According to Stelter, The Bumps started after he received a computer from his grandfather. Stelter taught himself HTML, and he created the first page for his site in April 1996 at the age of 11. The site grew in popularity over the next couple of years. According to one report, the website saw "tens of thousands of visitors a month" at its peak.
Stelter's site became a hub for information on the series, and he claimed to have "dozens" of sources; Stelter stayed in contact with Stine, members of Scholastic, series illustrators, and other individuals related to the franchise. For these reasons, Stelter was actually able to obtain "exclusive" information. At one point, illustrator Tim Jacobus publicly stated Stelter's fan-site was "incredible" and praised its accuracy, but he admitted Stelter's persistent investigations drove "the people at Scholastic crazy".
Stelter ultimately lost interest in the franchise, and the site stopped being updated between 1998 and 1999. The domain "thebumps.com" was purchased by an unrelated party and now contains nothing related to Goosebumps. Fragments of Stelter's original site were archived, but some of the content has seemingly become lost.
Stelter's continued research on the series was, by his admission, vaguely "journalistic" in nature. Fittingly, Stelter became a journalist, and he is now largely known for his work with The New York Times and CNN.
Stine noticed Stelter's name appearing in bylines and remembered it from the 1990s; the two eventually met up for an interview in 2009, honoring Stine's then new series, Goosebumps HorrorLand. During this meeting, Stine described Stelter's site as "amazing". In 2015, the two reunited in preparation for the release of the film Goosebumps. During this interview, Stine said that Stelter had been an "aggressive" kid, but he also joked that Stelter had been acting like a journalist.
An additional contributor to The Bumps was a young Blake Ross, who worked alongside Stelter on the site. Ross eventually became the co-founder for the Mozilla Firefox internet browser. Reflecting on The Bumps, Ross once said, "It ended up as a quasi-official site for the series."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 I was a 12-year-old 'Goosebumps' blogger. Now R.L. Stine and I are friends
- ↑ "Brian Stelter has been training for this moment his entire life"
- ↑ "Getting the Picture with Goosebumps Illustrator Tim Jacobus" (Archived)
- ↑ Brian Stelter, Slappy and R.L. Stine
- ↑ Get Goosebumps With R.L. Stine Webcast
- ↑ Atrium, Fall 2017, "Blake Ross '03: Firefox Starter"
- Blogger Beware (review blog)