Happy 10th Birthday To DDF, The DansDeals Forums

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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?

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34 Comments On "Happy 10th Birthday To DDF, The DansDeals Forums"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Happy birthday


I feel like it’s so hard to get on the level ddf members are on I’ve been looking through forums for a year already and still don’t understand a word people are saying


Congratulations, and thank you Mister Eli Webster!


Happy Birthday DDF!!!!
Thanks to all those who made & continue to make it happen. Here’s to another 10 years of continued success.


Sure has! Took many vacations that would have been impossible without DDF. Thanks Dan and all fellow DDFers


Mazel tov, Dan, and as much as it pained me last night, wishing you and your Cavs hatslacha rabbah.


Wow, Mazel Tov & Congratulations! Yup 10 years it is. I remember when my chavrusa in Kollel introduced me to Dansdeals! Been good memories all along.


Wondering if you still keep up with this chavrusa??!!


Yes, I do! We’ve been together since high school and now live in the same city.


Mazal tov!

Even though your closed my ddf account without notice


Thanks Dan for all your work!
I don’t know where to start….. but DDF has changed my life!!

M family

Thanks to Dan’s deals and the forums, i may not be staying in 5 star hotels or fly first class, but I’m imyh taking a month long trip to Europe and Israel with a family of 6.


Mazal tov Dan!
I still remember the ctownbachur days…. was in 10th grade…


Congratulations! Keep it up! I pretty much got the hang of it -acronyms, but we need a simplified summary how to maximize all sorts of miles,
Thanks again


Treat yourself to a Cavs finals game and share the pictures!

stand for the anthem

game 4 is Friday night (so I guess it’s GSW in 3!)


Thanks to ddf I got to do things that I could only have dreamed about.


I became the family travel agent thanks to DDF 🙂
Thanks Dan


I remember when you were CTownbochur on the Matisyahu forum on the Jdub forum. You’ve come a long way baby! Continued success!


Thanks Dan! My first trip to aus with a baby was smoother through advice and suggestions on ddf.
These days as the family BH grew, I have no miles left so don’t know the next time I’d be able to pull off such a trip.
The few times I did fly was def thanks to you!


Thanks Dan!


love your site Happy Birthday

Been There

I’ll admit, I am not the greatest in maximizing miles, but I love the human side of this blog. Dan, you are an inspiration to me with your good cheer, passion to help others and non-judgmental personality.

And of course the camaraderie of the DDFers
Happy Birthday!


Dan you helped me today check my post on DDF and I’m hooked!


Congratulations! Thanks much Dan! You saved me a lot! I accumulated close to 10 mil. Miles and burnt like 3.5 all in the last 4 years! Thanks!!!! I didn’t pay for travel since I know you!! (except for fuel surcharges &taxes) you kind of gave me $500k for free!! Thanks again!!


Congratulations on this special milestone. I know u get to Boynton Beach to visit family. Would love to host a seminar for all those interested in learning more about how to take advance of many of the Dans Deals


Hi Dan , Happy Birthday
We love ur site, we went to Hawaii, Isreal; fla etc.
I can’t even count how many amazing deals we received bec of u!
Thanks a million!,
Keep going and helping everyone!!