The Oakley Review has grown immensely over the years. We've gone from a simple listing of glasses, to a 100+ user base discussing the great O with almost as rabid need as buying the items themselves.
It all began in May 6, 2003, when I decided that it was a huge pain to always look online to see certain model colorways and prices, so I decided to just catalogue every single pair that was on Oakley.com. The official website was laid out, in my opinion, a better way that today, but having everything on the same page at once was a huge time saver. Of course maintaining it was a nightmare. None of it was database driven, so I just copy and pasted the code over and over. Once I got every single pair of glasses done, I'd go through the models and mark some as discontinued and add other new pairs.
I did this for a year or so, and then on May 17, 2004 decided to put the listing into a database, and run it all off a script. I was doing this for the same reason as before, just as a personal tool, plus I could also start backlogging the old models that were somewhat harder to find info on. I had recently written a silly web based RPG dealing with Oakley's as Hit Point weapons, so I actually had most of them in a database, so with that as a base, I fleshed it out and got a basic 3 page layout finished. This consisted of a glasses listing, a model listing page, and the detail colorway page. I then thought it would be nice to add reviews to models, but I didn't think anyone would find the site and use it, so it was again mainly for my use as well.
At this point I throw some graphics on the site, so it's not just a plain text listing. Not too many days later, I start seeing reviews show up, so I check the referral log, and see links from google pointing to the site. That was fast, I thought, and then they started coming more. Ed and Jon Tung were the first few lucky reviews, followed soon after by our usual gang: kingphilbert, Freesh, Lex7, Bong, Luke, EastCoast, BrianJ1888, o-xide etc...
Not too shabby for a few weeks work. I branched out into watches, then accessories, and finally into footwear and apparel, each taking days to catalogue. It all was finished eventually, and a month or so after getting that done, I redesigned the graphical portion of the site, and that remained until the latest incarnation.
I thought a members section may be of interest, so on July 6, 2004 I created a simple login area where you couldn't really didn't do much, other than being able to edit your reviews, rather than all additions being final, like they were up to that point. I thought people may also want to list their collections too, but wasn't sure if that was a dumb idea or not. I started receiving requests for a forum, and since I had already written one, I threw that up in no time, and on July 9, 2004 we all started chatting.
Things pretty much stayed the same save for a few little additions here and there. We saw the Hatchet first, the Thump first, and had info on the Fox models well before anyone else. Up until April 14, 2005 we were still on my old host without a proper address, so thanks to member Longshot, we were able to get a domain name, and the needed hosting space. The name also changed from 'The Oakley Review' to 'O Review'.
After a year or so, the site changed to a new layout. This time, users could select the old one if they chose from the user options. A retro look was recreated with Phil Barket's O-Review 'Classic' logo and some others. Imitations of the old grip ads, patent work, eyeshades and 80's color schemes were used for the banners as well as a more colorful background.
In late 2007, the retro design was retained throughout a slight revision. The option to choose a different site skin was still available, but a new Red Shift option was available. The site was moved to the left margin, and the menu was static. I fought hard with the CSS to get things lined up right, but it never felt perfect.
Shortly after the Co-pilot event, and in anticipation of the 5 year anniversary, the design changed again. This time the width was not fixed, so large images wouldn't break the design. A 2004-2009 banner was placed at the top and the menu was converted to drop downs in the header. The footers returned since they were popular, and several more were added as well as updates to the main splash OakleyHead. After the 5 year anniversary had passed, the dates were removed, and then finally an image of HQ was placed behind the logo. A second release of v8 included some scrolling thumbnails of the database results and a new video section for Youtube.
The footer (and in version 3, the header) has usually consisted of a montage of heads, but since version 5 the footers have been constantly changing, with new additions every so often. These images have been dubbed PW shots coined by Ford
, which is short for Posing Wanker or in other words those who find self-gratification in posing with their Oakley's. To celebrate the original PW, a footer
was later made entirely of images of Ford. There have also been random images thrown in, sometimes being animals or creepy manniquin heads on ebay. Some non-oakley images are thrown in as an inside joke too.
In addition to the site changes, we've also had a few fun holiday alterations thrown in from time to time: