July 9, 2001

Volume 1

Issue 6

Ray's Comments

                                The 100,000 messages - Sunday


I guess I was the only one who was watching the BBQ Forum so closely today.  I knew it was going to happen about noon and it did.  That’s when the 100,000th. message was posted to the forum.  I have been wondering for several days just who would post that message.

The BBQ Forum started six years ago when I noticed in the list of options available from my ISP was an interactive forum.  This was right after I had just up-graded my hosting package to the $100 per month deal (the wife didn’t like this).  The interactive forum was an option that if I chose it would cost another $50 per month.  So I put an announcement on the Kansas City Bar-B-Q Connection asking people if they would be interested in it. 

Within the next few days I got four or five emails from people thinking it was a good idea.  So I didn’t tell my wife what I was doing but I signed up for the forum and another $50 per month. 

The ISP was very protective of the forum and even though I was paying for it they wouldn’t allow me to access that part of the server.  So for years I had no idea of how it worked.  If I wanted anything done on it I had to ask them to do it for me.  They charged for some of that “consulting” also.

Most of the earliest archives of the forum were lost or I was simply too stupid to save them.   In the beginning there were not many messages posted and the forum kept crashing all the time. The earliest archives I have were after the Forum had been going for about a year.  Some of the names of the people that posted messages on my earliest archive will be familiar to a lot of you today.

Mike Scrutchfield Smoky
David Klose Jim Sposato
BBQ Doc MarkH (Mark Haggitt)
Bob McClure Frank Boyer
KennyG Elizabeth
Z-Cat Carolina Cookers (Woody)

I have just listed some of the names that might be most familiar to some of you today.  If I missed anyone I’m sorry. 

The Forum started off on a very civil tone.  It was just a bunch of people who were all new to the Internet and having a good time, sharing information about BBQ.  There were no ‘flames” or trouble back then.

After I woke up I realized that I had to do something about preserving as much of the information be shared as possible.  It’s still a problem I fight with daily. 

That early script that ran the forum was full of holes.  At one time it was a very popular script that was used all over the Internet.  It was however very easy to crash and a lot of would be hackers spent a lot of time crashing forums.  Now they call that “Ecommerce Terrorism” and the FBI gets involved.  Later on, as many of you know, Karl Shafer came on the scene and patched up the holes and improved the script and so it’s still going. 

Today when “Mop” (I don’t even know who “Mop” is) posted the 100,000 message I was really excited.  The BBQ Forum is a great place with great people and I hope it keeps going forever.  I wanted to know if any other of these forums had ever reached the 100,000 message level.  So I spent some time searching around the Internet and found only one forum that had 100,000 messages posted to it.  That was a travel forum that is no longer working.  I’m sure there are others but the fact is there are not very many. 

Another thing I am proud of is the fact that other forums that have been created after people saw the success of the BBQ Forum.  The Big Green Egg forum was started after an exchange of several email messages with Bill Miller the deceased founder of that forum.  David Klose’s Pit talk forum came about because David and I got to know each other on the BBQ Forum.  I later wrote his web page and set him up with a forum.  Then there have been countless other BBQ Forums set up all over the Internet for whatever reason.

The success of the BBQ Forum has not been because of me.  It has happened because of the good people who visit it each day and those of you who post messages to it.  You sharing your knowledge of BBQ is truly assume.   I am shocked almost daily by your generosity.   I think because of the generosity of the posters of the BBQ Forum the quality of BBQ has been raised greatly.  More people cook better BBQ because of you.

This has been quite a day for me.  I suppose some of you might think I’m crazy because of the way I felt when that 100,000 message was posted.  Just think about it.  If it took an average of 8 minutes to post a message and one person had posted 100,000 messages.  It would have taken that one person about 333 forty-hour work weeks, without breaks, to post 100,000 messages.

Life really does have it’s ups and downs.  I read a message to the forum today.  I’m sorry I can’t remember who posted it, but at the bottom of the message it said something like “life is uncertain, you should always eat desert first.”

This morning I was immensely proud of the fact that “Mop” had posted the 100,000 message to the Forum.  Tonight 11:07PM, after some problems over the forum, I got an email that said to me in part: “Sure would be nice if you take up a hobby and quit fussing over that list (The BBQ Forum) so much.  It would run much better without your constant fiddling.”   Good thing I ate desert first today.

Ray Basso


Copyright 2001
Ray Basso

Past Comments from Ray:
Review on the Grand Barbecue book and companion video
My Grandfather and his watch 
Top Secret Rib Rub Review
The Lake

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