Not sure if you meant the messageboard or Encyclopedia Titanica, or all of the above.
The site did take a lot of work and a lot of time. It came online in September 1996, but Phil Hind put in a lot of work even before then. You can see how many people have contributed work and information through the Acknowledgements page. Truly an international collaboration, eh.
There's a synopsis of ET's history linked from the home page: Introduction.
The thread Welcome to the New Board has some information on the messageboard as it is now, and links back to an archived version of the ET site (1997) and the board (2001). You might find it interesting to check out the archived versions - they make an interesting comparison to what's available now.
I was wondering about the history of Titanica and how old it is. Did it start out quite small and then grow into the main Titanic site.
I know everyone contributes to some extent but there must be a certain amount of main people whom run the site. I know moderators Michael, Fiona, Queen Inger but suspect there maybe more. Running a site like this must take a lot of organisation as a lot of you live in different parts of the world. Do you have to work out who will be around to cover a certain period of time as a moderator, or is it very much just a matter of people checking every now and then that everything is ok ?
It first came on-line in September 1996 under another name ('Titanic's Passengers and Crew', I believe it was). It was one of the first sites Titanic sites I visited when I was able to access the net for the first time in that year. It started out with passenger and crew bio pages (some with little material) and a few features, and has been added to over time. Part of its success is the consistant addition of quality new information and features. The messageboard was added in 1999 and revamped in 2000.
Many people have contributed material to ET, as can be seen through the acknowledgements. However, the motivating force, guiding spirit, designer, co-ordinator, compiler, editor and owner is Phil Hind. When you see new features added, enhancements to the design or general work done, it's all due to Phil constantly assessing and improving the site. He maintains a fairly understated public presence on the board, but when he does say something it is very pertinent!
Moderators and their areas of responsibility are listed under the 'Contact' link on the top of the board. In addition to Fiona, Michael and myself, they include Mark Baber, Erik Wood and Shelley Dziedzic. As the board expanded and traffic increased, the moderators were appointed by Phil in 2002 to take on some delegated responsibilities. We do cover many of the timezones (Phil and formerly myself in England, MAB, Shelley and Erik in the US and Fi and now myself in Oz). Co-ordination takes place behind the scenes. While we do try to monitor the threads in our particular area of responsibility, we also rely on people to report problems they have encountered. Much of the work we've been delegated to do is routine - closing or merging duplicate threads, moving posts to appropriate topics, addressing technical problems.
But to answer your question, yes - ET does take a lot of organisation, committment and resources...and the person all that stems from is Phil.
>>Running a site like this must take a lot of organisation as a lot of you live in different parts of the world.<<
Not as much as you might think on a day to day basis. My colleagues and myself deal with day to day issues which serves to take quite a bit of heat of off Phil Hind. He has a very full plate keeping things up to date and like the rest of us, still has to go out and work for a living. I live in South Carolina but my work schedule is varied enough that I can pop in at all hours.
With the mods scattered all over the face of the Earth...literally...we tend to catch on to potential problems sooner rather then later.
I did not use the Internet back in 1996. Am sure things have improved a lot since then. Well it must take a lot to keep up with a site like this, do your own personal research, have a job etc.
When I joined I paid for membership. I’m not sure what extra’s I am meant to get for paying. But nor do I care, I’m happy to make a small donation - extra’s or not.. Very much so when you take into account many sites are taken for granted. Yet people put a vast amount of hard work into them during there spare time. This I suppose is often forgotten.
Really Titanica is like a club but I’d say better in a lot of respects because you are always getting something-fresh everyday. Up to date information on a daily basis! Not just on the forums but exhibits,peoples research, help , achieves and probably other things I have not found as of yet.