History of the MR2OC
The MR2OC Message Board was started by Steve Massaro in the late summer 1999. We quickly grew to a few hundred users. The sickness began.
We withstood 2 hacker attacks. On the second attack we learned a lot from the hacker on what we needed to do. By 2001 Glen Glassford (Gragon) had been given the administration duties. Changes to how the board was run were but into place.
Glen and Steve passed on the Administration duties to Bill Strong (Bikeboy) in September 2001. Bill quickly made some large changes to the board to reduce bandwidth, which was costing Massaro over $1000 a month at the time. We cleared out all of the porn that was being store for remote usage, and implemented some large changes in the rules.
During the attacks on September 11, 2001 the board stayed live, it was a wealth of information, and a way for us to communicate with our fellow members as phone lines were jammed.
Then the unthinkable happened. Steve Massaro shut the board down. On the morning of November 18,2001 Bill Strong learned of the death of the MR2 Board. He quickly got a copy up and running on a local server he had. At the same time 5 or 6 other boards were popping up. Luckily Steve gave Bill a copy of the database and it was quickly installed, though it ran extremely slow.
In comes Cynical. He had a board up and running, Bill had the database and a license for the software, Cynical had the hardware and bandwidth. So a deal was made. And the MR2OC was reborn. Hosted in Manhattan , NY , we finally had the speed and the power to handle the members we were getting.
Bill sent an email out to all MR2.com and MR2SC.com email users. These were the most experienced MR2 tuners around. Most had been around far longer than the Message Boards had been. Bill wanted them aboard. So what would it take? They responded in a big way. Bill quickly instituted new rules with the help of Glen Glassford who was now on as assistant Admin. The changes were big and were met with a lot of resistance from our younger members. By the end of 2001 our membership had doubled. The changes worked!
Our first review was in the summer of 2002 in Sports Compact Car. Membership doubled almost overnight. The bad part of that was that our hardware could not take the usage. We had to shut down a lot of features. But the effect was that we made a cleaner, fast moving board, devoid of the trash that littered other message boards. Our moderators were given more power to help keep the board running smoothly. The instructions were that the MR2 information had priority over all else. Protect that information at all costs.
Our Board Rules were fine tuned to keep the board the main resource of MR2 information on the internet. Our hardware was getting old, and our free host wanted to move on.
So on a February 2004 morning we moved the new server to Charlottesville , Virginia . Our new server, purchased by donations from our membership, was installed with a virgin database. The old database was seriously corrupt. Speed was increased over the previous host due to hardware and the internet wire that we had. The only problem was that it was hosted in Bill Strong's basement on his wireless broadband system. We were pumping out 250gb a month of data. It was a huge stress on his systems. But the MR2OC chugged on.
On June 9th Bill Strong turned the board off at 12 noon . He drove the server up to Tysons Corner , Virginia , a 3 hour drive north from his home. By 4pm the board was up and running. By 6pm the DNS servers had been updated and the server was running faster than it had ever run.
The Board was now owned by Racing Strong Motorsports. RSm was begun a few years earlier making the famous RSe plates for the MR2 short shifter kits. Owned and run by Bill Strong, the board was now a full time business.
David Hawkins of Club MR2, the US National MR2 Club joined us as an administrator. Club MR2 and the MR2OC had been partnered in the SW2003 National MR2 event in Las Vegas in 2003. Again in 2005 Club MR2 and the MR2OC organized the national 2005 MR2 / Celica All-Trac event in Topeka , Kansas.
Jody Collicutt (kbox) joined the administration team in 2006 to replace the retiring Glen Glassford.
2006 and 2007 saw the MR2OC providing information for a series of MR2 articles in Grassroots Motorsports magazine and Sport Compact Car magazine.
Averaging 30,000 active members, the MR2 Owners Club moves over 600gb of data a month, and has over 1 million page views a month making the MR2OC the largest, most popular Toyota MR2 website on Earth!
Update April 2011
The MR2OC now has over 54,000 active members and still holding steady at 1.25 million page views a month. Our database contains over 4GB of MR2 related data, images and downloads. The MR2OC sponsors various MR2 events in North America. The MR2OC also fields a three car 24-hour endurance race team called the MR2OC ModSquad in 24 Hours of LeMons and the ChumpCar World Series. We use 1991 MR2s and 1 1986 MR2 with all three using 5SFE 2.2 liter engines. Visit http://modsquadracing.blogspot.com/ for more information.