Interview with Pete Smith, Giantess City Webmaster

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Pete is a computer programmer who has been involved in the size-fetish community for decades! He created the web sites Giantess Magic and eGiantess. While those sites are no longer online, Pete is currently the Lead Engineer at Giantess City (GC). GC, by all indications, is the most popular web site in the world dedicated to macrophilia. The forum was founded by MysticCrunk in mid-February 2004. However, MysticCrunk is no longer involved with GC, and the site is now owned by Gary Pranzo with Pete and Thanatos serving as the site administrators. In addition to his work administering GC, Pete also appeared on the “2 Girls 1 Podcast” show in July 2019 to discuss the forum and macrophilia in general.

#1) Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

I am originally from Concord, California but have been living in Chicago for about 20 years now. As far as my ethnic background is concerned, I am half Persian and half Austrian but was born here in the United States in the early 70’s. Ironically the Avatar I use on Giantess City is not far from how I look in real life. I am average height, dark hair with a goatee with a muscular body tone which stems from years of body building. My parents divorced when I was around 5, and I continued living with my mother and grandmother from that age until the age of 15 when I met my father again for what felt like for the first time. My father was not the warmest person, and was very no nonsense and straight to the point and I rarely met him throughout my life. That trend continued until last year, when my father died at the age of 75. If I had to guess, the total amount of time I ever spent with my father would probably add up to about 1 year of time.

Sadly, my mother was not a whole lot better than my father either. She was a runway model, so she cared more about her social life and partying then spending any time with me as a child. Essentially my grandmother was the one that raised me, to the point where I used to call my mother by her first name and she always used to introduce me as her brother not her son (I imagine having a kid would have gotten in the way of her social life in a way). Thankfully, my grandmother was a very warm and kind human being, so because of her I would like to think I grew up to be a pretty level headed, kind and balanced human being despite all the challenges I had early on in life.

Programming was not my first choice as a profession believe it or not, and how I became interested in it is an interesting story in of itself. My first exposure to Computers and Programming goes back to the mid-80s. One year I received a Commodore 64 PC Computer as a birthday present. It had a big clunky keyboard, a tape drive which took the old cassette tapes and used them as a storage media, and also came with a programming language called Commodore Basic and an instructions manual on how to program with it. I remember spending hours and hours on it and learned the basics of programming that way, but since it was not the most visually rewarding skill to have I eventually lost interest and switched to something a lot more visual: Video Gaming and Art!

As mentioned above I have been in the Size Change community for a very long time. My first exposure to Size Change content goes back to the early days of the internet. The year was 1996, and the only major Size related website was a site called Giantess Shrine. It wasn’t anything too elaborate, but the whole idea of being able to share my deepest fantasies which I had kept to myself with others at that point was extraordinary to me. The site had a few basic pages for pictures, stories and links, but the most fascinating part of the site was a Message Board where people could post content and reply to other people’s content in real time! In those days that was unheard of. Here is a screenshot of what it looked like:

Giantess Shrine

Giantess Shrine 1

Not much to look at I agree, but it did the job. Unfortunately, Giantess Shrine was not meant to last. Sometime in 1999 or so the site shut down with almost no explanation as to why. At that point that site was the only gathering place on the web for the small but growing community of size enthusiasts, so when the site shut down it was devastating to the community. No one knew what to do next. People were waiting and hoping for a new site to popup somewhere, and no one was willing to step up.

I had just started college planning to get a degree in Arts. I didn’t really know much about programming on the web and had all but forgotten the Commodore Basic skills I had learned many years prior, but was determined to help keep the community going. I was on IRC Chat back then, keeping in touch with a few people from the community I had gotten to know over the years. They gave me some pointers on how to start learning web development.

Something about combining sex on a Giant scale with Code that really clicked with me. At first, I started learning basic tagging syntax using a newly developed (for that time frame) formatting language called HTML. From there, JavaScript followed which helped make the static pages interactive to a small degree.

