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History of My Fishing Pals - - - 19 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2 
AHealy
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 10:48 PM 02/15/08 (CST)
I am a new member here, and as a new member, I actually took some time to explore the various forums and some posts that were made in the past. I spent the last several hours going through some old posts and I was going to comment on some of these posts, but it seems a couple of them have been buried, and probably buried for a good reason.

I am interested in the history of My Fishing Pals. It seems there has been some times of upheaval and since I agree, there comes a time to bury things in the past, I am quite fascinated by some of the things I read.

More specifically, There are 3 subjects that I found very ineteresting and if anyone can shed some light on the why and the history, if at least a glimmer, I would appreciate it.

The first subject was the PETA stuff. There are several threads that delve into the great debate as to why we hunt and fish. Beleive it or not, this is how I actually found this site. I searched for PETA in Minnesota and up comes the PETA stuff. It was a great debate that kind of fizzled, but I notice there are still a lot of things in the search engines about it. I also found a press release along with various other blogs all commenting on the debate that went on here. While this subject is pretty self explanatory, I find it very interesting non the less. I see no history involved here, just some interesting posts. More specifically the following,
Going Hunting? Or are you just out to kill!
PETA - More Controversy
MINNESOTA FISHERMEN TAKE A CRITICAL LOOK AT PETA
And I thought this last on was very humorous,
HOW DO YOU OR PETA FEEL ABOUT PAINTING ROAD KILL

But there are two other subjects that seem to have great gaps in information because many users went back and edited their past posts. These are the ones in which I am trying to fill in the blanks. More specifically the following,
Are We Doing Good Things?
and
What's with fishingminnesota.com?!?!?!

Are We Doing Good Things? is a great post in which I find some of the users were getting a bit angry against some other users. I also noticed that some of the users on this subject actually have not posted since. Obviously there was some heated debate here, and I was wondering if any one could fill in some of the blanks. WebDude started the subject with an excellent post that moved the reader into accepting some rules that he felt needed to be made. I was wondering if anyone would care to explain any of the specifics.

The next one, What's with fishingminnesota.com?!?!?! is another very fascinating post. I also read some other references to that subject as the one that would never die. Do you realize that that subject lasted from 8/30/05 to 9/23/07?! That in itself is quite a feat. Yet many of the posts are edited. Once more, any detail would be appreciated.

I am just curious, that's all. If I am bringing up sore spots, I apologize. But after taking the time to read most of these forums, some of the subject matter has really piqued my interest. I have read lots of posts from other fishing sites and I have to say that this is one of the most unique and innovative sites I have ever been on. I am a member of another site, but I rarely post anywhere.

Anyway, if you could fill in some of the blank spots, I would appreciate it. It seems there is quite a history here, and even though it strays from the subject of actual fishing, it's the history that can be interesting, especially to me. If I get no responses, I will understand.

Thanks,

AHealy
WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 03:03 PM 02/16/08 (CST)
Hello, AHealy,

I'll give a response to this question sometime tonight. I need to gather some thoughts on this...

Thanks for not bumping the "Thread That Will Not Die." It has been such a slow death smile smiley



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WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 10:45 PM 02/16/08 (CST)
Ahhh... the history of this site... where to start... where to start...

PierBridge and BobberDown were actually the very first to have a gander at this site. Now I am talking a long time ago. Tap Tap Tap too. Way back then, the site was called My Fishing Buddies. It was hidden to the public and only a few people new of its location. Tap Tap Tap had bought a digital camera and had shot a few hundred pics and movies during the opener... I think it must have been 2002. He asked me if I would put them on the web somewhere and I thought why not! I had been doing web development since the mid ninties. So I put up this site that only a couple of people knew about. Some sent some pics and asked me to add them too. It was a group of guys that hung around a particular lake and we all got together every year for the opener. I actually had pics on there that had nothing to do with fishing too... some barb-b-ques and various get-togethers. I had a very simple guestbook where people could post comments (no need to log in or anything, just wide open).

I had always had a hankering to possibly register a domain name and try to put out a public site. I checked to see if myfishingbuddies.com was available and it was, but I really never got around to registering it. In fact, for about a year, I pretty much forgot that the site was even on-line.

In 2003, I changed jobs and I was moving servers and customers from one location to another, and I started thinking about what I was going to do with this hidden site. I checked the stats and there really was no traffic on there, it had kind of petered out. So I decided to take the pics and movies and see if I could start a public site. I asked a lot of the people that I knew in the pictures if I could use them on the new site, most of them agreed. Some seemed a little put off that I was going public with the site, they kind of thought of it as their private little thing, but to tell you the truth, no one was really visiting it anymore. In fact, if you go to the pictures sections to "My Fishing Pals Pictures" - some of the first ones are from the original site.

