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A Brief History of Overgrow.com - From Inception to Bust!
I was doing a bit of Googling tonight and came across a post from Planet Ganja that detailed a time-line (from inception to RC's bust) of Overgrow.com, indisputably the most influential online cannabis website ever. While there are many folks here at the Bay that have no idea what Overgrow.com is or was, just know that many, many cannasites (including this one) might not have ever come to existence if it weren't for those "golden years" that Overgrow.com made their mark on the world.
For those who do remember Ovegrow (as we have many former members here at the Bay), this will be a walk down memory lane as we recall the events of the past. Please feel free to chime in as we recall ~Shabang~, Foolgirl, nl420, ot1, Baudelaire (the creator of the Overgrow Strainguide) and the beginnings, trials and tribulations and, ultimately, the demise of a legendary site. Enjoy the read, everyone!
Originally Posted by Gründaum from Planet Ganja -7/25/06
In order to facilitate discussion about what went wrong at Overgrow, I think it would be helpful to put together a historical time line of events that transpired there. A Planet Ganja Overgrow Wiki, so to speak.
My memory of events prior to 2001 is almost exclusively from conversations with older members of OG and from reading the old posts at OG, so it'd be great if those of you who were active in the very beginning could pitch in. My memory of 2001 is fuzzy as I was an infrequent lurker at that time, but the time period that I remember well is the time period from just before ~S going on a "shabbatical" in early 2002 until the late fall of last year, when I decided to go into winter hibernation.
Please correct me if I don't remember something accurately or if I'm placing something in the wrong time period.
1998/1999 - A group of members of Weedbase discuss creating a new growing site. Amongst them are Foolgirl, nl420, ot1, Baudelaire, and ~Shabang~
1999 - Overgrow is formed by foolgirl, nl420, and ot1(?). ~S is involved in the creation, but goes on a shabbatical for personal reasons. Baudelaire is also active.
Late 1999/early 2000(?) - ~S returns and takes up admin duties. Overgrow server is moved to Vancouver, Canada.
the shark tank is opened to keep the grow forums clear of off topic subjects without censorship. closest cannabis competitors at the time are, and hightimes, cannabisculture, cannabisworld and marijuana.com which is where the name overgrow originated.
2000 - Overgrow is developed into a leading edge site, with many expert growers contributing and ~S doing site construction at the leading edge, including developing totally new vbscript apllications and the karma sytem. A Maxim Feature also gives OG a high profile. The so-called seed wars take place(?)
somewhere around there baudelaire left. taking the strainguide with him.
2001 - membership jumps from under 10,00 and by the summer overgrow has exploded to close to 60,000 members. with approximately 300-600 online users on a slow day.
Due to advertising rates being paid for long periods in advance, overgrow gets into financial difficulties because the proceeds from adverts can't keep up with the bandwidth costs as Overgrow is growing very, very fast. RC is brought in to help pay for the cost of running the site.
Foolgirl and nl420 are uncomfortable with the high profile and decide to depart, so ~S and RC become partners, with ~S doing the site work and the acquisitions work, while RC helps to pay for bandwidth costs. In return, RC's seed business is listed as the main sponsor and he receives free advertising for his seed sales.
foolgirl and ot1 had faded into the background before the sale happened, by best recollection after 9/11 but were reported to be ok with the transfer of the .com title to ~RC in exchange for him paying the server bill, i belive also that this all took place in the winter feb or jan of 02
2002 - ~S goes on a shabbatical(extended vacation?) from spring of 2002 til the fall of the same year. During this time, all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories abound, including theories about him being popped by LEO and even him being dead. ~S makes a surprising return from the shabbatical just when many think he will not return.
anon posting is ceased - citing "accountability issues"
theres a new sherrif in town and they did not like the shark tank or non sanctioned view points. Angrydyke is dethroned and Old Pink and MIA Stoner take over admin, old faces start to disappear.
the site gets slower and slower as white rabbit and rc tried to keep up with the technical demands of a site as big and busy as overgrow. the search engine is often overwhelmed or down. The tank is closed but not deleted because of the database stability.
2003 - Overgrow is bigger than ever before. It has become the juggernaut amongst growing sites. Seed vendors attempt to take advantage of this by having gerow forums and even posting adverts in the form of test grows.
the vendor forums are introduced. lifetime subscriptions are offered, ~juice buys several.
Baudelaire comes back and he and ~s finish and reintroduce the strainguide
End of 2003 - ~S disappears after a period where the OG server has been really, really slow. Many people assume that he has gone on another shabbatical.
in november the site is down for approx three days, wide spread panic was averted by reports of "upgrade or maintenance" being done on the server - it is later revealed that site had been copied and the domain redirected from ~s server to ~rc's server
Beginning of 2004 - ~S reappears under the handle Twitlow, complaining that RC has made a copy of OG via the internet to a new server in Montreal and that he has been locked out. RC and ~S get into a big discussion, with many people watching. The thread in which it takes place is later deleted. Later in the year, posts and other evidence of ~S's copyrights to site content are also deleted. Discussion of the topic is heavily censored by OldPink and some mods. OG users are merely told that "~S stole from OG". Many oldtimers leave OG at this point, stating that something is stinky. Others stay out of loyalty to their many friends at OG, hoping that RC and ~S will come to an amicable resolution.
The seed vendor forums at OG are shut down. ICMag is created by Gypsy Nirvana shortly thereafter.
2005 - Virtually all evidence of ~S has been erased. Discussion of the topic is censored. Later in the year, RC does not appear to be around. He is given the title "AWOL".
Early 2006 - OG goes down. It is later revealed that RC has been busted.
I'm pretty sleepy, so that sketch of events will have to do for now.
It'd be great if those with a good memory could enhance things and correct whatever mistakes I have made.
"People would learn more from their mistakes if they weren't so busy making excuses for them"
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