I tried putting together a website using static HTML and some JavaScript, which I called Giantess Magic. At first it was just a collection of pictures, put together into Galleries using static HTML syntax. Here is what Giantess Magic looked like back in the early 2000s:

Giantess Magic

Still, the biggest piece that was missing was a Message Board to get the community going again. At first, I tried signing up with a few Message Board Hosting sites and linking to them from my site, but every few months they kept shutting these forums down because of the adult type content posted on them or the bandwidth usage that resulted from downloading big files and I had to start over again. That’s where I started figuring out how to install PHP based Forum systems, and I was finally able to install a permanent Message Board on the Giantess Magic web hosting account.

The response was overwhelming! The site took off like a rocket, and visitors started pouring in by the thousands! A lot of them from the old Giantess Shrine, but many new visitors started coming to my site, many of which had never been to other sites. As the total number of visitors grew, it became obvious to me that I was in over my head. I didn’t know how to backup and maintain the site properly at that point, so out of necessity I learned how to be a Server Administrator! Linux was the Server platform of choice since it was a lot cheaper and more reliable at the time, and in order to maintain the site I had to teach myself how to do Shell scripting, CGI/Perl and more.

This was all great, but people wanted more features on the site! That’s where I had to start learning PHP and MySQL in an attempt to be able to modify the PHP based Forum System I had been running. It took a while for me to teach myself how to do all that, especially since up to that point I had no formal training.

That’s when I realized that I was no longer interested in getting an Arts degree and decided to switch majors to Computer Information Systems. I can honestly say I owe my career to the Size Change community. Had I not joined this community I most likely would have never become a programmer.

I did finish my Computer Information Systems degree and started programming on a full-time basis sometime in 2003. These days I program pretty much anything that can be programmed, from Web to Desktop, Mobile, IoT Devices and even Credit Card Readers so the next time you swipe your credit card or insert the chip into the device, there is a chance you may be using code that I originally wrote! I have also not limited myself to a single Platform or Programming language, and use Python, Java, PHP, C++, C, Objective-C C#, .NET and various JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React and Vu.js.

#2) How did you first become interested in size-fetish media?

The first memory of Size change related interest that I remember goes back to when I was 9 years old. I remember watching Gulliver’s Travels Cartoons as well as some Tom & Jerry cartoons that had some size change related material getting quite excited over it, with my mouth and eyes wide open. Imaging the possibilities!

Another factor that contributed to my size change interests was height. I was quite short for my age growing up and a late bloomer, and I remember seeing many girls my age that literally towered over me both in school and outside of school and in my opinion that’s how I finally associated size difference with the opposite sex and that’s how it became a fetish for me.

A few years later I got a used Hustler Magazine from an older friend, and I remember seeing an add for a company called E.L. Publications. This company which went out of business years ago had drawings and stories related to Giantess and Size Change and was in a printed black and white format, and I consider it my first official Size Fetish Media exposure.

#3) Are any of your everyday acquaintances aware of your interest?

I wouldn’t say I advertise my size related interests, but at the same time I have not hidden it from people I know. My mother, sister and aunt know about it. I also have told several of my ex-girlfriends and my ex-wife about it. With the exception of my ex-wife, everyone else has been very accepting of it.

#4) What are a few of your favorite size fantasy works?

I am a big fan of Capp Artwork, and met the artist in person on several occasions back in California. I have an extensive collection of his artwork. Not sure if he is still around, but you can google to find some of his artwork.

#5) How did you first become involved with Giantess City?

Back in 2003 a user of my site Giantess Magic called MysticCrunk contacted me one day. He told me about the idea of starting a new website which would essentially consist of just a Forum and nothing else where people would share their Size Related content on. At that point I had been running Giantess Magic for a few years, and the burden of paying for Server bills to keep the site running was driving me towards bankruptcy. I was forced to turn the Giantess Magic site and forum into a Members only site just to stay afloat which had driven site traffic down. I needed a way out of the financial burden, and Crunk’s timing was perfect for that.

