EAE Award Winners 2005
STArchive (January 2005)
The STArchive is dedicated to provide the most accurate and most reliable information about all ships and all places ever mentioned in Star Trek. Further features include a well-researched history of the vessels named Enterprise. The site also hosts an FTP archive with various concise reference guides every fan should have. After many years with the same interface the site has recently been upgraded to a dynamic concept that facilitates navigation and improves the overall appearance. The revisions being rather subtle, it is pleasant to see how the new STArchive continues to defy showy web design fashions. The STArchive has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary on the web, it is still *the* classic reference site nearly every other Trek webmaster, including myself, has been borrowing from. I thought this would be a fine opportunity to thank its webmaster D. Joseph Creighton for his tireless work. The EAE Award goes to the STArchive, a living legend in the Trek online community!
Enterprise (February 2005)
In 1968 a letter campaign by fans urged the network to renew the original Star Trek for a third season. More than 35 years later we find the franchise in a similar situation. While the ratings are going down most of the time and the network's interest in Enterprise is dwindling, a group of caring fans have launched Save Enterprise. This tireless effort involves letters to the network and to the sponsors, as well as the coordination of the fan base. It may be too late, considering that a few days ago we all could read Paramount's and UPN's sad announcement that Enterprise will be canceled with the end of the fourth season. It may not be possible to convince Paramount to carry on with Enterprise, but the work put into the Save Enterprise campaign deserves the praise of every Star Trek fan, no matter if we are particularly fond of the series or not. Congratulations, and don't give up hope!
TrekWeb is a place that I habitually take a look at for news about everything Trek. But the site is more than just news posting. There is much more to see like the resident BSS, interviews or information about conventions. Each of the guides for the five Trek series and "Nemesis" has its individual design and encompasses facts about the episodes, actors and technology, as well as an image gallery. Finally there are the well-written reviews (often by O.Deus) which rank among the most popular in the web. TrekWeb doesn't have a particularly flashy design. It is clean and focuses on textual elements rather than many supporting graphics. The endlessly scrolling pages may not be everyone's taste, but I think it's better to have everything related to one topic on one page than always going forth and back (especially when reading it offline without a DSL connection). Congratulations to Steve Krutzler and his team at one of the world's leading Trek sites!
In early 2005 Tim Brazeal, the founder of Save Enterprise, launched an even more comprehensive campaign to keep Enterprise on air and to keep up the Star Trek franchise as a whole. The result is TrekUnited, an impressive effort first of all because of the more than 3.1 million dollars collected by now. There was extensive media coverage about the generous donation by aerospace managers and about their motivation. At latest this should make some Paramount and UPN officials reconsider their decision to cancel one of the very few truly imaginative TV shows. What I would like to point out too is that with TrekUnited a community with a hard-working crew and countless supporters was created in a matter of weeks. And with an unusually beautiful web design for a news and community site. My best wishes go to the campaign leader Tim, the webmaster Christian and the rest of the crew!
Trek New Voyages (May 2005)
Star Trek New Voyages continues where TOS sadly left after only three seasons. Although I had been to the New Voyages website which is nicely designed a couple of times before, I could download the first episode, "Come What May", only recently, after getting a DSL connection. The fan film project strikes me as an amazingly authentic revival of TOS that gets all the details right, with great sets and special effects (some of them intentionally upgraded to show that this is not the 1960s any more). Unlike some of the other fan films that are available online, New Voyages does not resort to fanboyish battles or contrived humor, but it comes with intelligent writing and good acting. It may be still a bit controversial whether it wouldn't have been better to create new characters; on the other hand the recreations of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the familiar crew are so convincing that I wouldn't want to see any missions of any other ship. May New Voyages live long and prosper!
The Guardian of Forever
Neutral Zone Starship Database
These two sites are the most complete and most frequently updated sources for starship facts and pictures (well, besides EAS :-)). I have been perusing the places for my own research so often that it is about time to honor them with the EAE Award. While the scope of providing accurate information on all Star Trek ships is essentially the same, each of the two has its distinctive features. The Neutral Zone excels because of its fast and easy navigation by races and ship classes, while the Guardian of Forever can convince because it has nearly every available photo, drawing or screen capture of any starship type. I would like to thank Captain Cabac of the Neutral Zone and Thomas Småberg of the Guardian for several years of fruitful cooperation and I hope they are not tired of watching out for new material even though there will be no new episodes for some time.
