How FulhamUSA started......

Discussion in 'FulhamUSA Introductions and Announcements' started by ChicagoTom, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. ChicagoTom

    ChicagoTom Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Over the past few months there have been quite a few new visitors and members to the FulhamUSA community. As always, any and all are welcome to join.

    That being said, as was brought up my FFCinPCB in another thread, there might be some interest in finding out the details of how FulhamUSA was started back in 2004.

    I thought I would write a brief bit about the start of FulhamUSA and how it has developed to what it is currently.

    Things all started for the FulhamUSA in the summer of 2004. I had recently been introduced to BigSoccer.com and found the carious message boards quite fun and entertaining to be able to talk soccer and touch on various different topics was really cool to me. Poland, Fulham, Chicago Fire soccer, Soccer media, etc were all things I enjoyed when I first joined the BigSoccer community in 2004.

    When I visited the Fulham message board, there were two active people, AmericanMike and JohnnyCash. Between these two and myself, I have to think we were the only ones keeping the Fulham board afloat. Whether it be talking about transfers or the newly refurbished Craven Cottage, we had a good time chatting back and forth about Fulham, the team we all loved.

    One day on the message board, Mike had put a feeler out there to see if there was much interest in starting a supporters club for Fulham here in the States. Without hesitation, I was interested in not only being a part of it, but helping with it as well.

    Mike and I began to email each other with the ideas both he and I had for the site. Little did I know, but Mike has experience in designing and creating websites while I was more focused on the editorial content of the site. From match previews, editorial columns, player news, etc.

    Thus, we decided in probably September or October of 2004 that we wanted to make this venture happen.

    From the time we decided to go forward in making the site, we had compiled a spreadsheet of email addresses of those interested in being a part of FulhamUSA. Each Friday, Mike and I would email the weekly email to each person individually. It took some time to email about 30-40 people, but it was our only way of keeping people in the loop on where things stood with FulhamUSA and how things were developing.

    Between Mike's work and my work, we were not able to put all the time into the development and creation of the site so it took a few months to create. Mike did a fantastic job in creating the site. He was able to dummy it down for a PHP-illiterate person like me where I could help make changes simply and easily on the site. Between AOL Instant Messenging with changes and tweaks to the test site, we were finally able to launch FulhamUSA.com on December 10, 2004.

    The original site did not include a message board. It had news items similar to the ones you see on the site these days along with a calendar, a club history, etc. However, after a few weeks, Mike and I decided to put a message board on the site.

    When the site launched, within one day we had over 100 members. From people here in the States to people over in England and other countries, word had gotten around via the various Fulham message boards of this site being launched.

    Since the launch, we have steadily grown and grown and grown from a little group of three on BigSoccer.com to almost 800 at present time.

    If you would have asked Mike and myself our expectations of this site before it launched, we both would have never envisioned it to be the way it has. We have had to switch servers in the past six months to be able to accomodate the high amount of traffic the site gets on a daily basis. We never thought that would be a problem, but it was a problem and we needed to address it.

    All in all, the site has definitely been successful. Mike and I have and continue to put a lot of hard work into making it a good site for all Fulham supporters around the world. However, it is not Mike and I that make the site, it is all of the members of FulhamUSA that contribute, comment and add to this community of Fulham supporters that has been created. Without all of you out there, FulhamUSA would be nothing. Mike and I can write articles and create the coolest functions for the site, but without visitors and members on the site, none of it means anything.

    Mike and I have been extremely pleased and excited with how things stand and we are always thinking of new, creative ideas for the future of FulhamUSA.com. Whether it be in adding features to the site or new editorial ideas, we are always trying to make FulhamUSA better and better. If you have any ideas for the future, let us know by posting here or emailing myself, tom@fulhamusa.com, or Mike, mike@fulhamusa.com.

    I hope you enjoyed the story of the birth and emergence of FulhamUSA.com.
     
    #1
  2. BC

    BC New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Decatur, IL
    As you know, this site was a major factor in my decision to support Fulham. I haven't frequented many messageboards before; this is the first one I have an active interest in. Thanks for the great site and keep up the good work! I'd be happy to help in any way if needed.
     
    #2
  3. americanmike

    americanmike Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    FulhamUSA Fact #1: The first time I ever met Tom was at Heathrow Airport! 3 Months after FulhamUSA was started.
     
