Is FTO the oldest ski forum?

spinbackwards

New member
Love this message board.
Shoulda joined years ago. Oh well. Well but I came close when I joined Peter Keelty's forum.
So is FTO the oldest ski forum now?
 
I doubt it. My first posts were on Southland Ski Server in 1995 but I'm fairly sure it predated FTO's start in 1994. It had a fixed form to fill out with a space for narrative comments. There was no facility to attach pictures, which I'm sure is a large explanation for its demise in the mid-2000's. I don't think you could reply directly to a post but you could make your own commenting the same day at the same ski area.

I'm sure some easterner will chime in about the Vermont liftserv, which I think was a full interactive forum but also I think without photo capability. I have no idea when it started.
 
I doubt it. My first posts were on Southland Ski Server in 1995 but I'm fairly sure it predated FTO's start in 1994. It had a fixed form to fill out with a space for narrative comments. There was no facility to attach pictures, which I'm sure is a large explanation for its demise in the mid-2000's. I don't think you could reply directly to a post but you could make your own commenting the same day at the same ski area.

I'm sure some easterner will chime in about the Vermont liftserv, which I think was a full interactive forum but also I think without photo capability. I have no idea when it started.
On the FTO Who We Are page it says 1994
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1873.png
    IMG_1873.png
    281.7 KB · Views: 19
is FTO the oldest in operation?
I just did 15 minutes of e-sleuthing and if we're interpreting the question as "the forum still in operation with the oldest post/thread," FTO may win that honor with its inaugural posts in April 2000.

Other candidates that came to mind:
  • Snowjournal forum was founded around 1999-2000 (the same time as Epicski) as a companion to the NELSAP site, which is still online and using its original interface! Due to technical/ownership issues, Snowjournal went dark in the mid-2010s and was brought back in 2017 with the same audience of New England retro-ski-area buffs. Unfortunately, the pre-2017 content was lost.
  • @Sbooker mentions that the Australian ski forum is 30 years old; however, the earliest post I could find was June 2003. Maybe an older interface was scrapped and previous forum threads didn't make the transition?
  • I assumed that Snowheads would be older than FTO; however, similar to the Australian ski forum, its oldest thread is February 2004. Hard to believe that they're continuing to run on the same 25-year-old interface as the original Snowjournal! Given all the hardships that FTO went through with its previous phpBB software, perhaps the Snowheads technology is so old that it's resistant to bot attacks and crashes?
 
I just did 15 minutes of e-sleuthing and if we're interpreting the question as "the forum still in operation with the oldest post/thread," FTO may win that honor with its inaugural posts in April 2000.

Other candidates that came to mind:
  • Snowjournal forum was founded around 1999-2000 (the same time as Epicski) as a companion to the NELSAP site, which is still online and using its original interface! Due to technical/ownership issues, Snowjournal went dark in the mid-2010s and was brought back in 2017 with the same audience of New England retro-ski-area buffs. Unfortunately, the pre-2017 content was lost.
  • @Sbooker mentions that the Australian ski forum is 30 years old; however, the earliest post I could find was June 2003. Maybe an older interface was scrapped and previous forum threads didn't make the transition?
  • I assumed that Snowheads would be older than FTO; however, similar to the Australian ski forum, its oldest thread is February 2004. Hard to believe that they're continuing to run on the same 25-year-old interface as the original Snowjournal! Given all the hardships that FTO went through with its previous phpBB software, perhaps the Snowheads technology is so old that it's resistant to bot attacks and crashes?
I thought so. My first ski forum post was on
epicski.com circa ‘98 which is now gone. Pugski or whatever they call it now can’t claim connection to a long gone site.

We should have a ski forum old timers get together before too long goes by and some of us have gone onto endless powder. Attendance requires proof of posting prior to 2000 and still being active.

We could have a snowball fight to settle old grudges. Although since we’re so old we’d risk throwing out a shoulder!

And an awards ceremony.

I think @Tony Crocker and his snow data rises to the top of at least two category's.

It’d be a ball. I bet we could get some magazines to cover it.

Seriously, we should do it.
 