Interface (July 2005)
At the very first glance LCARS Interface looks like one of those sites that have a nicely designed interface but not much else. However, actually the site is a treasure trove of Trek-related graphical design. Whether it is LCARS animations, LCARS stills, symbols and emblems, Windows icons or the new bridge layouts, LCARS Interface offers a wide range of graphics created by webmaster Tobias Weimann. With his work Tobias sets a new quality standard. I have rarely seen such precise reconstructions of canon emblems, and his non-canon creations are excellent just as well. All graphics are not only available as JPGs but in different pixel- and vector-based formats. The newest and perhaps most fascinating highlight is the bridge configurator (currently a WIP, final version to follow). This nifty piece of a Flash program allows to build custom bridges with a few key clicks, based on the TOS Enterprise layout elements.
I found StarTrekArchiv.com just the other day, and it convinced me as one of the biggest and definitely the most professional German site of its kind. The site has all the usual features like a concise database, a decent image gallery and a variety of downloads. In addition, there is an episode guide with a built-in user rating system and links to the affiliated message board (http://www.scifi-forum.de) where the user may leave comments or join an existing discussion about each single episode. This high degree of interactivity is the future. All this comes in a well-programmed database and with a beautiful modern site design. I'm glad that after almost ten years of searching for Star Trek-related content a new website may still surprise me, and this is why I give the EAE Award to StarTrekArchiv.com.
Alpha (September 2005)
When the project was launched in November 2003, the ambitious goal of Memory Alpha was "to become the largest, most reliable, and most up-to-date encyclopedia about everything related to the Star Trek universe". It is time to declare that this objective has been accomplished. With its sheer size of currently 24922 pages and 6826 registered contributors Memory Alpha dwarfs any other attempt to create a Trek-related database online. There are spin-offs in Dutch, German and Swedish. Memory Alpha is the biggest and most successful site hosted at Wikicities. And it's being expanded and improved every minute! Only collaborative work can accomplish that. This award goes to all contributors of Memory Alpha, but especially to the two founders, Dan Carlson and Harry Doddema.
GTJLCARS.de, entirely in German, is the probably most informative place dedicated to Starfleet's LCARS (Library Computer Access and Retrieval System). Every imaginable aspect of LCARS is covered on the site, whether it is technical specifications of Starfleet computers, PADDs and isolinear chips, or examples of LCARS screens. Many downloads are available, including LCARS fonts, sounds, wallpapers and software (like an Excel template and an active desktop). In addition, there is a new high-quality download of LCARS artwork every month. An extensive user guide, guestbook and newsletter complete GTJLCARS.de. It is no surprise that the user interface of the site itself has an LCARS look too. GTJLCARS.de receives the EAE Award as an excellent themed site with steadily and carefully developed original content.
Archive (November 2005)
I know Ottens's website almost since its inception. The site's content and design has frequently been subject to drastic changes, but with a visible progression towards perfect elaboration. Currently the Ottens Archive is composed of a number of historical and political features (out of competition) and a section dedicated to Star Trek. Instead of showing content that is already covered elsewhere in the web, the Ottens Archive focuses on the "Forgotten Trek", on set and prop design, concept sketches and on the never produced series Star Trek Phase II. In this field the site presents several facts and pictures that were new to me and that shed light on the production of the show. Summarizing, Ottens receives the EAE Award for his steady effort to create a flawless site, as well as for its unique content. Congratulations!
Writer's Guild (December 2005)
In 1997 the Star Trek online community as we know it today was taking shape. For the first time the writers among the fans had a chance to publish their works for a broad audience, but there was nothing such as an online library to host them. This was the incentive for Michael Sweeney to launch the Trek Writer's Guild which by now is one of the longest running Star Trek sites. With a database consisting of no less than 883 stories the Trek Writer's Guild with its more recently founded resource site, Trek Fiction, is the undisputed number one in its field. The visitor finds the content categorized by the series or by the author, supported by an on-site search engine. The automated yet moderated submission procedure is convenient for the author (who doesn't have to become a member) as well as for the site's staff. Congratulations to Michael Sweeney, Mike Wright, Einstein47 and Trek and all the best for the next eight years and beyond!