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A local dot com success story



Even creator Rick Godwin didn't expect to grow this big, this fast

When went online in November of 2000, Web designer Rick Godwin had a not-so-simple plan - to provide an online community for snowboarders and by snowboarders; a unique spot where the snowboard faithful can interact with other true believers from around the globe.

In Godwin's own words, "I wanted to create a cool place for snowboarders to go and get psyched about snowboarding. There are not a lot of places out there to meet up with other members of the snowboard community - most of the sites are either stores or news sites, while this is based on the riders themselves. There isn't another site out there like it."

Although he has received hundreds of offers for the domain name since he registered it in 1996, Godwin, an avid snowboarder, had a very clear concept of the online snowboard community he wanted to create. On his side, Godwin had the technical know-how, enough seed-money to turn his Emerald Estates house into one big high-speed Web server, and the sincere belief that if he built it, the snowboarders would come.

It really didn't take that long.

In five short months, has enlisted more than 80,000 registered members from around the globe. The site averages 10,000 visitors a day, and 300,000 visitors a month to make it the most visited snowboard site on the Web by a wide margin. More than 10 gigabytes of information is downloaded from the site every day from a library of more than 2,000 pictures and 200 video clips - more than 15,000 pages of data all told, the majority of which was supplied by site members.

"It's become a living, breathing thing. It has its own life. People can post anything. Pictures of them snowboarding. Pictures of their dogs. Videos of a trick they learned. Stories. Poems. It's definitely free speech orientated - we don't edit anything unless it's blatant nudity or something."

Everything that is posted by members can be viewed by other members and rated on a scale of one to five. This ensures that the best stuff always winds up on the top of the list. New pages are viewed separately and won't be ranked until enough people have appraised their value. Some of the photos at the top of the list have been viewed and rated by more than 3,000 registered users.

And the site is growing bigger every day - that means more pictures, more videos, more poems, more articles, more personals, more classifieds, and, most importantly, more members. At its current growth rate, it's not inconceivable that the number of users could triple by the time the site is a year old.