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Sonya, How did VMB get started?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by vgslvr, Feb 8, 2014.

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  1. vgslvr

    vgslvr Low-Roller

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    Inception and "State of the Union" speech please
     
  2. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Good question... I'm interested in the response too.
     
  3. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Once upon a time there was a beautiful lady......
     
  4. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    ...and she lived in the kingdom of alt.vacation.las-vegas along with he-who-shall-not-be-named, Dave Berman, Don Strevel, and a host of others...
     
  5. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    It wasn't always vmb...if you've been around forever you remember T2V. Some of us still call it T2V though Sonya has been trying to get us to change it for years.
     
  6. swuulumm

    swuulumm Low-Roller

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    somebody managed to make their hobby into something that brings in some cash on the side (probably not enough to not work, but at least some cash on the side)

    Congrats Sonya!
     
  7. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    I imagine it started much like other forums. It found a niche that the starter had a passion for and also brings in enough money to support itself (server costs and such) and net some cool freebies.
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I love your starts to the story. Yeah, that's kind of how it happened.

    Once upon a time, there was a dangerous and scary forest called the usenet. In it was a clearing called alt.vacation.las-vegas and lots of people hung out there to talk about Vegas.

    Unfortunately I didn't discover them until after my first trip where I paid the AAA rack rate for a Manor Room at CC, thought the free CC Buffets made it a bargain, I tried to walk The Strip the first night because Mirage looked just "right over there" and ended up falling asleep in that bright pink coffee shop at CC after trying in vain to hail a cab on the Strip from the sidewalk.

    Yup. We did it all wrong. But I learned so much on the trip and was in love with Vegas, so I was hooked and looked to learn all I could.

    The big downside of avlv was the standard usenet responses to everything - You're an idiot! Your opinion is stupid, because it's not the same as mine. I got into an argument about whether or not MSS was a dump back when I thought arguing on the internet was a worthwhile pastime. :)

    At the same time, I was going back to college and was taking a web design class. I signed up for a Geocities account and started a website that had pictures to PROVE! MSS was not a dump, but a beautiful little gem, hiding downtown. I also added some FAQs that had answers to questions we answered frequently on the group I could just link to instead of typing out again and again.

    AVLV got more and more crazy and a big group broke off into an email group (Yahoogroups?) and the problem became the amount of chatter in the group. Several of us just wanted a place to hang out and talk Vegas without having to be so strict about the chit chat.

    Somewhere in there I bought travel2vegas and traveltovegas.com and braved the world of messageboards with UBB. T2V was born in 1999.

    My goal from the beginning was to have a place that people could hang out and share info about Vegas without having to be subjected to you-know-who type behavior. You should be able to ask anything or share any opinion without fear of being attacked over it. Seems simple, right? WRONG!

    It seemed like years went by where it was just me talking to myself, but we had some loyal visitors and I made some amazing friends. People were finding like minded friends and some of these buffoons even starting scheduling their trips together for big board meet-ups, something I'd never considered, and didn't join along in the madness for way too many years.

    Somewhere in there Hunter (from VegasChatter and some other places) was a moderator here. He had a url for vegasmessageboard.com that he wasn't doing anything with and asked if I wanted it. We made a trade we felt was fair and there was a move to vBulletin and many of my wonderful moderators jumped on board to help me out.

    The rest is in the archives. :) In the last several years, our membership has really grown. It still amazes me. I do make a little cash that keeps the hamsters on their wheels and the servers running. I am lucky that I get a little extra to be able to buy some dinners, stock the bar at the parties and occasionally have a little open bar time at a casino with the buffoons and whatever members decided to join us. I'm not ready to buy the house next door to Bill Gates quite yet, but I like being able to treat the members and staff who join me in Vegas.

    It's great that you asked this question now. We just passed our 15th anniversary as a board. I can't believe it's been that long. Seems mindblowing that it has become what it is.

    It's not always fun. Sometimes I ask myself why I put up with the tough stuff when it can be such a burden to run the board. Once I got a big money offer to buy me out and pay me to stay as admin for 3 years during the transition. I still wonder sometimes why I didn't take the $$ and run. :wink2:

    But VMB/T2V really is a labor of love. I love Vegas and I love seeing new people discover it. I love hearing about people doing things I don't do (like be a whale or do those noisy clubs). I learn something new here every week. And as long as you guys are enjoying it, I hope I can keep it here and available to you.