I encouraged him to go with that idea, and even helped him with some technical questions and installation problems when he was going through setting the Giantess City site up. He was so full of energy back then and sort of reminded me of a younger version of myself. He added me as a site Administrator on Giantess City, but for the first few years I was only visiting as a moderator and let a different group of Administrators run that site and took it easy for a few years to solve my own real-life problems.

As you can imaging running a site at the scale of Giantess City burns Administrators and Moderators out very quickly. It takes an insane amount of work to moderate the site, block spammers, block hacking attempts and backup the databases and site content. After a few years the first group of Administrators and Moderators of Giantess City burned out and quit. That’s when I stepped in and took over as the webmaster of Giantess City with Thanatos and a few others.

Sadly, MysticCrunk had to declare bankruptcy and sold the site to Gary Pranzo who had the financial means to keep it running. Crunk was a good friend to me while I knew him. Sadly, he had a lot of financial troubles and deaths in his family and I lost contact with him. Haven’t spoken to him in at least a decade but I miss having him around.

#6) There is a significant amount of history in the huge number of posts made over the last 16 years at Giantess City. When the problems occurred earlier this year with the site’s domain name, there was some concern that the site had actually crashed and all that history was lost. Can you briefly discuss how the forum is backed up and its data preserved?

There is no doubt the size of our site database and uploaded files is quite large and it is a huge challenge to continue running it at the rate we are growing, but what happened earlier this year was not a result of a site failure. The issue was what is commonly referred to as Domain Hijacking. Essentially someone was able to update the DNS entries of our domain to point it to another website. Essentially the website was no longer going to our Web Server, and was instead going to another web server that was not setup. To be clear, at no point was our Web Server compromised, nor was any malicious content uploaded to it or have any type of failure. As a matter of fact, if you look at some of the posts in the feedback forum you will see that a few power users who knew the IP Address of our Web Server were able to continue posting questions about why the website’s domain was not resolving. In cases like this the best way to get a hold of me is to either email me directly on my Gmail address, or get a hold of me on our newly established Discord Server Channel which has a discordapp.com URL and is always up. You will always be able to reach me on discord regardless of if the site itself is up or not, and I will always post announcements related to site maintenance or issues on there. (NOTE: Pete also stated that they do a “full daily backup both on site and offsite.”)

#7) In January of this year, the Furry Size Change sub-forums were created. Are there any other changes forthcoming?

Great question! Yes, we have quite a few additional features and functionality which are currently either in the planning or development phase, that we will be introducing over the next few years. Before getting into that though, I would like to add a quick comment about the Furry Subforums that were added.

If you poll the existing forum user base you will get a mixed response about Furry Size Change content, the same way you would get a mixed reaction if you asked about Giant Male content and forum. Those types of content are not everyone’s cup of tea, the same way not everyone is into Foot Fetish, Expansion, Vore or any other sub category of Size Change. The message that we have consistently communicated to users is that we want to include and accommodate their preferences, while not forcing users that are not into that type of content to have to sort through 100s of posts related to topics they don’t enjoy. So yes, expect more changes like the Furry Forum going forward, as long as the demand is there, it is legal and is related to Size Change.

Let me start with a short list, going from closest to go live to furthest from getting released on the site. Keep in mind I do these in my spare time, so I cannot guarantee a time frame for any of the items listed below. Just know that these are some ideas I am thinking of, some of which have turned to reality and some that I am still designing and planning.

