DDF Is 5!

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Happy 5th birthday to the DansDeals Forums and the DDF community!

I’ve been blogging since my 20th birthday in November 2004 under the name CtownBochur.  Previously I had been on the moderation team for bochurim.tk, which was a forum where single orthodox jewish guys discussed everything from yeshivas to deals.  That forum had initial success but then died off.  In 2006 I created the CtownForums, which was a complete and utter flop from the start.  In 2007 I landed the DansDeals.com domain name for just a few bucks when the previous owner let it expire (I had even emailed them to buy it off them!)

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 5 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.  So thanks to Eli for that lesson.

The DansDeals Forums now occupy many of my waking hours.  The community there is just great and I’ve been able to meetup several times with forum members from across the globe.  I love the Trip/Destination Reports board where we share tips on places we travel to and of course tons of great info is shared on all of the other boards as well. We’ve designed a Wiki system that didn’t previously exist for SMF forum software where the community can easily summarize massive threads in a few concise paragraphs at the beginning of each thread.

The growth rate has been awesome. Just 6,500 posts in 2008 and 5,200 posts in 2009, but then 39,000 posts in 2010, 113,000 posts in 2011, and 212,000 posts in 2012 along with over 16 million page views in 2012!  And we’re on pace to shatter those numbers in 2013.

Many of the deals I post here on DansDeals are sourced from DansDeals Forum posts including the famous El Al $336 deal. And for that I am extremely grateful to the DDF community, you guys are awesome! Of course it’s not all just travel and deals, you know there’s a real sense of community when a member was able to raise thousands of dollars for a needy bride and groom just from DDF members without any other publicity.

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.  And thanks to AAA, Chaikel, and AsherO who work day and night on the DDF moderation team as well.  All of these guys volunteer their time to make the DDF community a better place and I couldn’t do it without them!

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40 Comments On "DDF Is 5!"

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

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Cholentfresser

Happy Birthday!! 😉

jayro

Mazeltov
Thanks for all your good work

Joe

Wow Dan many more yrs with great luck

jj

hey dan you know what, we all have to thank you for all the tireless effort you put into finding deals and releasing them in the most efficient manner allowing us to easily gain amazing deals effortlesly. Thnx a ton buddy-

Banana

Thank you for everything! Our small business visits your site multiple times a day and benefits great from your postings! Mazal Tov! Bracha v’hatzlacha!

EmceeME

Ad meah v’esrim!

Ybincr

Happy birthday thanks dan

lfas25

Happy birthday!!

ab

שנת הצלחה בגשמיות וברחניות מתוך הרחבה בדילים טובים

chaim

Happy birthday

metziah

Happy Birthday!!!!!! you deserve it all!!!! much Hatzlocha

Elaine

My birthday too! Happy birthday to both of us!

Lyla

Dan and the entire crew at DDF,
Thank you all for your tireless efforts to help everyone save!

Eli W.

Does this mean I get free entry to the DD Seminar in Chicago?

Dan

@Eli W.:
Lol, with elite access seating 😀

Yide

How long till you pass drudge in page views ??

Moische

I’m a newcomer but really appreciate your blog.

Wolf

Thank you!

DanR

Auguri !! Keep those deals a-coming !! 🙂

mickeyg

Happy Birthday! I’m proud to be a DDFer!

dhammer53

Yasher Koach from a Flyertalker.

JamesIV

Happy Birthday!
And thumbs up for that wiki system! Love it!

Fishing4Deals

Congratulations on your phenomenal growth. I think people here feel connected to a real community.

Mdw

That’s great, wish you many more years of success.

ybeeds

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
DDF proudly shows “Kul Yisroel areivim zeh la’zeh”…

Thank you Dan, Eli, AAA, Cheikel, AsherO & all the DDFers!

kishke

you forgot to mention when people helped u design the banner on dansdeal website,that was a job for itself, its old memories,who would think it would work out the way it did. many more years of even greater success.

cf

Happy birthday! Thank you for this amazing site! All the hard work is really appreciated!

ruch

thanx 4 all that u do!!

Miracle

I’m grateful. Thank you to everyone involved.

TravelBloggerBuzz

What, you are clueless too when it comes to techie stuff? And you have managed to build this?? Wow, what can I say, impressive indeed.
And Happy birthday.

doc

THANKS A MIL DAN only 25 yes another 95 yrs. LOL

Yosel

Thanks a million Dan & all involved happy birthday

nypd_cop

Thanks for saving millions of dollars for people over all , may god give you the power to make millions for yourself and all your followers

martin

Mazal Tov

ari

mazel ubrocho!
thank you thank you thank you
It was nice meeting u personally on your recent visit to lkwd
the info you constantly share benefits many many people may you continue to help people for many years to come

MileHighBug

Congratulations! I have loved your blog since the day I found it and it is always my #1 goto each day. I travel extensively for pleasure and am highly involved in the points and miles game but the thing I love about your blog is that it encompasses saving money in every way possible – not just on airlines and hotels! Thank you so much for all you do – I look forward to reading every day!

Jeanne M

Happy Birthday! I really enjoy and appreciate your blog. Much continued success.

dann

Mazel Tov, Thanks people!

Shimino1

We love u dan thanks for the great work

Alan

Just rebooked my cancelled first class (Lufthansa) booking NYC-ICN. had no problems just paid the change fee and got the flights at the same 70k rate i paid in January. Thanks DAN!

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