    #3
  4. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    So, if I'm not mistaken, da bodayouse guys are on the verge of marriage. That being the case, is there any way that those of us who benefit so much from this site -- and you have no idea how much of my life this site has become -- can contribute to its running costs?

    Don't be shy about asking for help; of the 800 of us, I'm sure there are a few who would be glad to help.

    Great history, Tom. You are an excellent writer.
     
    #4
  5. ChicagoTom

    ChicagoTom Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    Many people find this hard to believe but it is true. We had talked on the phone and via the Internet, but never face to face in person. Thinking back on that, it makes me laugh how much we were able to put together starting the site without even knowing one another.
     
    #5
  6. ChicagoTom

    ChicagoTom Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    Don, donations to the site are always welcome, but do not feel obligated to do so.

    Thanks also the comment about my writing Don. I appreciate it!
     
    #6
  7. FFCinPCB

    FFCinPCB New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    RE: Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    Great stuff. Needs to be a FulhamUSA History link on the left hand side, below "What is FulhamUSA?"

    I would also be interested in knowing the history of Mike's connection to Fulham. He seems to have many inside connections, Mo for one, to what is going on with the club. And if Tom has similar connections to the team or players (lots of Illinois products out there).

    By the way, let us know where you are registered, the bothayouse.
     
    #7
  8. ChicagoTom

    ChicagoTom Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    RE: Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    I can't really say I have any inside connections at the club. Occasionally I talk with a few people that work at the club via email and such, and I have met a number of people at the club from my last visit to the club and Fulham's trip to Columbus last summer, but other than that, I know locals there in SW6 and stuff like that. I am not an Insider into the world of Fulham although if you ask the right people questions and such you might get some interesting answers.
     
    #8
  9. americanmike

    americanmike Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Re: RE: Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    All done PCB, for now we've linked the "History of FulhamUSA" since this thread will give a great overview.

    As for my connections, they usually have happened by chance and during this time I've started to believe that things happend for a reason. I know how lucky I've been with Fulham and I've loved the club since my first match so I've promised that I would do all I can to bring us exiled fans closer to the club.
     
    #9
  10. TonyTX42

    TonyTX42 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    Isn't it obvious where they'll be registered? Harrod's, of course! Ha ha!
     
    #10
  11. TonyTX42

    TonyTX42 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How FulhamUSA started......

    This site has helped me out tremendously as well. I was happy to have chosen Fulham, but when I saw what an amazing community the Fulham fans really are and what kind of fraternity it fosters, it makes me proud to be a Fulham fan, come what may. Great job on the site, seriously. Thanks for all your hard work.
     
    #11
  12. americanmike

    americanmike Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    So here was the start of the interest from way back in March 2004:

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=103411

    And finally start of what we have today:

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=130449

    Wow.
     
    #12
  13. mrska

    mrska New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Horsell, Surrey ENGLAND
    FULHAM USA

    I love this site.. better than the official FFC one... Glad that ive met you both and grateful for all your hard work..

    Dean (mr ska)
     
    #13
  14. FFCinPCB

    FFCinPCB New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    RE: FULHAM USA

    Mr. Ska,

    I enjoy your posts and checked out your website from your profile on the official FFC board. A mate who is a fan of Fulham AND Ska? Dude, I want to hang with you and Mike once I can make my way across the pond.

    - FCCinPCB (a.k.a. FulhamFranekColonial)
     
    #14
  15. JJH

    JJH New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    I just found the site recently and am really enjoying the coverage you provide. What's funny is that I gave a suggestion on BigSoccer way back when you guys were first trying to get things going. Check out post #47. You've come a long way since then! Congrats!

    Oh, and you're all invited to check out the Soccer Silicon Valley blog. Lots of things going on in San Jose these days.

    Cheers,
    Jay Hipps
     
    #15
  16. jmh

    jmh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey JJH, do you post on B@W at BigSoccer? Your username is familiar for some reason.
     
    #16
  17. JJH

    JJH New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    B@W? Not sure what you mean. But 90% of my posts on BigSoccer are in the San Jose forum.
     
    #17
  18. bocanegraMan

    bocanegraMan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Woot for [chicago]-fulham connection....haha....
     
    #18
  19. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    ahh...the good old days when I worked with a computer. It was funny reading those old posts from Bigsoccer. Thanks for the article Tom.
     
    #19
  20. Fern72

    Fern72 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Thanks

    Thank GOD you guys made this site. Finally someone to talk FFC about.
     
    #20
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