I experimented with many different web pages, eventually removing them all when my interests changed. I'll probably not lose interest in goth and Halloween topics any time soon. I have a few affiliate blogs and I'm trying to find, no make, more time to update Goth Almanac. I also run the Darklinks social network which I try to keep cozy and full of friendly eldergoths.
Q: Where do you get your links?
A: I get them from time consuming searches of Google and other search engines; Facebook and Twitter feeds; Livejournal postings and profiles, and in the past, from people emailing me. I do all my own research work myself - I do not copy over other people's link lists. That's not useful to the end reader, doesn't represent quality research, and is not ethical. I will never forget how sick I felt each and every single time I found nasty, lazy people copying Dark Side of the Net's links - a resource which represented 15 years of my spare time, and I'd never want to do that to anyone else.
Q: What is your favorite site? What are your 10 favorite sites?
A: Ack!! It's very difficult to choose, from all the wonderful sites listed here over the years. But I'd tend to like sites with lots of original content and not too many huge splashy graphics. I used to have a "Best Bets" page but mostly that just led to people whining about why their (usually underachieving) sites weren't listed there.
Q: How do I get my page listed?
A: To be honest, I just completely suck at adding webpages in a timely manner when people email me or Facebook/Twitter me about them. It gets discouraging for me, frustrating for the bloggers/webmasters and piles my inbox so full I no longer make my email address public. So all I can say is if your page is good, is on a goth topic or other closely related topics of interest to goths, I WILL find it in my own time. Meanwhile there are tons of other, better, more frequently updated goth blogs you may submit your link to as well.
Q: Does it cost anything to have my page listed on Dark Side of the Net?
A: Heck no. I've never charged for a link. Dark Side of the Net is my hobby and my gift to the goth community. If I need to make some money I throw up an Amazon affiliate link and hope somebody who was going to buy that item anyways, buys it after clicking my link. (By the way, I will never be so desperate to make affiliate money that I link to something I don't personally like.) Being linked here is free, and you do not need to link back to get linked, either. Darklinks.com no longer sucks up huge amounts of expensive bandwidth like it used to in the old days when it was more popular, goth websites were scarce and bandwidth was expensive, so paying for bandwidth is no longer a problem for me.
Q: Who is Dark Side of the Net designed for?
A: It is designed for the ease and convenience of the dark or goth readers and seekers out there. I'm sharing cool things that I happen to find. My readers could just as easily find the sites themselves - we all have so many wonderful search engines and resources available these days. But if I've already spent the time searching and discovering, I might as well pass on my findings and enthusiasm.
The primary reason for Darklinks to exist is not for convenience to webmasters, bloggers or businesses (although they may benefit from being linked on here). Linking a page here is a service I perform voluntarily for people who are looking for stuff, and the page is built around their viewpoint (or what I assume their viewpoint to be!)
Q: Can I send you a review copy of my book/CD/DVD?
A: Oh gosh, no thank you! Darklinks is a site that reviews websites, not books, movies or music. Please save your money to send those items to actual journalists and the press.
Q: How come my site has never been featured on Dark Side of the Net?
A: While it would be nice if I could link to every page just because someone asked me to, the quality of Dark Side of the Net would go down, and people would have no reason to come here to look for pages I've recommended to them. Dark Side of the Net is not a clearinghouse of every blog that happens to have a little something dark on it. The links on Dark Side of the Net are sites that I PERSONALLY think are worth someone taking the time to visit. My tastes may change from time to time, and my opinions may differ from others. I'm sure there are thousands of really beautiful goth websites out there that I've missed.
Q: Can I use your logo to link to your page?
A: Sure! Please remember to take it and store it on your own server (instead of linking directly to my file on my server). And thank you so much for the link!
Q: Why don't you have _______ listed?
A: Either I don't personally consider the subject dark, or I have been unable to find good blogs or webpages on the topic.
Enjoy your browsing on the Dark Side!