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Topic: Announcement: ST.N now part of Motorcycle.com family  (Read 146000 times)

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« on: November 06, 2013, 11:45:26 am »

Hello ST.N members:

This is a bittersweet day for me.  I am both sad and happy to announce that ST.N has been sold.

Effective today ST.N control and ownership has been transferred to Motorcycle.com and is now part of their motorsports network affording it more opportunities than Iím able to provide going forward.

There is a laundry list of reasons why this has happened.  I wonít bore you with all of them, but twelve years of history is hard to gloss over.  Iíll try to hit the highlights.  Forgive me if I become long winded.  I tend to get that way when Iím writing.

Why?
I started ST.N in October of 2001 as a personal website to store photos, ride reports, and general motorcycle information.  2001!  Can you believe that?  Twelve years ago.  I installed free forum software on a whim to learn how to setup a server . . . and people just started showing up.  Iím still not sure where they came from, or how they found out, but there was clearly a desire for a community that catered to more mature riders of sport and sport-touring motorcycles.

Over those twelve years ST.N became something I never dreamed of, or was even looking for:  A community of enthusiasts who loved to ride fast and far.  During that time ST.N has gone through two rebirths, approximately 60,000 registered members, 3.5 million posts, and 200 million page views.

As you can imagine managing such a thing takes time, knowledge, effort, patience, money, and interest.  In 2002, when ST.N started to take off, I had all of those.  In 2013 I have little to none of those remaining.

People change, and over twelve years my interests and needs have shifted.  So in bullet form here are the main reasons why ST.N is changing ownership:

      ē Motorcycling as my primary interest has waned.  There are so many things Iím interested in that it was inevitable that it fall down the list at some point.  I also have much less free time to ride than I had 10-15 years ago, which has also contributed to this waning interest.

      ē I also have much less free time to monitor and work on the site due to professional and other personal commitments.  The days where I would spend evenings writing articles, reviews, or coordinating raffles/giveaways ended quite some time ago.

      ē For many years I was able to pay for everything involved with ST.N via donations and Google ads, but recent developments at work (which I posted about on the forums) have caused me to think of my family first and re-evaluate the offers Iíve received to sell the site.  This is something I resisted for almost 8 years, but Amy and I felt this time around it was the right thing to do.

How does this affect me, the former owner of ST.N?
Quite a bit actually.  It removes all the burdens of owning, running, worrying about, and managing a large website.  I get to spend more time concentrating on other interests important to me.  Iíll still be a member, with forum admin abilities, and Iíll still visit and post.

How does this affect you, the members of ST.N?
It doesnít.  All the current moderators will remain, if they choose.  No memberships will change.  The forums themselves will change very little.  Ads will continue to be served, but obviously they will be more directed and targeted to motorsports.  Motorcycle.com has the resources and talent to keep ST.N chugging along uninterrupted.

Whatís next?
Well, as stated above things should continue on normally and smoothly with little to no impact to members.  I expect to see new vendors with specials and group buys for members.  And you should expect to see a less stressed out and less impatient member (me).

Dwayn, the new community liason for Motorcycle.com, will be available to answer any questions you may have about the transition and future plans for the site.

Thanks.
When twelve years goes by there is bound to be a list of people to thank.  So here it is . . .

      ē The server admins:  bsd43 (Nevin) and twist (Gary).  These guys stepped up and helped save ST.N after one of its crashes/hacks.  Theyíre good.  What would have taken me months to figure out with excessive hair loss (effective server management), is just childís play to them.  Without their expertise, ST.N likely wouldnít have risen from the ashes last time and would have died back in 2006.  Thank you!

      ē The moderators:  Mrs. DantesDame (Colleen), ksann (Ken), Orson, DredheadV2.0.  Thanks for taking up the moderating slack when I wasnít around or available.  Youíll all remain moderators as long as youíd like.

      ē To all past and current members.  Some of you have been members for over 10 years.  You know who you are!  You guys & gals truly make the ST.N community what it is, and I hope you continue to do so.

      ē To all the members who voluntarily organized national and regional rides and meets.  Well done.

      ē And the gentlemen at Motorcycle.com who made this a smooth transition:  David, Mark, Dwayn, and Zsolt.

It may sound odd, but selling a virtual thing was a very hard and personal decision.  I nurtured ST.N from an idea hatched while riding to clear my head shortly after the events of 9/11/2001, to a site thatís been viewed by people from every country in the world.

ST.N became one of the greatest adventures of my life.  Itís brought people together.  Itís inspired adventure and wanderlust.  Itís created tangible bonds and real friendships.  Those are all rewards in themselves!

See you on the site!


Neal Ulen
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« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 11:51:05 am by stnadmin » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 11:50:34 am »

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself to you all. My name is Dwayn and I am a Community Manager for Motorcycle.com and will be joining the site and assisting with the duties. I am here to help primarily with the technical end of things and help make the jobs of the current staff easier. I posted a real basic run down to answer common questions below. If you have more questions or concerns please feel free to post them or send me a message.

What are our intentions?

