I wanted to post this story up for you all to read. As a Subaru owner I frequent this site and ran across this story a few months back. Every forum Admin with a growing site experiences what these people have gone through with constantly needing to upgrade and the costs involved in hardware and monthly hosting fees etc etc.
The beginnings of the club were started in April of 1999 by Alex Shikhmuradov and Robert Eldridge-Waks. At that time, Alex had been running a personal website called "Imprezer's Lair" that contained visual documentation of modifications for the Impreza 2.5RS. Robert had designed a separate website that contained a products database, that listed many of the performance parts available for the Impreza 2.5RS at the time, and a dealership reviews section, aimed at providing future Impreza buyers with reviews of Subaru dealerships and service departments throughout North America. These two websites formed the basis for the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, or NASIOC for short. The online club quickly became the most popular site in North America dedicated to the Impreza due to the strength of its message board; the board was visited not only by North American members and vendors, but also by many vendors and Impreza enthusiasts from around the globe.
As traffic to the site became too heavy for the current server to handle, Alex and Robert started to look for a new and stable home for the "i-club" website. Enter Nick Catalfamo, Impreza enthusiast, server operator and Cold Fusion programming wiz. Nick offered to host the site and provide help to both of the original "i-club" creators. Besides heavy traffic, another problem became apparent. Although members of the club could engage freely in discussion with one another, they had nowhere to "document" their membership. With skill and patience, Nick was able to design an excellent Members Database that allowed members to post pictures of their cars, as well as list modifications done to them. As of September 2000, there were nearly 200 members of the club, as well as 2500 registered message board users. Thus, with three people on the creative team, the club was growing very rapidly.
As word spread about the club, many regional clubs were formed such as NESIC (New England Subaru Impreza Club), BAIC (Bay Area Impreza Club) and the HIIC (Hawaiian Islands Impreza Club) to name a few. North American Subaru Legacy, Forester and SVX owners were also joining the ranks along with Impreza enthusiasts as members. With this steadily increasing amount of people constantly uploading and reloading the club website, Nick's server was no longer capable of handling the more than 2 gigabytes of traffic per day. The creators turned to the loyal members and asked them to donate funds towards the purchase of a new, more powerful server. Within a few months, roughly $3000.00 was collected and the new home for the club was purchased. This marked a new stage of expansion for the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club.
With the introduction of the Subaru Impreza WRX to the North American marketplace in early 2001 the club saw a tremendous increase in membership and traffic to the website. With over 10,000 registered users by January of 2001, the new server was beginning to struggle to keep up with the clubs explosive growth. Juggling the costs associated with keeping the site up and running while upgrading the hardware was becoming increasingly difficult and the decision was made to begin to sell vendor access and advertising on the on the website to not only keep it operating, but to help it grow as well. By doing this the club was able to purchase several additional servers and double the connection speed of the sites connection to the internet. This was a huge step forward for the accessibility and the future of the club.
By July of 2002 the site had over 20,000 Subaru enthusiasts registered as members and participating in the forums. The site had become a huge asset to not only the enthusiasts that visited it daily, but to the vendors, who were able to market their products directly to their customers, and Subaru of America as it sought feedback from those that owned Subaru cars.
November 2002 brought some unexpected changes to the club. Alex decided to separate from the club in order to start another Subaru enthusiast website of his own. Nick, with the support of the club membership, vowed to keep the current site alive and growing well into the future. The decision was made to change the domain name of the club to www.nasioc.com
as a minor restructuring was done to better cater to the clubs members, beginning yet another stage of growth for the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club.
etc etc etc etc