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Thread: Alaska Outdoors Supersite sold to Michael Strahan

  1. #1
    Moderator David Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Alaska Outdoors Supersite sold to Michael Strahan

    I am posting under my real name, because I have sold the Alaska Outdoors Supersite to longtime forum contributor Michael Strahan, and he is now the Webmaster. Let me tell you briefly about the events that led up to the sale, and then what is ahead.

    My family and I started the business that gave birth to this website and forum community in 1995. In October 1996, we started this website. The forums started shortly after, and the community has grown and grown from then on. In 1996, I never would have imagined a community of more than 4,400 active members and a website displaying over 50,000,000 pageviews in a year (2008).

    As recently as 18 months ago, I expected to continue in this business for the foreseeable future. But that's the trouble with foreseeable futures: they change.

    In late 2007, I was asked to work part time at Anchorage City Church. Before that, I had been doing volunteer ministry. I agreed, but said I wanted to continue to work part time in our business.

    By early 2008, it was becoming obvious that I had too many jobs. It was also becoming obvious which work was attracting the largest part of my passion....and it wasn't this website. Late in 2008, I was asked to begin working full time at the church. By that time, I could easily see that I was not doing a good job with this website and the Alaska Outdoors Forums community.

    Secondarily, my arms hurt. As a result of almost 15 years of substantial computer usage, I need to back off for health's sake.

    But the main issue is that I am a committed Christ follower, and there is before me an opportunity to serve God and man like never before. I have "thrown my heart over the fence," and I am going for it with all I have.

    I am particularly pleased to be able to transfer this business to Mike. He and I have long been friends and allies. Mike has great vision for an even better website and forum community. I know that he already has good plans in store for the forums.

    Last, I need to tell you that it has been really, really good getting to know many of you through these forums. I have laughed, gnashed my teeth, learned about the Alaska Outdoors, turned red, learned lessons about human behavior, read with amazement and pleasure....and just had fun in my role as part of this community. There are many salt-of-the-earth Alaskans that regularly participate here, and this is our great good fortune. To those of you who have contributed so much: thank you. It has been you that has made this Outdoors Community one of the best on the web.

    Mike has asked me to continue to advise and continue to participate as a moderator. You'll see me from time to time posting with this username.

    May the Lord Jesus bless you far beyond any expectation you have.....David
    David M Johnson
    Anchorage, Alaska
    http://awildolivebranch.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default A Message From Mike

    Hi folks,

    Some time ago our Webmaster, David Johnson, approached me with the idea of purchasing Outdoors Directory. He was offered and accepted a full-time job with a local church, which is demanding most of his time now. I agreed to purchase the site, and we have spent the last few weeks going over the many details involved.

    I first met David at the Great Alaska Sportsman Show, I think it was in 1996 or ‘97. He was promoting a brand-new book he’d written; a yellow-pages of sorts, for anything related to Alaska hunting and fishing. It was an interesting project; it had guides, air charters, and tons of other information of interest to hunters and fishermen, and I thought it would do pretty well. The title of the book was “The Outdoors Alaska Directory of Hunting and Fishing”.

    I saw David occasionally after that, and became aware at some point that he and his wife Linda had started a website with a similar title to the book. An early version of the site, from October 1997, can be found HERE, and it contained many of the same components that are still here today. My friendship with David and Linda has grown since those first early days and I have watched this site grow into the juggernaut it has become. No website on the entire Internet contains as much information about the Alaska outdoors as this one. No website boasts more members who are here to talk about the Alaska outdoors. Look around the place and I think you will agree that the Johnsons have done a very fine job here.

    But the one constant in life is change. On one hand I am greatly honored that David and Linda would feel confident in handing this site over to me; it has been a core part of their lives for many years, and I know that it is difficult for them to let it go. At the same time, David has left some pretty big shoes to fill. Thankfully, he has agreed to assist me as we go through the transition. In the last few weeks I have become aware of how complex a task it is to keep a place like this running.