    Backstage, we have big plans for growth and changes and new features. Unfortunately, the board doesn't pay all my bills and I don't have unlimited time to work on it, so the progress is painfully slow. But know that we're always talking about ideas and features you say you want in the board.

    I love the feedback I get from you guys so keep it coming! I am going through some health stuff right now, but I'm still here! I'm just focused on the back-end of things more than the daily messages on the board.

    My volunteer staff has been great about stepping up to cover the gap. I couldn't have come this far without them. I tell them all the time, but it never feels like enough. I sure wish I could pay them for all they do. Luckily they work cheap and a 5-gallon drum of Crown and one of Captain Morgan is usually all the payment they ask for. Aren't they great!?!?!? :nworthy:
     
  10. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Wow! Thanks so much for the background!!!

    Also, the story is a good reminder to consider flipping a few bucks Sonya's way folks. It's very easy to do, by clicking the SUPPORT THE BOARD square in the upper right corner. I'm sure you'll agree that most of us have gotten plenty of valuable info and useful tips from The VMB!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  11. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Thanks a lot Sonya for all that you do and for sharing how it came about!
     
  12. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Long Live the Queen!!

    thanks for all you have brought to us Sonya!
     
  13. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    Good post, Sonya.

    That sounds in line with what I usually hear for forum starts. Nice to see you started way back on usenet.
     
  14. sassykat

    sassykat Tourist

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    Thanks for the background info, Sonya. You do a great job.
     
  15. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Thanks! I love that I got a chance to tell that story again right now when I need to remember what I had in mind way back in the stone age. ;) It helps me keep things in perspective as I plan our move forward. Plus, what a pat on the back I should give myself for making such a cool place out of such a tiny little nothing at all. Yay, me!

    I also stand by it, my avlv nemesis, wherever you are! MSS is not a dump. It may not be fancy, but it's clean, they treat you well and the hotel is full of stunning antiques and glass if you look up from the tables (literally) now and then.

    Oh, it's way worse than that. I go back to the old days when I dialed into a BBS using a coupler and my home phone. My parents hated it when they'd pick up the phone and hear that loud squeal noise and then me swearing in the back room because I lost my connection.

    I also remember getting way too excited about 1200 Baud modems and 40mb hard drives. :haha:

    I'm old. :faint:

    ETA: Oh, and Compuserve!! It's where I met my husband. I remember the glory of OzCIS that would let you download all your messages, read and reply offline and then upload it all. Being online was expensive and tied up the phone for hours and hours. I am sooo old.
     
  16. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    You're right, a lot of places did and do still suffer from that. My only comment on this, and feel free to ignore it, is that sometimes it feels like playful arguments are stamped down on too quickly here. That being said, it's very difficult to get tone of voice on the internet so it's a tough one to judge. I'm English, and here a key social skill is good natured put downs and bantering. It doesn't always carry across the pond due to cultural differences.

    www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/4012 here (or something like that) back in '96 or so! That's our ages shown!
     
  17. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    Oh I remember that and also using cassette tapes for storage before disk drives.....drives that used real floppy disks and the little read/write part you couldn't touch through the plastic (felt almost like vinyl).
     
  18. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    I learned that quickly from modding a couple forums where many folks from the UK frequented. It was part of regular convo to, in essence, be sort of an "arse". I took offense initially but it was all in good taste actually in the end.

    Every forum is modded differently (more or less strict) and it's about catching the tone. Rules won't accurately convey the tone off the bat.

    You CANNOT have anarchy tho'.
     
  19. 2VegasNuts

    2VegasNuts High-Roller

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    Sonya, thank you for the history. As a more recent member, I appreciate the look back. This is the best board I have ever been a member of and the reason is YOU. Thank you!
     
  20. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I found the a.v.lv and rec.gambling on Usenet back when I was in grad school. I was also on (dare I admit it) Fidonet so I knew how to ignore the majority of the drek on line at the time.

    Some of the people on a.v.lv turned me on to another on line forum, not this one, but similar and I hung out there for a while but the amount of new and interesting stuff just got less and less and less. There was some kind of other spin-off of that system, but it would not let me use about any name that I wanted so I just gave up on it. Eventually somebody on the other system steered me over here.

    I've also steered a few people there over here.
     
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