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A Look Back to 2002 and SouthFloridaBulls.com/TheBullspen.com


Brad

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Located on line, via the internet archive:

 

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SouthFloridaBulls.com seeks to deliver new ways for Bulls fans to come together, while cultivating as many new fans as possible.  We are committed to building a strong online Bulls presence.  Please spend some time with us and become apart of the Bulls community.

SouthFloridaBulls.com Turns 5!

 

 
 

SFBFireworks.gifSouthFloridaBulls.com Turns 5!

Brad Meyer

I’m not one that usually does much to celebrate or commemorate certain dates or events, but because of the good fortune I feel being the “founder” of SouthFloridaBulls.com (SFB), I felt it worthwhile to elaborate on the fifth anniversary of its creation.

The site debuted on August 31, 1999, just as the Bulls were to begin their third season of football.  The site started as – and remains – a hobby.  It seemed like the perfect hobby.  I could learn a little HTML, express my thoughts on the World Wide Web, and more important than anything, make sure that there would be a consistent Bulls presence on the Internet.  All three concepts came together in a site that prided itself on being a fans site.

As a fans site, I have tried to shape the site in ways that Bulls fans would find it informative, maybe get a laugh or two, even find it useful as an archive.  There are over 85 gigabytes of Bulls data, images, video and audio now resident on SFB’s server. 

Over the years there were less than successful features like “Voice of the Fan” in which a fan could call a local phone number and leave an audio message on the site.  I thought it was a great new feature, but I was apparently alone with that thought.  There was the online crossword puzzle, the Bulls Nostalgia features, GreenbergOpolis specials, the online store, auctions, trivia, polls, chats, photo galleries and audio and video from press conferences and other special events.  All designed solely to catch the eye of the passing Bulls fan – or potential Bulls fan.  Other “sticky” features offered over the years include free email, a free newsletter and of course the message board.

Important in building any online community is the message board.  SFB’s first message board was very simple and allowed very few user options.  The second-generation board opened up in late 1999 and lasted until mid-May of 2000.  It had more bells and whistles, but also numerous glitches.  In May of 2000 the current message board, known as TheBullsPen.com was opened.  It has grown to become the centerpiece of the SFB site, virtually becoming an entity of its own when the domain  “TheBullsPen.com” was purchased and hosted separately in August 2003.

The reason for it all?  To build a vibrant online Bulls community – a place where we can all go to catch up with each other, read and post about our Bulls and attract other potential Bulls fans.  Building the Bulls fan base is job #1.

The site is achieving success in that job category.  With over 1100 message board members and 500 email users, it is clear the Bulls online presence is strengthening.  The members themselves have been integral to the growth of the site.  Site members have provided strategic advice, technical management, content creation, and audio/visual material to the site along with voluntary financial contributions. 

Most importantly however, the site’s members and guests have provided a wealth of camaraderie – which is what provides me with the feeling of good fortune.  Five years doesn’t just mark the anniversary of the site, it also reminds me of how long I have known many of the visitors, members and guests of the site and its message board - the friendships that have been built and the good times shared. 

We need only build on this as our Bulls enter the Big East and take a more prominent position on the national stage.  Together, we can build an even stronger online community and find new ways to attract and expand the Bulls fan base. 

Now, let’s invite few more Bulls to the party and cut the cake!

 

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