    MOVING FORWARD

    Other than a few new perks (listed below), it will be business as usual for the foreseeable future. My personal commitment is to keep this place running with the things that have made it successful. Our existing staff and moderators remain on the team, all forums will continue as they have (with one exception noted below), and all other aspects of the site will remain unchanged. With the advice of a steering committee made up of forum members, I intend to make incremental improvements as we go forward. We want to make the entire website and this forum community even more inviting and helpful to Alaska outdoorsmen and women and our guests.

    I realize that this change is unsettling to some; rest assured, it is unsettling to me as well. But at the same time there are exciting prospects before us, and we all have a chance to participate in making it a better place for everyone interested. This is a time of new beginnings. To celebrate the occasion, we are offering the following enhancements effective this week:

    1. Effective immediately,10% off on anything in the Outdoors Directory bookstore, through the end of the month. To receive this discount you must place your order before February 1, 2009.

    2. New forums and sub-forums. These will launch within a week of this announcement:


    • Global Discussion. Yes, we are moving forward with the much talked-about replacement for the General Discussion forum. Forum rules will apply here, though post counts and reputation points will not be accrued. All subjects permitted under forum rules, including religion and politics, are fair game. This forum will only be visible to members. Because this forum is slightly more complex than the others, it will not be available for a few days; our commitment is to have it up and running within a week of this announcement. At that time we will post all the related rules and requirements, and will migrate the entire contents of the current General Discussion forum into the Global Discussion. The Global Discussion forum will dissolve the current General Discussion forum. The intent of this forum is to provide a place for members to relax, socialize, and discuss topics not related to the Alaska outdoors. We hope folks will use it to get to know each other, and to learn to appreciate the diverse perspectives of others. In that regard, we will work hard to ensure that folks feel welcome and valued there as much as anywhere else in the site.

    • Make it Yourself. Sayak suggested this one, and it’s a winner. It’s a place where you can post on making and maintaining your own gear; camp stoves, bedrolls from hides, sleds, fishing gear… whatever you have.

    • Modifications, Refurbs & Performance Enhancements. This will be a sub-forum under the Snowmachining, Powerboating, and ATV forums (each of those forums will have this as a sub-forum). It is for discussing the many modifications and such we are doing to our power equipment.

    I hope you enjoy the new enhancements, and that you will be patient as our new leadership team learns the ropes. We are old hands on the site, with a pretty good feel for the place. But we’re learning new skills and we appreciate your patience. The challenge we all face is to remain focused on the things that have made it great, while accommodating the needs of a growing and diverse membership. It will not be easy, and it will require our collective efforts.

    Thanks in advance for your support!

    Here’s to an exciting new chapter.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 01-07-2009 at 10:15.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    DAVID, THANKS FOR YOUR VISION AND INGENUITY WITH THIS SITE. ALL WHO HAVE COME THROUGH HERE ARE CHANGED IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

    MAY YOUR NEW CAREER BLESS YOU TO ALL ENDS.

    THANKS

    kingfisherktn


    Michael: Congratulations and I wish you well.

  4. #4
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Mike, I wish you all the best with the new ownership.

    David, best to you as well in your new responsibilities with Anchorage City Church, and thanks for what you have created here with this site and continued mentoring of members like myself, showing us how we can discuss things in productive ways that build mutual respect.

  5. #5
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    This is exciting!

    I'm glad I came back when I did. To witness the "changing of the guard" and to say -

    David, DYNAMITE! A brilliant site, and a brilliant choice for your predecessor. I think that you have done Alaska a great service outside of the church right here. Thumbs up and good luck!

    Strahan, I hope this pays you huge dividends for all of the years, energy, and ideas you have already invested. I am more thrilled about this than you can know since for me, you have always been "the voice" in the forum. But don't expect my vote for Member of the year... I don't vote for MODS.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  6. #6

    Default

    What better time to turn the page, than the start of a New Year. Good luck to all on their pursuits and endeavors.
    SP
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  7. #7
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Johnson- Thanks for the time and commitment. Your vision has made this the most Alaska friendly and one of the most informative sites on the 'net


    Strahan- Congratulations on a big step! I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job (just as you've done in the past) and I hope this place blesses you and your investment many times over.