So I looked up myfishingbuddies.com to register it and guess what?!?!?! It was registered by someone else... Man was I bummed! I thought about some other names, but they just were not the same. I settled for myfishingpals.com, and to tell you the truth, I really didn't like it at first. BUT - after all this time it kind of grew on me... I mean, on other sites we are always referred to as MFP, and I guess it does do okay at that. So, this site could have been myfishingbuddies.com, if I had registered it 6 months earlier. Myfishingpals.com was registered and a construction page went up in 2004.

When the site went public, there really was very little action at all for the first year. Ted and BigBite were the first to register on the new forum. Ted I had talked to on the phone, he was living in Brainerd and was also a web developer. I really have no idea where BigBite came from, but he had joined too. A few users started signing up, usually a few a month and there were times when the forum wouldn't even get a post for a week. It was pretty dead.

So I decided to put some of my web marketing skills together to see if I could get some interest in the site. I spent a month or two putting together a database of all the guides, bait and tackle shops and resorts in Minnesota. I then sent each one an email and offered them all free advertising. I also put out information that we would let anybody link to their site, advertise or whatever. Now you gotta remember that back then, there were no sites that didn't have sponsors or advertisers. Most all of the sites out there were for profit and when I sent these emails out, there were lots (and I mean LOTS) of people who were very skeptical about associating with this site and what I was trying to do. I got (and still get) many emails asking "What's the catch?" You can check out here to see a general response... http://myfishingpals.com/Minnesota-Fishing-Forum.taf?_function=detail&ForumMasterThreads_uid1=2536&start=1&ForumNumber=9.

Well, things really started to take off then. I got some guides to join and the posts started picking up. Things were going good. I had over a thousand users and we were at least seeing a few posts a day. That is when I decided to break the forum up into 3 parts... the general forum, the kid's forum and the want ads. The want ads was added to see if we could rope in some more users by letting people post things for sale or things they were looking for. That is also when I made Ted a moderator. It was getting to the point where one person couldn't handle it all the time. This is also when I started thinking on the direction of the site... freedom of speach, democracy, etc. I really had a vision on where I wanted this thing to go... I just had to come up with ideas to get it there. It was back then that we had our first ever vote, too. I don't know if you realize this, but all users pretty much vote on any major changes here. I was trying to make this a totally different and unique site.

And that is when the bottom fell out, so to speak. I was running the database for this site on an old server that really wasn't being used any more for anything else. I never switched this out because at first, I really didn't take this site seriously. But the day I came in and noticed the forums down, I just about had a heart attack. The database had 2 harddrives in an array. What's wierd is that our building had been hit by some sort of power spike and BOTH of the drives went down. Everything else was fine, all my other servers were up and running but the My Fishing Pals database drives were fried. I tried to get as much information off of them that I could. I remember tapping one of the drives with a screwdriver trying to get it to spin. Well, it sucked, folks. I lost ALL of the user information and managed to save about a thousand posts. And to make matters worse, I was so caught up in trying to save the MFP data that I had let myfishingpals.com expire. Well I quickly reregistered the domain name, and moved what I could to one of my production database servers. In all, I think we were down for ten days. But ten days can be devastating. We call this the "Big Database Crash of 2004."

By the way, Sand Burr was the very first user to sign up on the new database... Thanks Sand Burr! smile smiley

Well, now everything gets backed up nightly, I have UPS on ALL of the servers and I take this site a bit more seriously. The bummer is that out of those thousand users, I probably only got about a hundred back. I tried to contact as many as I could to tell them we were up and running again, but you see, I didn't require a good email back then for registering. A lot of users gave fake email addresses and there was no way I could get a hold of them. Live and learn, I guess.

Now a couple of things happened in the next year or so that actually gave us great boosts in users and the search engines though some of these things were not welcome and caused great strife here. And even if there was some contention... to tell you the truth, these events did benefit the site. The first was the "Thread That Wouldn't Die." As you can see, this is a thread that really bashed another site. One of the things we place great import on is the ability of our users to tell it like it is. But you have to admit, things can go a bit overboard. I watched this thread unfold and really there was nothing I could do about it. There were a lot of angry people out there and they used this site to vent that anger. At first, I thought it was kind of funny. Then I noticed the amount of new users who were signing up. Then it got downright alarming. And then it turned ugly. I finally had to post quite a long diatrabe located on the top of page 9. I asked everyone to really ask themselves if what they were posting really did anyone any good. A lot of users went back and either deleted their posts or edited them to take out some of the sting. That thread still pops up once in a while. During this time, I was threatened with lawsuits, and had several offers on the site. I guess some saw this as some sort of opportunity, though, taking an opportunity at someone elses expense doesn't appeal to me. The thread is there and will stay there until someone votes that it gets locked or deleted... much to the chagrin of some.