  1. Discord Chat Server – If you have been paying attention to the site, you have probably noticed a new “Live Chat” link at the top of the page right below the Advertisement banners. A few months ago, we introduced a brand-new Chat Room which is hosted externally on Discord. This new chat replaces the old Chat that was running on our server to satisfy the craving our users have for real time chat. At the same time, it will help us keep our own Server’s performance in top shape and shields the website from some legal obligations that come with having a live chat. Over time you can expect new channels to be added to our new Discord Server to accommodate the ever-growing need for real time interaction based on different preferences.
  2. New Chat Bot – If you have visited the new Chat Server, you may have noticed a new Bot called Giantess City Bot listed on the user list. This new bot currently has 2 main features. The first feature is a size change system which let’s users shrink or grow in size by issuing a command to the bot to do so. If you chose to be a shrinkee, you can also have a Giantess or Giant take control of your size and shrink and grow you as they see fit. The new bot also has a feature under construction which allows users to role play with various Artificial Intelligence Bots from PersonalityForge or elsewhere on various size related topics. If you have an AI Personality that you have trained and would like to integrate it with our new Chat Bot please contact me directly and I will work with you to add it to our list of AI Personalities for everyone to use.
  3. Pushing Chat Media to Main Site – For those users who don’t generally go into our new Chat Room, we are working on a Chat Bot feature to push Pictures and Videos posted in the Chat to the main site for everyone to enjoy. These types of pushed media will show as being posted under a new service user. Look for this feature in the near future.
  4. Replacing Messenger Fields in User Profile – Remember when ICQ, AOL Messenger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Jabber where the main way people used to directly chat with each other? Well, those days are long gone so we have on our list of changes to replace those profile fields with the following new fields:
    • Skype
    • WhatsApp
    • Viber
    • Telegram
    • Snapchat
    • Discord
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • DeviantArt
  5. Profile Gallery – I have been toying with the idea of having a section under each user’s profile to display any media including Pictures and Videos under, along with a link to the post where it was uploaded for users to comment on it. A lot of times users will see artwork posted by an artist, and would like to quickly look at other artworks posted by the same user without having to sift through 1000s of posts that artist may have posted one by one, opening each only to look at the Pictures and Videos the user posted.
  6. Interactive Stories – This has been an item that users have requested quite frequently. Writing.com has an interactive stories feature, but they have been restricting it’s usage and removing interactive stories quite frequently. So rather for writers to keep posting their stories there and getting them deleted the idea is for them to be able to post those same stories on our own site and hopefully keep them for good.
  7. Mobile Site Theme – This one was actually rolled out once for a short period of time but I had to roll back the changes due to some glitches. Right now, when you visit the site on your phone or in some cases a tablet you have to scroll and zoom in and out quite a bit to see everything. On our list of features is a Mobile Site Theme to make navigation a lot easier. Just to be clear though this is NOT a Mobile App that you download on your phone. It would still be the same site, just the look and feel of the site will resize to accommodate your screen size.
  8. Advertisement Banner Management & Statistics – You may be wondering by now how it is that the site is free. It’s because of those banners at the top of the page, which Advertisers pay for to advertise their business that pay for our server bills. Without their help the site could not continue functioning. A feature I have on my list is to create a portal for Advertisers to sign up for a new account or upload new banners to their existing advertisement slots to keep people interested. It will also have a way to track the total number of clicks from users to make it worth their while. By the way if you are interested in advertising on the site contact me for more information.

As you can see, we have a long list of features that are coming. I am also always open to suggestions, so if you have any suggestions for features not already on our list email me and let me know. Keep in mind though that new features do have to be approved by everyone on the moderation team through a voting process, so depending on how the vote goes your feature / request may not see the light of day.

Thanks for reading this interview, and I hope to see you on Giantess City soon!

Thanks,
Pete Smith
Giantess City Webmaster
http://www.giantesscity.com

***

Thank you for doing this interview!

All Rights Reserved.

3 thoughts on “Interview with Pete Smith, Giantess City Webmaster

  1. Great interview of one of the great pioneers of the Size fetish community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I was very happy to chat with Pete and learn more about a site that means so much to this community.

      Like

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