I first started visiting www.DCSki.com in 1999. Wrote my first article for that site in early 2000. Scott Smith, the founder and owner of the site talks about the beginning of DCSki in 1994 in the "about" section of the site. I first made some posts on FTO quite a while ago, maybe prior to 2010, can't remember. Jamesdeluxe's articles were some of my favorites back then and an inspiration. I've enjoyed returning to visit FTO since Tony C resurrected it.

In 2013 I broached the subject of ski forums/websites history in an article for EpicSki.
Excerpt:
Back at the dawn of email and the internet in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there were email lists and Usenet Newsgroups that fostered interactive discussions on any topic under the sun, including skiing. Email lists could be unwieldy for ongoing discussions and could splinter into unwanted topics. SkiVT-L is an example of an email based listserv style discussion method focusing on all aspects of Vermont skiing.
Newsgroups were more like a hybrid between email and current online forums. Discussions were threaded, but initially not moderated. Rec.skiing.alpine (RSA) was a notable example of a skiing-focused newsgroup that began around the same time as SkiVT-L.
 
Schubwa, just want to thank you for your many Bachelor updates this season. They have moved me from lurker to registered to say THANKS. I hope to be skiing there this weekend for the first time and your posts have been stoking me for a month. Fingers crossed for summit opening. \:D/
Best,
jimk


-----------------------------
Above is fairly definitive evidence I just found of my first post on FTO, in 2012. It was in response to a thread about Mt. Bachelor, which I was soon to visit (had a good three days there). But I lurked here long before 2012..
 
mentions that the Australian ski forum is 30 years old; however, the earliest post I could find was June 2003. Maybe an older interface was scrapped and previous forum threads didn't make the transition?
I’ve only been a member since about 2010 but they last month had their 30th birthday party in Melbourne. I didn’t go. The owners Richard and Ian put on quite a spread. I imagine the original forum layout/tech would have been some old horse and cart type thing. Sorry I don’t have any understanding of computer programs or even the terminology.
 
I imagine the original forum layout/tech would have been some old horse and cart type thing. Sorry I don’t have any understanding of computer programs or even the terminology.
Sure, 30 years is the total lifespan of the enterprise. I was replying to the OP's question about the longest still-in-operation ski forum, which at the moment appears to be DCSki by a nose!

Always interesting to see slight variations in English usage around the world. In the US, we'd say "some old horse and buggy type thing." :icon-e-biggrin:
 
So I asked a couple of questions on the ski.com.au forum about it's origin. It appears it was called something else before hand.

Not specifically. Yes, 2024 is 30 years of SnoInfo, but the Melbourne drinks was not held to specifically celebrate that. The drinks were just the next annual get together.

Then from Richard the owner a few tech details that are complete goobledegook to me.

It started because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Late 97, November I think.

Ted something-or-other’s Ultimate Bulletin Board was the OG install and ran on Perl

Became UBB, that got abandoned, was forked to PHP by open source enthusiasts and become UBB Threads, that ended up wallowing in stagnation hell, so we migrated to Xenforo (by first migrating from UBB Threads to VBulletin and then to Xenforo as there was no UBB Threads to XF direct migration script) around 2013.

The succes of our snow weather discussion was the inspiration for weatherzone forum - we know this because we were conversing with the founder of weatherzone quite regularly in the day and had a gentleman’s data swap arrangement.

Half the reason Weatherzone shut its forum down was that they never migrated off UBB Threads and eventually Threads became isolated and migration was waaaay too much technical debt.

There’s a lesson in that. We nearly missed the boat getting off UBB Threads ourselves and I’ve been watching Invision Boards closely as their release cadence has outstripped XF by quite a margin now.
 
Welcome to the forum!

I'm sure some easterner will chime in about the Vermont liftserv, which I think was a full interactive forum but also I think without photo capability.
The first forum to have an embedded image within a post came from The SWARM on RSN's Taos Forum, it's prolly impossible to find but conceptually similar to...
 
Welcome to the forum!


The first forum to have an embedded image within a post came from The SWARM on RSN's Taos Forum, it's prolly impossible to find but conceptually similar to...
Yeah but they're not in operation are they?
This is about the oldest in operation today.
 
Back
Top