January 2023 update

26. 1. 2023
Europa pony

Almost 4 months since the first public beta and no announcements…

Yeah, I’m not a big fan of “update every week” in the beta stage. But there are a lot of changes (especially content updates), just not on the front door site. Let’s see what happened here in the meantime:

Event-by-year content – photo galleries and videos

The biggest change: I’ve used Czequestria and Brony Days to create the event-by-year page design and test the whole process. Check those links and let me know if you like them (contact me here)!

You can find 3 types of materials there:

  • links – default option, if materials exist online
  • reuploads – vanished galleries and videos, restored from earlier backups
  • upload of new materials – published for the very first time

The first group is easy – link for the photo gallery or embedded video (rarely links to videos from sites, that require login).

The second group refers to once-uploaded and now missing or otherwise publicly inaccessible content – either from former platforms (like G+), abandoned private webpages, canceled accounts on existing platforms (like YT, FB), or deleted / inaccessible content because of changed conditions of the platform (limiting of free use, closed accounts, etc.). They say the Internet does not forget, well… it does a lot. These were reuploaded here or on YT.

The last group is surprisingly big because some people just take photos/record videos and rarely publish them (including me). So I got the originals, sorted them, and upload them here or on YT. Yeah… that’s thousands of photos. Doing this was the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Also necessary, if they were ever be published and not forgotten. Of course, with the consent of the authors – this is the part, that took a lot of time too.

New uploads and reuploads

Photo galleries are hosted here on the site – photos are converted to a size that won’t ruin your data plan if you have it (max 2048px width or height). Videos are hosted on a dedicated YT channel https://www.youtube.com/@bronieseu – all new video uploads and reuploads are sorted into playlists per event year, or in a dedicated playlist (if needed).

The whole site size is now 1,8 GB and this is just a start – luckily, there is plenty of space on the server. Next time, I’ll prepare detailed statistics, but so far:

  • reuploaded panel recordings, plus 2 reuploaded and 2 completely new (never published) galleries from BronyDays 2013-2015
  • 9 reuploaded and 15 completely new (never published) galleries from Czequestria 2014-2022
  • dozens of new short videos from both and few reuploads

Of course, uploading to YT includes descriptions with original author credits.

Event Calendar, fixes, and new content

An important part of this site is the now updated Event Calendar of brony events – so far limited to European conventions (which are much harder to find, because of a language barrier). Yes, there are plans to expand this list also to meetups and events outside Europe, but first things first – this is still the beta stage, right? Also, I’m just one pony, creating and maintaining this whole thing.

Many small fixes have been done, mainly for cell phone browsers and there is still a lot to be fixed for sure. Static pages (About, Links, etc.) are to be added and Contact is still pretty basic. Not to mention all the materials (about 2TB) waiting in my archive to be published.

But yeah… this is a solid start! Let me know if you like the page so far! Aside from posting this to my Twitter @Jamis_bro, this will be also my first post on Mastodon Jamis@equestria.social (which I don’t have time to use, because of my life, and work on this site).

If not online, then see you at European brony events! (look for Gala Fluttershy 😉 )

Overview galleries for initial con list – DONE!

23. 2. 2022
Europa pony

Phew… all the galleries for the European convention overview pages currently described on this page are finished and published! This was a lot of work, mostly because there were a lot of materials to go through and select the representative ones.

Let’s take Hearth’s Warming Con as an example:

  • my event archive contains ~4800 items (photos, videos, graphics designs – from all 4 events)
  • selection to choose from: ~2700 photos (where I was able to reach authors and they agreed with publishing their materials here on site)
  • final representative selection: 30 photos and 6 mascot designs

Photos and designs are grouped into categories corresponding to the paragraphs in the event description – there is a 6 items limit per category to keep it event description relevant (large galleries are planned for event-by-years pages).

Every photo has a description (metadata if you want) – short description, long description (if applicable), year of the event, and author. In some cases, it took some time to find out the corresponding metadata (local VA guests’ names, etc.) and the authors of some graphics designs remain unknown to me, despite an extensive search.

So yeah… the initial ready-to-publish version is finally done! YAY! Now the static pages, calendar, reporting system… and then finally open beta.

Adding the content – overview galleries

8. 2. 2022
Europa pony

A long time ago since this journal’s last update. But not without changes here.

The main work is now the overview galleries for the convention descriptions. Does not seem so, but finding representative photos for respective topics in thousands of pictures taken at the conventions (of course just for those, I asked and got approval for publishing them) takes a LOT of time. Few hours for one event to be more exact. Also searching for metadata (guests names, artists’ credits) takes sometimes a lot of effort. Many information just vanishes from the internet: pages are decommissioned, artist pages are deleted, social media accounts closed, art marked as private… you name it.

Oh and… since the new year, the page also needs a “cookies approval”. It gave me a lot of pain in the… yes, there… but it’s done now. As this page uses no tracking or advertising system, there should be no need for the complex stuff around this: photos and designs are locally stored, YT videos previews are static, and using YT with no cookies… yeah, another big load of invisible effort. Still, it took some time to have it even this easy as it is. Hope it will work as expected and not disturb anypony.

Actual plan: 5 archived events and one living con overview page still awaits their galleries. Then the calendar update. After this is all done, this page can be opened to the public. Per-year event materials (photos, videos, and other stuff) will be added later as it’s gonna be another huge load of work (not to mention the reports from those events).

Also, Czequestria 2022 is slowly knocking on my door, so my attention will be needed there for sure. The convention chairman never rests.

Publicly announced for the very first time

6. 10. 2021

Less than a month since the review, many technical things were fixed and things were made ready to drop the IP block for the website front page. Yeah… it is still just “This site is under Maintenance”, but still better than “Forbidden”, I suppose.

My thoughts about this site project are circling around a few topics:

  1. No time for this project until the New Year (at least). First, I’m heading on vacation with my very special somepony, following the MLP convention in the Netherlands (see below).
  2. Winter Karaoke Party 2022 – annual whole-country brony meetup in Prague, organized by our team. Last year was online and this year we are determined to make it in-person, with all the anti-pandemic rules in place. No idea how big a challenge it will be. But we all miss the brony events badly and serve as a testing ground, if (even if I hope not) this approach will be necessary for Czequestria next year. This will make me busy until the middle of December at least.
  3. Panel at the Ponycon Holland – an actual motivation source for this site. It all began many years ago with panels at Czech and Slovak conventions about pony events, stories from there, and brony group travels. As time passed, I’ve visited many more brony events and made panels about them at various conventions. The newest version of this panel will be on air on the 17th of October at the very first Ponycon Holland in the Netherlands. Let’s say, one hour is really tight, could be easily two hours. And I hope most of those stories will make it to this website. Later. There are more important things to do first here.
  4. Release plan – so many things to say, so many things to publish, and sooo little time. In order to make this site usable as soon as possible, I’ll split the release into smaller parts, beginning with the calendar, events’ general description. Also, the site will remain “Open” after being introduced on PonyCon Holland. Hope that will be a bit of motivation to continue.

It’s not much, but even the longest journey begins with a single step, right? So it was with the decision “First brony convention in Europe named Gala? I’ll be Gala Fluttershy there”. And the rest is… consequences called amazing life 🙂