We bring reliability, support and the infrastructure needed to ensure that the community will be around for years to come. Itís our goal to work with your board staff to help provide the resources and required to give this community a broader reach, to attract new members to better the overall knowledge shared in the community.

Will leadership change?

Continuity is the focus here, You as the membership work very hard to keep building this community while staff keep the walls and the roof up in this place; We are primarily here to make sure the lights stay on. Every community is unique and should always be respected in that regard. You guys have established your own unique rules and regulations and a strong reputation that is carried by all of this and itís paramount that we maintain this level of integrity.

What am I here for?

My primary role is to be the technical contact as I said earlier you all built the foundation and keep the roof from falling, I am here keeping the lights on inside. I will be on the forum checking in daily to make sure regular maintenance is all taken care of and keep things running smoothly from behind the scenes.

I do look forward to getting to know you all and this unique community better.
Thanks,
Dwayn
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 11:51:26 am »

Thanks for everything Neal !  I have enjoyed YOUR site very much.  Clap Clap Clap Beerchug

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 11:52:33 am »

Congrats on the sale, Skip. I certainly appreciate your efforts over the years.

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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 11:52:51 am »

Sail on Skipper.. Thanks for the house to play in.
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 11:57:55 am »

Well, I'm not happy to see ST.n go commercial, but I appreciate what you and this community have provided for the last 10 or so years to me. I've met great friends here, whom are still great friends to this day. And I totally appreciate your decision, and can't say I wouldn't have done it myself.  Good luck to you, Neal.
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 11:58:17 am »

Skipper, this site has been part of my daily life for a long time. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Thank you.
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 12:02:01 pm »

Dwayne, please... please... for the love of God, Country, Community and rabbits everywhere, PLEASE don't let this site end up looking like the ad-fest puke bucket that so many other "now gone commercial" sites have become. Ads are fine... but when the site is one big ad from page to page, the content gets lost. Please, keep the ST.N we've all loved for a decade as much as it currently is as you can. Please.

Neal, best of luck and congrats. Seems you've got lots of changes all happening at once. Make the best of every opportunity you can. Thumbsup
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 12:02:54 pm »

Neal,

Thanks for creating a great place for us to hang out.

You will always be the Skip!

Long Live Chili!! Chili
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 12:05:31 pm »


Neal,

Thanks for creating a great place for us to hang out.

You will always be the Skip!

Long Live Chili!! Chili


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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 12:06:30 pm »

Thanks for the kind words (so far Bigsmile ) everyone!  It means a lot.  This decision was harder than most people probably think.

I'm still part of the community, I have no intention of disappearing.  Far too many good and colorful people here.  ST.N will carry on.

Maybe shah & country will return. Lol

Also, if you have any questions or concerns for Dwayn, please post them.
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 12:06:38 pm »

ooh! Maybe motorcycle.com would like to advertise on The Pace?  Bigsmile Cool
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 12:07:03 pm »

Neal -- thanks for all your hard work, but, most importantly, thanks for the friendships the site has helped me find . . . . . truely priceless.

Best of luck in whatever you choose to do!
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 12:07:38 pm »


Thanks for the kind words (so far Bigsmile ) everyone!  It means a lot.  This decision was harder than most people probably think.

I'm still part of the community, I have no intention of disappearing.  Far too many good and colorful people here.  ST.N will carry on.

Maybe shah & country will return. Lol


Neal, question if I may... did they approach you or did you go looking for a buyer? I'm always curious how these deals come about. I love the behind-the-scenes stuff.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 12:15:51 pm »

Well, at least it wasn't VerticalScope.
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2013, 12:17:55 pm »

Hello Neal,

Many thanks for having me be a member under your roof. I appreciate the community you started and carried for these many years.

Best wishes with this change in life! Family comes first and it sounds as they will appreciate this change for you being there with them.

Sincerely,
Jim
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2013, 12:21:04 pm »

Thanks for staying independent for so long, Skipper!  I hope you have been well compensated.  Thanks to the admins and mods that supported this great community.  
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 12:21:11 pm »




Neal, question if I may... did they approach you or did you go looking for a buyer? I'm always curious how these deals come about. I love the behind-the-scenes stuff.  Thumbsup


I've never approached anyone about selling the site.  From time to time (dating back to, oh, 2004-05) I would receive inquiries from people who wanted to buy the site, everything from Joe Blo thinking $100 was a reasonable offer, to legit offers that (at the time) just didn't make sense.  But I wasn't being inundated with offers, just once in awhile.

This final offer was also unsolicited, and based on the uncertainty that came up recently with my job, coupled with the final offer itself, Amy and I decided it was the best thing to do right now.  It also alleviates ever having to really worry about the site again.  It also means members never have to worry about the site again.  The middle years of ST.N was very stressful: hosting, bandwidth overcharges, hackers, crashes, server moves, all that.  It nearly died back then.  I hated all of that...I nearly pulled the plug several times.  There should be no worries about that now.
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 12:25:53 pm »

Thank you Neal. Well done.
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 12:29:23 pm »

Congrats on the sale!

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