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  1. #1

    Default The story behind DetroitYes?

    Hey Lowell,

    I've been wondering how this great website got off the ground?


    How old is it? Ive been visiting well over a decade..

    Did the fabulous ruins portion come first?

    How many members are on this site?

    Was there a need to acquire an office to run the site out of?
    Ive seen you reference your DetroitYes office recently...

    Any answers would be great and thank you for making this enjoyable site...

  2. #2

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    In the beginning (1997) Lowell created the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit, and it was good. But the Internet was devoid of thoughtful debate and discussion. On the second day (1999) Lowell said "Let there be discussion", and the forums emerged. On the third day Lowell rested.


    ...that's all I was able to pick up from the website. I would love to hear more on the subject!
    Last edited by 48307; February-05-15 at 11:17 AM.

  3. #3

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    DetroitYes was created so we could discuss the opening of a Cheesecake Factory

  4. #4

    Default

    I bet he said "Let THERE be discussion"

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by preserve View Post
    I bet he said "Let THERE be discussion"
    I fixed it. My wife is a teacher and would have scolded me!

  6. #6

    Default

    Yeah 97 is about right. I first started viewing the site even I first got on line then. So wow I've been a member of DYes for almost twenty years, back when the domain was bhere.com ....

  7. #7

    Default

    Most every website offers an About page

  8. #8

    Default

    "2002 - Members of the DetroitYES forum spontaneously begin weekly meetings a various pubs in Detroit. Later they informally dub themselves as the Forum Social Club, then simply as the FSC." There's a group that goes from pub-to-pub these days (once or twice monthly) in Metro Detroit visiting different historical areas and then meeting for drinks and eats afterwards. I was only at the one where the Green Dot Stables (Lafayette & 10th) was featured. The group has a facebook page, although I don't recall the name. The group is quite a mix of people.

  9. #9

  10. #10

    Default

    Below is from the about page on this website, thanks wilderness



    Evolution

    1997 Sep - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" website appears online.

    1998 Mar - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" featured in the New York Times.
    1998 Oct - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" declared a Yahoo Pick of the Week, 150,000 visitors overwhelm the site and server. Thousands of email responses pour in.
    1998 Dec - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" is featured in full page article in WIRED magazine.
    1999 Jan - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" declared a 1998 Yahoo Pick of the Year.
    1999 Oct - The Discuss Detroit forum commences and grows rapidly.
    2001 Dec - Forums and Web tours united under the DetroitYES.com domain name.
    2001 Feb - "Fabulous Ruins Night" at the Cass Cafe brings together in real life members of the DetroitYES forums. 400 show up including from Dallas and St. Louis.
    2002 - Members of the DetroitYES forum spontaneously begin weekly meetings a various pubs in Detroit. Later they informally dub themselves as the Forum Social Club, then simply as the FSC.
    2002 - DetroitYES named as Best Detroit Website - Detroit MetroTimes, Best of Michigan - Best Culture Website - Detroit Free Press.
    2002 - Annual visitor session rate tops one million per year.
    2003 - DetroitYES named as Best Detroit Website by Hour Magazine and again Best Detroit Website by Detroit MetroTimes.
    2004 - DetroitYES forum members spontaneously organize a picnic gathering on Belle Island which becomes an annual event.
    DetroitYES continues to grow in content and conversation and is considered a leading independent media voice in Detroit and its blogosphere. Annual visitorship approaches 2 million and over 1.5 million posts have been written over the life of its forums.

  11. #11

    Default

    I miss the olden days of Dyes. I believe it was Gannon or Lowell himself who turned me on while I was on Belle Isle stackin rocks around 2000.

    Waiting for Lowells reply on the origins.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Django View Post
    I miss the olden days of Dyes....
    Some links to the Wayback Machine:


  13. #13

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    It's even amazing to take a look at what we were talking about 14 years ago...

    "What is Troy Like?", Comerica Park visitors being able to watch Ford Field rise while rumors circulated that Illitch was going to sell the Tigers, an early SEMCOG Public Transit Survey, the consolidation of WWJ-TV into WKBD's studios, it goes on...

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Django View Post
    I miss the olden days of Dyes. I believe it was Gannon or Lowell himself who turned me on while I was on Belle Isle stackin rocks around 2000.

    Waiting for Lowells reply on the origins.
    Wait-a-minnit! Are you the "rock stacker" my mom and I met in '03, when they had all the deer quarantine due to some outbreak?

    Also, if anything gets my interest it's the generations that come and go on these forum threads (especially when you delve back a ways). Different names but a lot of the same personalities locking horns in a lot of the same arguments. Do they get banned and go curse their pea-brains off on Hot Fudge? Do they get tired and move on? Do they get turned into glue? What's up with that?

  15. #15

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    LOL, yeah Ive stacked some rocks on BI, I used to ride out there in my Ford 150 with my dog Farnsworth riding inn the back. One day there were a herd of those deer being fed by hand from some folks. As soon as Farnsworth saw them he went out the back of the truck still moving, chased all the deer off from the people feeding them who were obviously having a nice time. I think I saw a middle finger or two while I got Farns back in the truck.
    How in the heck did they get those deer all captured and where did they go?

