|"the original Pokémon community"
Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden, commonly known as Bulbagarden, is an English-language Pokémon community. It is most well known for Bulbapedia, its forums, and Bulbanews. The site's slogan is "the original Pokémon community".
Bulbagarden has for a number of years been a strong proponent of the "Web 2.0" philosophy, most prominently with Bulbapedia.
The current Bulbagarden website is the successor site to BulbaGarden.com, a first-generation Pokémon fansite that existed around 1999–2000, competing back then with such sites as The PokéMasters (TPM), Azure Heights, and the original UPN.
Together with Universal Pokémon Network, The PokéMasters and Pokémon Abode, Bulbagarden formed a partnership known as the Anti-Spammer Alliance from 1999–2000. After the dissolution of these websites' original communities, the group became retroactively known as the Big Four, as they were generally considered to be the largest, most active, and best run Pokémon forums of their day.
Death and revival: 2001–2002
The original site was shut down at the beginning of 2001, when the collapse of the dot-com bubble caused severe web advertising trouble for the vast majority of Pokémon sites, including most of Bulbagarden's major rivals. The advertising issue left Bulba unable to pay for the server. The files were held in stasis on the server until the beginning of February, during which time the then-forum head admin Archaic launched a desperate bid to fund the server for just one more month, enough to be allowed access to the files again and to make a forum backup.
In late 2002, following significant downtime on the part of Serebii.net, Archaic began to plan for the revival of Bulbagarden, with initial funding provided by Mozz. Archaic obtained permission from Bulba, and began inviting staff members and well-known users from other fansites to join the staff for the new site. A large group of staff members of The PokéMasters, dissatisfied with the situation on that site at the time, chose to join Archaic's project.
Early years: 2003–2005
Bulbagarden officially opened to the public on January 1, 2003 as bulbagarden.com, although only Bulbagarden forums existed at the time. Efforts to establish a website were made throughout 2003-2004, but while a pilot site was completed, the full version never actually went online. Moreover, despite the forum's quick initial growth, the lack of a website as well as the slumping fandom following the end of the original series and the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire resulted in long period of low activity.
In early 2004, the Bulbagarden.com domain name expired and was promptly squatted. After many attempts to reestablish the site at Bulbagarden.com, it was decided to move to a .net domain name, becoming (as it is today) Bulbagarden.net. In addition, the inability of Archaic and the staff to get the site working and the expenses related to the form server cost led Mozz to repeatedly threaten to end the site's hosting.
Bulbapedia and growth: 2005 onward
In 2005, Bulbagarden's fortunes began to turn when evkl proposed that, instead of a regular website, Bulbagarden should turn toward a user-edited wiki approach. With the assistance of Zhen Lin, Bulbapedia was created. It rapidly grew over the next few years, and with its growth, Bulbagarden was finally able to firmly establish its presence in the fandom, just in time for the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. To complete the forum and Bulbapedia, a second wiki-based project, Bulbanews, was soon added.
Bulbagarden.net today is now a major Pokémon fansite, and has been cited in professional studies and publications. Archaic is still the webmaster, seconded by the Chiefs of Staff, as well as by the staff of the various projects of Bulbagarden (Bulbapedia, Bulbanews and Bulbagarden Forums).
Bulbagarden incorporates a large number of projects, often operating under their own subdomain (e.g. forums.bulbagarden.net, bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net, etc.), each with their own staff and leadership, each filling a different role or niche. Most projects have a specific color associated with them, used primarily for the rank bars of members of that project on the forums.
The core projects of Bulbagarden represent the central projects which represent the heart of what Bulbagarden offers to its members. Until recently, there were three core projects, but in early 2013 that number increased to four with the addition of Bulbagarden Social Media.
