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Old 02/21/11, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Hall of Fame Inductee 1: Ray Calderon

Ray Calderon is our first Hall of Fame Inductee. He is going into the fandom Contributors wing.

Ray is the father of the modern Power Rangers fandom. His most obvious contributions are the creation of Power Rangers Central and Rangerboard. But his involvement in the fandom his story is far more deep then that.
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Old 02/21/11, 02:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ray Calderon

Ray Calderon started in the fandom in the mid 90s. Like most fans at the time, he was a member of the Power Rangers Online Newsgroup. Even writing some fan fics at the time. Ray was inspired by the Morphing Grid like most fans. During 1996 he created the Power Rangers Zeo Page. Which became one of the better fan sites on the net at that time.

The site did well enough that Ray created a site for Turbo during 1997. In 1998, he followed up with a site for In Space. Ray later consolidated the websites to Power Rangers Central and backtracked with info for MMPR. At first Ray's site was on a free host like his earlier sites. Eventually, PRC ended up on the simplenet web service and didn't even have a domain at that point.

PRC was quickly becoming a major hub for Power Rangers information. Slowly taking the place of the Morphing Grid as it ceased to update. The original version of the site was fairly simple by today's standards. Since the net was a very different place in the 90s and the era of dial up. But the site continued to evolve over time. Ray's graphic design evolved into a top notch style. PRC would go on to become the most professionally designed site in the fandom.

Ray Calderon eventually bought rangercentral.com and moved PRC to that domain. But this point PRC was on a paying web service. Ray was probably among the earliest PR Webmasters to get his own domain. At a time when domains we're 70 dollars for two years of registration.
Perhaps the best feature of PRC became the episode guide. As Ray began to do detailed screen caps of every episode. This job took him hours. But many people looked forward to these weekly episode screen caps and Ray's own comments on the episodes.

Ray Calderon became a friend of Micheal Wayne. Who himself started the original Power Rangers Online. PRC and PRO even entered a web alliance, where both linked to each other on there main pages. Calderon was a friend to PRO and really helped Mike Wayne.

PRC had a guest book that was starting to become popular. Ray decided to experiment with a message board. In an era where the newsgroup and irc channels we're still the fandom hubs. Ray first used the Coolboard free service. Thus creating the Power Rangers Central Message Board. The PRC Message Board grew into a small yet dedicated community that continued to grow. Fueled by the fact that PRC had become one of the top searched Power Rangers websites on the net by this point.

As the Coolboard service started to have bugs, Ray decided to make the switch to Ezboard. The PRC Ezboard started to grow rapidly. PRC Message Board became an almost lawless landscape. Ray insisted on having lax rules and gave people freedom of speech. This led to a often crazy but fun atmosphere. During this period there wasn't even any mods. As the old newsgroup slowly became a relic of the past, many users from there started to post at the forum. As did users from some of the other message boards that had died off.

Many webmasters began to try to emulate PRC's website and forum at this point. Webmasters even used some of Ray's images without permission. Something that Ray didn't like. PRC Message Board helped to inspire many other message boards. Many of which used the ezboard software. Many of them weren't quite as successful as PRC Board was.

PRC Message Board became the most active board in the fandom and the new hub for the fandom. The board began to evolve as Ray finally put together a mod staff to bring some order to the forum. After the ezboard was hacked and essentially deleted, Ray decided to use his own forum software.

Ray bought a Vbulletin license and opened a new version of the Power Rangers Central Message Board. Ray was only of the innovators of the Power Rangers Vbulletin Message Board. A trend that would change the way the fandom operates. Most of the members from the ezboard era made it to the PRC Vbulletin.

Ray became frustrated with how how the PRC Website and Message Board we're both referred to as PRC. He felt the board should have its own name. So he decided to come up with a new name for the forum. PRC Board became Rangerboard. Ray bought a rangerboard.com to become the board's official domain name. Ray's right hand Admin at this point was Symbolic Agony. Later Phil ( Megared) became Admin as well. Rangerboard was treated by visits from several cast/crew members during Ray's tenure as Admin. Incuding Amit Bhaumik, Doug Sloan, Emma Lahana, Letham Graines, Sally Martin, Jason Chan, Jackie Marachand, Scott Page-Pagter and many other names. It became clear that many many members of the cast and crew at least lurked at Rangerboard.

