Honoring a Fallen Fan Site
If you’ve been keeping up with the community recently, you’re no doubt aware that long-running Sonic fan site Shadow of a Hedgehog fell victim to hacking a few days ago and collapsed into disarray behind the scenes, so much so that webmaster Dennis Spielman has decided to pull the plug, at least for the time being. This decision puts a temporary end to a site that has impacted thousands and thousands of Sonic fans for nearly fifteen years. With that in mind, this week’s Fan Friday is dedicated to the site and all those people that made it possible.
Shadow of a Hedgehog first saw the light of day on New Year’s Eve in 1999. It was briefly known as Total Neon Network before a hosting partnership with Sega-Zone changed the site’s name to Shadow of Light in June of 2000. After more changes in hosting and site content, Shadow of a Hedgehog as we know it today launched on PlanetDreamcast on April 28, 2001. With much more storage flexibility now available to the staff, it was at this point that the site became focused on hosting its massive compendium of Sonic music, and it became well-known within the community for its efforts in this regard. The site continued to exist in this way until New Year’s Eve of 2006, when the staff put up their own domain and took hosting matters into their own hands. It was in this form that the site thrived for six more years, offering comics, fan videos, and forums in addition to its trademark music. That existence continued until January of this year, when a malicious hack caused Shadow of a Hedgehog to close it doors.
Despite its swift and unexpected shutdown, the site is not completely lost to history. Some of the site’s content, including much of its music, is still publicly accessible. The old PlanetDreamcast version of the site remains online with some of its pages and content still more or less browsable. Additionally, you can find page crawls of the site thanks to the Wayback Machine, and plans are currently in the works to revive the site in its entirely. Until those plans play out, we remember the site fondly and hope its creators will continue to contribute to the community in amazing ways.