    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

  8. #8
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Great forums, great personnel...

    on this website. Features here draw many Alaskans (and others) together - and educate us in many ways.

    Very best wishes in your future endeavors, Mr. Johnson.

  9. #9

    Default Thanks

    David, this site no doubt has benefitted many people. Thanks for the time and effort and good luck.


    Mike, after hearing the site was being sold I was a bit skeptical of it's direction. I am relieved you are the one taking the reigns. Your passion for this website is matched by few, good luck moving forward.

  10. #10
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thank you David for all you have done.

    Mike good luck and we will be here to keep this place rolling along
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  11. #11
    Member Valley Trash's Avatar
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    David - Excellent Reason to be moving on! I wish you the best.

    Michael - Good luck to you.

  12. #12

    Default

    David, I know we haven't always seen eye to eye on some things but you've done a brilliant job with this website. Congratulations to you and I wish you the best of luck with your new job!

    Mike, congrats on your new position here as webmaster and owner. I'm looking forward to bigger and better things here at the AODD!!

  13. #13
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    David - thank you so much for having set this site up to begin with. It has been somewhat of a home away from home for me for the past 4 years since I relocated to Alaska. It has provided valuable information in my pursuit of outdoor activities and has provided a number of friends here in Alaska to do those things with. So thank you.

    Michael - I've always enjoyed your contributions to this site and am about halfway through your book as well. I look forward to you keeping this site going either as is, or with improvements. With as many of us crazy folks around here though, I also must wish you the best of luck.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  14. #14
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Congrats, David! All the best with your future endeavors.

    Mike, congrats on your new role here! It's gonna be fun watching things grow.
    Couldn't happen to a better guy.




    Frank

  15. #15
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default Lucky Church

    Dave, the church has been blessed, as have we. The site that you built is the #1 forum for lots of us. Thank you for the years of effort.

    Michael. Judging by your past posts, we know you will continue the standard set here. Congratulations on the purchase. How much did you pay?

    That was a joke.

    I read that users will need 250 rep points to join in on the new Global Diss forum. It seems strange to me that you need more rep points than I'll ever have to get into a forum that most of us enjoy. Maybe I missed something.

    I'm going to the bookstore now and getting some of that 10%!
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    ...I read that users will need 250 rep points to join in on the new Global Diss forum...
    Bull,

    The admission price of the Global Discussion forum has not been decided yet, but will be this week. My intention is not to make it hard on folks, but to prevent it from becoming the "Global Diss" forum you mentioned. (We can't have no "Diss" around here... )

    It will be a "bling free zone" and a "post count free zone" in the sense that you won't accrue either in that forum. The reason for that is because we want the reputation system to reflect positive contributions to the core areas of the site, which has to do with the Alaska outdoors. The Global Discussion is just a coffee shop, or a hang-out. What made this site strong is the outdoor content, and that's the way for a strong site in the future too.

    I will have more details on this as soon as we get it figured out. Meanwhile, patience, young Skywalker...

    Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17

    Default From an out of state visitor

    David, this is a great site and thanks for the opportunity to take part in it. I think you've made a very good decision and pray the Lord's guidance and blessing to you and yours.

    Mike, I have always had a ton of respect for you and your mannor in here. I've seen you keep cool and address issues with A LOT of patience and without reacting which would be easy to do. I also pray the Lord's guidance and blessing on your endevours.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  18. #18
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I guess I should've read this before I posted on the other thread , Good luck David, and to you to Mike, ( I still stand behind what I wrote tho)

    Congrat's to you Mike. E.S.

  19. #19
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I thought something was up when I inquired about advertising. Sounds like I need to talk to Mike now. Good luck on your future endeavors David You left a good legacy behind here, but nothing like serving the Lord.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  20. #20
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    David
    You have created a fine place for Alaskan`s and Non-Alaksan`s alike to share and learn about Alaska;s great outdoors!!!

    Mike
    I have every confidence that you will continue David`s good work here and continue to improve the site.

    As one of those Non-Alaskan`s I salute you both for giving me this place to learn more about your great state and in turn I hope I can pass some of that knowledge along to others.

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