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Django View Post
    LOL, yeah Ive stacked some rocks on BI, I used to ride out there in my Ford 150 with my dog Farnsworth riding inn the back. One day there were a herd of those deer being fed by hand from some folks. As soon as Farnsworth saw them he went out the back of the truck still moving, chased all the deer off from the people feeding them who were obviously having a nice time. I think I saw a middle finger or two while I got Farns back in the truck.
    How in the heck did they get those deer all captured and where did they go?

    They never left the island, they are sequestered behind those fenced runs on the eastern end of the island...right where that central road runs into the perimeter.

  17. #17

    Default

    Sucks, but they poisoned those deer. I do have a nice photo of Djangos work on BI. Sorry Django you are getting archived. Too funny, we all get older.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    Hey Lowell,

    I've been wondering how this great website got off the ground?


    How old is it? Ive been visiting well over a decade..

    Did the fabulous ruins portion come first?

    How many members are on this site?

    Was there a need to acquire an office to run the site out of?
    Ive seen you reference your DetroitYes office recently...

    Any answers would be great and thank you for making this enjoyable site...
    Greetings all and thanks. I think the first three questions have been answered by others above and the About this Site page but here is my take.

    What became DetroitYES started as an attempt to use the newly-arrived Internet as an art medium, as a new way to 'paint' Detroit from how I had being doing it -- with real paint and canvas. That first 'painting' was the original 1997 "Fabulous Ruins of Detroit".

    As often happens with art, while your mind sets out on one concept, discoveries happen along the way that can alter the original envisionment of the work. That course alteration happened in the form of thousands of emails from people pouring their hearts out about Detroit when the site went viral on the internet in 1998. [You can read some of these here]

    The art became more than pictures and text, it became about the audience.
    My envisonment was merely a fire starter. The audience was the art and artists. My efforts turned to enabling the audience.

    How many members are on this site?
    Over the years over 20,000 have registered. As other noted above, and is the nature of forums, members come and go. A handful, like Detroit Stylin' above, have been here from the start. Some move on to their own things, some stomp out, some overstep the rules and get tossed, some pass way, some come back again. It's an evolving family with Detroit as its polar star.

    Was there a need to acquire an office to run the site out of?
    Along the way I became an 'accidental businessman', started an internet solutions business and incorporated as AtDetroit, LLC in 2000. One of those solutions was to carry over what I learned here to create a highly effective message board for our largest customer, Couples Resorts of Jamaica. As you can see it has created an immense community of loyal fans for the resorts by providing a means for members to communicate, form relationships with each other and staff, then meet up at the resorts driving the repeat visitor rate sky high.

    Consequently we need and have an office on the 9th floor of the Michigan Building overlooking Grand Circus Park. Since I do DetroitYES work there and park in its famous garage, I like to amusingly refer to it as 'DetroitYES World Headquarters". If you would like to visit and check us out contact us for an appointment.

    Finally I have a big shout out thanks to you as the forum from whom I have learned most of what I now know about Detroit. You're the best.

    So what do I look like? Old. lol. As I mention in the following DetroitDungeon webcast from last week, I'm just another pretty face in the crowd as a forum participant. Well maybe not quite but you'll get what I mean. Jump to 1:40:00 for my interview but you might find the earlier interviews with colorful actor Jimmy Doom and the Derby Girls fun.


  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    ... Jump to 1:40:00 for my interview....
    Here's a way to link directly to the beginning of the interview:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRC-Xd7MBAU&t=1h39m36s.

    Great interview.

  20. #20

    Default

    Lowell, thanks for the answers. I wondered about the "headquarters" line, haha nice....

    It was a fun ride with you in that Cadillac in Requiem for Detroit. That was a good watch...

    for anyone who hasn't seen the documentary Requiem for Detroit...
    http://rutube.ru/video/e449f5f7f4262...5e2fc3ad0d6d6/

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Here's a way to link directly to the beginning of the interview:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRC-Xd7MBAU&t=1h39m36s.

    Great interview.
    Thanks Jimaz for that YouTube timing hack. You always have the tech answers.

    Dbest that's an interesting find of Requiem for Detroit. It was on YouTube until BBC forced it off. I guess with the hostilities with Russia over Ukraine BBC has no clout to remove it.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,253

    Default

    Thanks to that interview I finally learned how to say Lowell's last name correctly.

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    ... for anyone who hasn't seen the documentary Requiem for Detroit...
    http://rutube.ru/video/e449f5f7f4262...5e2fc3ad0d6d6/
    Thanks for resurrecting that one.

    It reminded me of Florent Tillon's Detroit Wildlife video.

  24. #24

    Default

    Lowell, you should be very proud of what you created. Your contributions over some very lean years to the culture, spirit and viability of Detroit is equal to and as important as the bricks an mortar contributions of Ilitch and Gilbert. Keep it up.

  25. #25

    Default

    Very proud to have been a member for about 15 years here, before we were required to register. I have learned so much, met many great people through a couple of FSC's and the early picnics, lost a couple good friends (itsjeff and psip), even dated a woman I met on here for a while, heck even lost a job in part because I was checking out the forums.


    I miss the arguments between Brian and Skulker, the wit of itsjeff/manrooter, and a lot of the great people who have come and gone over the years like Velma, The Aram and many others. But I am glad that there are still other long time members still hanging around like Gannon and others.

    Thanks Lowell for creating this site and providing us with years of enjoyment.

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