THL Grizel, a professional graphic artist and well-known web wizardess in the Midrealm, created the site at the urging of Mistress Constance Fairfax, OL, who asked Grizel to start a ride board after seeing her work in creating the Midrealm laurel site at http://www.midlaurel.com/ .
The progress of MKRideshare.com from design idea to production was astonishingly fast, taking only about ten hours of work. Grizel relied on Open Source software tools, including the PHP web scripting language and a freeware bulletin board program called phpBB (http://www.phpbb.com/). phpBB includes a template feature (also called "skins") that allows customization of the look and feel of a web site without changing the underlying software.
Grizel says that she bought the domain mkrideshare.com at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and started development immediately. "By dinner time," she says, "the site was done."
When asked about imitators who might copy the idea in other kingdoms, Grizel was very supportive of the idea. "That's what I was hoping someone would do," she said, when asked about someone creating a similar site for the soon-to-be Kingdom of Northshield. "Anyone can have one of these forums very easily." She emphasized that creators of such sites don't need to be programmers, but only need to know basic web design to edit the templates. She praises the phpBB software highly: "Easy to install, easy to run, easy to use, easy to customize. And secure as fort knox when needed to be."
Grizel, a web and graphics designer in the modern world, is the owner of Very Big Design (http://www.verybigdesign.com/). She is also the creator of the Midrealm Laurel web site (http://www.midlaurel.com/), home to over 3500 medieval arts and culture links, and her own medieval beadwork site, http://www.medievalbeads.com/ .
The SCA isn't her only hobby; Grizel also runs a number of other personal web sites, including:
- Desktop graphics patterns with an American 1950s theme
- A site featuring her snowdome collection
- A technical and end-user help site for those switching from Windows to Macintosh computers.