Ray expanded his network of sites by using the PHPNuke Software to create Rangerbase ( using rangerbase.com). Which was an interactive web portal for fans to post their own content. There was also an image gallery. Eventually the other features we're down played. Rangerbase became exclusively an interactive image gallery. This website was another huge service to Power Rangers fans.

But Ray's plate began to become very full. Updates to PRC became more slow. To put out the kind of product that fans had become used too, it took a lot of Ray's time and effort. Managing Rangerboard became a huge chore itself. And the addition of Rangerbase only made Ray's work even harder. The costs of all three huge traffic sites we're also huge. Ray claimed to be paying a 100 dollars a month for his server at this point. The demand from fans to update and all their questions he received also became a strain on Ray.

Rumors of the close down or transfer of ownership of PRC to someone else began to pop up from time to time. At one point Matt "Poweranimals" was announced as the new owner. But this proved to be a hoax, even if it could have been a real possibility at one point. During 2004, PRC closed down without warning. When pressed about it, Ray admitted that he was done with the site. As it became too much for him to manage. Rangerbase and all his side projects closed as well. Ray was now dedicated to running Rangerboard.

Ray gave Michal Bastian permission to continue PRC on a new domain (rangercentral.org). Bastian worked with Matt, and later Gerald Conde to run PRC. Which used eventually used its own message board called Rangertalk. Eventually Ray gave Micheal ownership of Rangercentral.com. PRC is still in operation and updated to this day. Because of Ray's sacrifice the fandom still has PRC. This isn't something that most webmasters would do, give up the site they worked so hard on.

Rangerboard remained the hub in the fandom and now Ray could devote his full attention to it. Getting tired of the flaming and the bad reputation RB had for being unfriendly, Calderdon began to crack down with stricter rules. The staff started to police threads more in an attempt to get rid of the flames. The growth of the board forced Rangerboard to become more regulated. Symbolic Agony left her position as Admin. Phil seemed to be Ray's right hand admin at this point. The mod staff continued to grow. RB remained stable under Ray's ownership for several more years. During which point other Vbulletins had emerged as forces in the fandom. But none could match the size of Rangerboard. As it is even today viewed as the number one board in the fandom.

But running Rangerboard was still a strain on Ray's time, energy, and finances (even without PRC and Rangerbase to worry about). Ray wanted to move on with is life but wanted to keep RB online as long as the show went on. When rumors of the shows cancellation in 2009 began to spring up, Ray made his feelings about closing Rangerboard known. His plans were to close the board with the shows cancellation.

But Ray's staff and many of the members we're able to talk Ray out of this in time. Still Ray felt that his time as Board Owner should be over. He transferred ownership of the board to Decade. Ray was to stay on as admin, but requested to be demoted to mod. So a second time Ray selflessly gave up a website he built for the benefit of the fandom. A board he could have just easily have just closed down ( which is especially a good thing now that Power Rangers has returned). Ray continues to be active on Rangerboard to this day.

Ray has provided tireless time and effort to the fandom. Spending tons of his own money for nothing in return. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Ray's role in the fandom.... Is the fact that he seems not have really aspired to be what he has become. Calderon has always given the impression that he really didn't care about creating a popular website or a hub. He started out just having some fun with his web design skills and his love for Power Rangers ( and make no mistake.... Ray is a huge Power Rangers fan). PRC and Rangerboard we're both accidents in the sense that they we're at the right place a the right time..... Changing the fandom forever. Ray just adjusted accordingly as his websites grew. Despite his sometimes cold demeanor ( mostly do tons of crazy emails and constant fan demands) Ray always seemed to care about his members imput when making a decision about Rangerboard.

One can not imagine what the fandom would be like if it wasn't for Power Rangers Central and Rangerboard. As they we're ahead of the trend in a time when the fandom was growing quickly. Ray was one of the first PR webmasters to spend the kind of money that he did. As well as the most professional. For Ray Calderon's hard work and contributions to the fandom, he truely deserves his place as the first inductee into the Power Rangers Online Hall of fame. And who knows what Calderon could contribute in the future?
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