Happy 10th birthday to the DansDeals Forums and the DDF community!
I’ve been blogging since my 20th birthday in November 2004 under the name CtownBochur. In 2006 I created the CtownForums, which was a flop from the start. In 2007 I pounced on the DansDeals.com domain name when the previous owner let it expire and the rest is history.
By May 2008 traffic was picking up and people were posting random comments in nearly every deal that I posted. To try to alleviate that I made a discussion post and then a 2nd discussion post where people could ask questions, but those grew unruly very quickly.
In that 2nd discussion post on May 27, 2008 a commenter named Eli left the following note,
“Dan, I believe that by creating something like dansdealsforums.com and using a free forums software, it will take off tremendously. And the users of the forums will be asked to post linkbacks to the forums in the comments on the standard blog. The forums can have different categories like Deals, Hotels, Airlines etc.
If you get the right forum software that does what you need it to, it will work well. It may take time, but it will work well.
You can even have on the blog a scrolling link to the hottest topics being discussed in the forum. All you need is a lot of people knowing about it (people who normally visit the forums) and it will be fine.
Dan, how bout it? get me access to the website and we can have dansdeals.com/forums up and running within a few hours. You might as well give it a try. I already did the research and found the best solution for the forum software, all completely free of course.
I was highly skeptical due to the failure of the other forums and told Eli as much. But he persisted and said it would take him just a few hours to setup and that there was really nothing to lose. And so after getting the green light, Eli Webster created the DansDeals Forums exactly 10 years ago, on May 28th, 2008.
It’s taken off beyond my wildest dreams, which just goes to prove that if you don’t succeed at first, try, try again. I guess that’s just another form of HUCA 😉
The DansDeals Forum community is awesome and I’ve been able to meetup with forum members from across the globe. I love the Destination Guides and Trip Reports boards where there is tons of great info shared to create the perfect trip for just about anywhere on this planet.
Many of the deals I post here on DansDeals are sourced from DDF posts. Top contributors have received prizes ranging from $1,000 Amazon gift cards to 40 year old bottles of scotch to a free DDF dinner in Manhattan. There’s a real sense of community that you don’t get on a Facebook group or Whatsapp and that has shined through on many occasions. The community sticks together through good times, through DDF meetups at member weddings, through needy times for a DDFer in legal trouble or a couple in need of funds to make a wedding, and to the sad, including the loss of one of a young married DDF member.
Of course a major thanks has to go out to Eli Webster (Eli on the forums) and Baruch Hayman (BAHayman on the forums) for their tireless help on the technical side of things where I am fairly clueless. The moderating team, including Chaikel and JJ have done a great job over the years and moderator Something Fishy has also done tremendous work on the Trip Reports board and he has even put DDF trip reports onto an awesome Google map.
If you’re not on DDF, I’d highly recommend that you check it out. Sure there’s a learning curve, but many members have transitioned from n00b to pro in just a year, all while racking up millions of miles and first class travel around the world. Fair warning, it can be addictive. But of all the hobbies to have, this is a pretty good one!
But above all of the knowledge gained, the real life friendships that have been created via DDF are what’s most special. That’s definitely something I’ll treasure and hope to foster over the 2nd decade of DDF.
Hearing from people who have told me about how their life has changed for the better because of DDF is always rewarding as well. I love hearing from people who go from not being able to afford to travel to flying around the world in first class and staying in 5 star hotels thanks to the mileage game.
Thanks to everyone on DDF for making it a valuable resource and fun place to hang out!
Want to join in the fun?
-Start reading through the 1.8MM+ posts on DDF here.
-Overwhelmed by DDF? Read through the threads in the Start Here board.
-Ready to start getting involved? Signup for your own free DDF account here.
Has DDF helped you out over the years?