The next thing that happened was the beginning of a long interchange that ended with the banning of a member. The end result of a year of turmoil culminated in my posting the "Are We Doing Good Things" thread. Actually, that thread was posted twice, but the first one was deleted. We had a user on the forum who was very, VERY exuburant. He used to post many times a day. About 30% of his posts were very good posts. He obviously knew what he was doing and he had a knack for catching lots of fish. He also posted many photos of these fish and there were people who would join because of his exuburance. In less then a year, he had over 3000 posts... and that's a lot of posts! The problem was almost all of his posts were concentrated on one area. At first I welcomed his posts, things here got very busy, but after a year of pounding the same area over and over again, I was starting to get feedback from other users, people who lived in this area and even family members - and all of this feedback was pretty negative. Some people I know went out to this spot to fish one weekend, and this used to be a great spot that usually a couple of guys would hit once in a while, and I was told there were a hundred people out there with fires, kegs, fishfries, etc., etc., etc. My first thought was "What have I done!" I really screwed up letting that go for so long. So we decided we would warn the guy. We told him to lay off. He also had a knack for highjacking threads and shouting out about his spot. We told him to quit doing that as well. He would be okay for a while, but then would start right in again. He also did not take critisism very well and a lot of threads would turn into a lot of flaming. Well after warning him many times, I finally started the "Are We Doing Good Things" thread. He knew I was singling him out, but to tell you the truth, I had to do something. I was losing good users and things were degrading fast. That is how we came up with the rules we now have. He was good for about a couple of weeks, but then some of the moderatrors and myself caught him playing games on the forum. He would post one thing, wait a half an hour and then edit the post into something else. Some of these posts were not very flattering to some of our users or MFP. So, I took a vote with the moderators and he was unanomously booted. That was the first person that really ever got kicked off this site and I was bummed I had to do it, but I felt I had no choice. He argued about it, he even called me, but I was done... the damage had already been done.

So this is a quick history of MFP. There are a lot of other things that happened too, but these are the major ones that had a profound affect on this site. I know this got long, so I am going to wrap it up here. I hope this answers some of your questions. Some may find this boring and could care less... some are thinking "What the heck does this have to do with fishing?" and yet others seem to be interested... that's the only reason I keep you all up-to-date. You see, this isn't my site, it's your site. And the more you know about your site, the better, I think.

Anywayz... catch ya later!

p.s. by the way, we consider the birthday of MFP to be February 26, 2004. This is shortly after the database crash. It's coming up pretty quick, eh?



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Proctor Pete
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 09:29 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
Web-dude...brilliant post!

I am one of the posters that was "put-off" by the actions of a former poster. I also stayed away from the site due to the fact that moderators edited my post criticizing him. But that is in the past and hopefully I can now move forward with the explanation I just read.

Since reading your "are we doing good things thread", I know that I have been careful on what information I share with whom. And you should be proud that a single post made me and I suspect many other people think. High school teachers would pay good money to have that effect.

Best wishes to you Dude...

Pete
WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 09:29 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
Hey Proctor Pete,

Glad to see ya back!

smile smiley



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WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 09:34 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
p.s. I fixed the double post...

smile smiley



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AHealy
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Joined 01/12/2008
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 09:40 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
Thanks for sharing, WebDude,

The fact that you even answered shows the difference between this site and others. I apppreciate it.
Proctor Pete
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 09:42 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
Thanks... I'm one of the few that still has dial-up...

plenty of things can go wrong with the ol' tin can and a string method...

Pete
Ted
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Joined 07/18/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 09:45 AM 02/17/08 (CST)
Personally, I think the site is better off now then it has ever been. We are getting more reports from all across the state. It seems we are averaging more posts per day too. And every time I log in, I see some familiar users who I haven't seen in years. Things are definitely looking up, as far as I am concerned.


Ted

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Sand Burr
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Joined 02/27/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 06:22 PM 02/17/08 (CST)
I am still pumped that I get mentioned as the first person to sign up after the big crash!!!! wink smiley Maybe some day I get to shake webdudes hand!



History of My Fishing Pals - - - 19 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2 
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