Bulbagarden forums (BMGf)
- Main article: Bulbagarden forums
Bulbagarden forums is the oldest of the four core project, and the only one that was part of the new site immediately when it was launched. It was established in late 2002, and opened to the public on January 1, 2003. Its primary purpose is to provide a discussion forums for Pokémon fans to discuss all aspects of the fandom, as well as to provide a location for staff members of the various projects to interact with one another. The project head of Bulbagarden forums is known as the Head administrator.
As of 2020, the Bulbagarden forums also hosts Bulbanews.
- Main article: Bulbapedia
Bulbapedia was the second core project to be established, in late 2004, and is by far the most popular one according to Alexa rankings. It was created as an alternative to a traditional Pokémon fansite, allowing users to both access and edit information. Its project leader is the Editor-in-Chief or EiC, and it uses green as its main color.
- Main article: Bulbanews
Bulbanews was established shortly after Bulbapedia, in early 2005, to provide a community news source for Pokémon fans. Although the original concept relied on users submitting news articles that would be approved by the staff, the concept later evolved toward the use of dedicated news writers. Its project leader is the Bulbanews Editor-in-Chief.
Originally given a special wiki setup using a submissions interface designed by Zhen Lin, Bulbanews moved to a setup integrated with the Bulbagarden forums in 2020.
Bulbagarden Social Media
Bulbagarden Social Media was created in early 2013, with the aim to coordinate efforts to establish and maintain a strong Bulbagarden presence across the major social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
- Main article: Bulbagarden Discord
The Bulbagarden Discord server was created in 2016 as a modern counterpart to the Bulbagarden IRC server and to complement the Bulbagarden forums as part of Bulbagarden's community efforts. Its project head is the Chief Discord Administrator, and it uses cyan as its main color.
- Main article: BulbaNewsNOW
BulbaNewsNOW was created in 2012 during the months leading to the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, to provide Bulbagarden with a better tool for handling breaking news stories and major rumors (Bulbanews itself being focused on slower, more in-depth reporting). It works closely with both Bulbagarden Social Media (as a tool to help spread breaking news), and with Bulbanews itself, which can follow news stories in more depth after BulbaNewsNOW breaks them.
- Main article: Bulbagarden Archives
The Bulbagarden Archives is a file-hosting system that was created in early 2005 to support Bulbapedia and Bulbanews by providing a common repository for images and other files that the two projects may need to link to, such as Pokémon anime screenshots and Pokémon Trading Card Game cards images.
- Main article: Bulbakaki
Bulbakaki was an Oekaki (an artwork board) hosted by Bulbagarden. While it received significantly less attention than the other parts of Bulbagarden, it was somewhat active and had fan artists posting their artworks fairly regularly. The Bulbakaki was shut down in 2015 due to ongoing issues with the Oekaki software.
In its long history, Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden hosted a wide variety of websites in a time where Pokémon sites were scrambling to be hosted by the bigger and more popular sites. One such place was Articuno Island, or Prussian Town as it was known at the time. Bulbagarden now operates on its own servers and currently hosts many other sites, including Dogasu's Backpack and the Japanese Pokémon Wiki.
This is a current list of Bulbagarden's senior staff.
- Archaic - Bulbagarden Webmaster
- evkl - Bulbagarden Chief of Staff, Founding Editor-in-Chief of Bulbapedia
- Kogoro - Bulbagarden Chief of Staff, Former Bulbapedia Editor-in-Chief
- dig - Bulbagarden Chief of Staff, Acting Forums Head Administrator
- Enzap - Bulbagarden Chief of Staff, Former Forums Head Administrator
- Magnificent Entertainer - Forums Head Administrator and Multimedia Executive
- Neo Blaze - Forums Deputy Head Administrator
- Pokemaster97 - Bulbapedia Editor-in-Chief
- abcboy and Misty - Co-Chief Discord Administrators
- Elieson - Multimedia Deputy Executive
- Cresselia92 - Art Director
- Darkeiya - Deputy Art Director
|This article is a part of Project Fandom, a Bulbapedia Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every aspect of the Pokémon Fandom.