I became involved with updating and adding information to the Help Center initially in order to help out an overworked friend, and also because it was a nice change for me to be able to do some writing. We wanted to put something in about how to add images using transloaders, and for a while we planned to put in step-by-step instructions for each of the transloaders that work with WebTV. That, however, became way too complicated, especially as some of them are pretty complex and are fairly hard to describe.
So we turned our attention to Jos' Webscissors and tried to figure out a way to make it our recommended transloader without actually saying as much in the instructions. We finally settled on writing general instructions for using transloaders and providing links to those that work well with WebTV. Webscissors is first on that list.
During the process of all this writing and reconfiguring and debating, we had quite a bit of contact with Jos. This is a typical email thread (part of which I think you've already seen):
-----Original Message----- From: Jos Claerbout (Brava Services) Sent: Monday, July 26, 1999 7:42 PM To: Andrew Levin; Eric Kattwinkel Cc: Emily Wilska Subject: RE: List of "transloaders" for Grunge-E When last we spoke, Beth was in the process of adding Webscissors to her page. What's all this about Webscissors, anyway? I certainly did not make the page and am certainly in no way responsible and none of the charges will stick and I was no where near that computer anyway. - jos -----Original Message----- From: Andrew Levin Sent: Monday, July 26, 1999 7:03 PM To: Eric Kattwinkel Cc: Emily Wilska; Jos Claerbout (Brava Services) Subject: RE: List of "transloaders" for Grunge-E Here's the URL of a list of transloaders created by the person Jos referred to ("Beth"). This site has a lot of very good information, but it's still missing a reference to WebScissors (http://www.webscissors.com), from which I conclude it's a little stale. None the less, this site itself may be a good site to link to from the Help Center (or Help) page: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/7391/transloading.html -----Original Message----- From: Eric Kattwinkel Sent: Thursday, July 22, 1999 4:50 PM To: Andrew Levin Cc: Emily Wilska Subject: RE: List of "transloaders" for Grunge-E Hey Andrew, Emily's going to work with us on this. She's a good writer. In fact, she's known in some circles as a Strict Grammarian. I think there will be three parts: (1) The whole "Adding pictures" section of the Page Builder instructions could use a re-write and re-organization to include the Scrapbook and transloader stuff. (2) We'll probably want write some new Qs and As and give them to the customer care people. (3) We should work on the text on the Scrapbook page when it's empty and not empty. I'll set up a meeting for next week. Are there certain days you're planning to be in the office? What was the URL to the "commissioned" site you showed me? Thanks, EEK -----Original Message----- From: Andrew Levin Sent: Monday, July 19, 1999 7:56 PM To: Hilari Hardin; Eric Kattwinkel Subject: List of "transloaders" for Grunge-E Hi Eric and Hilari, One of the things I'd like to do for Grunge-E (well, basically, sooner than HipHop) is to add a page to the Help Center listing the top "transloader" sites (including one we've sort of "commissioned"). In addition, I'd like to have a fairly prominent link to this page within the Scrapbook help pages, if you think that makes sense. At the very least, in the empty Scrapbook page, I'd like to reference this Help Center page or the help page which refers to it, as appropriate. There are, of course, two parts to this: creating the Help Center page and adding the link(s) to it. What do you all think of the feasibility of these? Thanks, -Andrew ----------------- In another thread, Jos was so, umm, kind as to send me a list of the last 200 web pages people had used Webscissors on. I'll forward that message separately, as it's really long. Jos summed it up thus: 'And, as a special treat, here are the last 200 pages "scissored": I particularly like the fellow who went from trying "godslove.com" to "illegalteens.com".' I took a brief look at the list and replied, Wow! Thanks for further confirming my opinion that our users are PATHETIC beyond words. I sort of feel dirty myself helping them better understand how to add porn and WWF images to their pages. God help us. As released, the service upgrade that contains our transloader instructions will have general information on how to add images from other Web pages (Help-->Using the Web/Page Builder-->Detailed instructions-->Adding pictures/From a Web page) as well as a list of transloaders that work with WebTV (Help-->Using the Web/Page Builder-->Frequently asked questions). The first entry on this list is WebScissors, and despite Jos' insistence on keeping the authorship of the site anonymous, it has his name all over it. Even those who never knew him will surely smile at his disclaimer: "PageBuilder is probably a registered trademark of WebTV Networks, Inc. WebTV Networks neither provides nor endorses this site. Use at your own risk. Do not look directly into the light." I'll forward all the transloader-related threads I can find. Best, Emily