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masa forum beginings and original developers

Post here any ideas, feedback or queries you have in regard to MASA (including Reefing the Australian Way). This forum is not for reef aquaria related questions.

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masa forum beginings and original developers

Postby liquidg » Wed 24 Dec, 2008 11:51 am

I commend masa for its pool of technological and product knowedge,though i don't always see eye to eye with some ,some people were very smart in taking on the internet as early as you did and as diverse as you did.

I remember a couple of masa guys came to see our dwindeling,once huge club, in there early days when the internets fire was building and they jumped in, while we were sitting on our hands as they spoke of what they were building, good on them!

One of the masa guys a while back spoke of the high regard they have for the ones that started these forums as such and I agree with them, very much so.

Have you guys ever thought of having a get together and chasing up the old names to show them some appreciation of what they started. Like a thank you type of thing. I am not talking about comparing knowledge that is what causes arguments in these soughts of hobbies.Just something a little nastalgic,maybe.

There are a lot of people out there that have come here for advice and had a good time with there hobby as a result.

I am sure they would be curious and interested on who did what, though the post on that if you did it in the forum may end up getting to fifty pages.

I am sure some people would be curious on how and why it all happened and who started it.
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Postby angel101 » Thu 25 Dec, 2008 1:06 am

Dallas Warren pretty much started up this site when it was linked to his web site www. ozreef.org There are very few of the old school members who still post on here regularly- I could probably count them on one hand. There was a time when this board was of a size where you could form a type of relationship with most posters, but not now. For a start a lot of people only hang around for a short time. They stay to pick people's brains and then when they have got what they want, they nick off.


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Postby Scooby » Thu 25 Dec, 2008 6:38 am

A very good post.

You are correct it is not something that can be answered in few words.

It is an area that has been in the back of my mind for a long while, though I had thought of a rebuild of the MASA Hall of Fame page on the main site not via the forum pages, featuring at the minimum an Honour Board of past committee members (which in itself would list who has been involved over time)

To be perfectly honest I do not know the precise origins and founders of the site, suffice to say Dallas has been around for a very long time and is still very much the backbone of place. You could add others like David Manamara (maquaman), Andrew Trevor Jones (ATJ), Dan (ddr), Colin Keene (Basenji), Caevan, Searlesy, rgh, Jack the finn, JimmyA, Finno to name a few but there have been many contributors over time and certainly names would be unintentionally left out.

Having been on the MASA committee for a couple of years now and President for the past year I have read through the historic post's of the committee and webteam forum's and wikis but not so much for that very purpose. You do gain a great insight into the politics, discussion and debate of the site and its many contributors. It is always hard finding a group of people having a distinct parralell view on matters and because of this people come and go.

In essence MASA is representative of the societies themselves MASS, MASOV, MASQ, MASRQ, MASWA and MASAOG and so you also have individual groups that have their own political issues and conflict of views which may impact on MASA itself.

Then you have the web building team and IT egos trying to see eye to eye with one another.

Now add to that most of these people have never even met one another. An association is built entirely through Forum posting, PM or Email and the difficulty in expressing oneself in this fashion where no accompanying body language is observed makes it all the more harder to communicate as opposed face to face. Many a time apologies are necessary to correct misunderstanding.

Given that this is all voluntary and these people still need to conduct a normal lifestyle combining work and family and their hobby as well, its a pretty damn good effort to be where we are today.
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Postby liquidg » Thu 25 Dec, 2008 9:15 pm

Did any one person or persons set up the first example of the the forum.

I know it is through phpbb,but just who actualy put your name to one and developed the first one before changes started.

How long ago did he or she build the first effort.

I know there would have been changes over time,but there must have been one,or a couple of people that got the first basic set up and put there ideas of how it should look to start with.
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Postby angel101 » Fri 26 Dec, 2008 2:18 am

Dallas Warren. The first board was quite primitive by comparison with this one, about 1998.

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Postby Basenji » Fri 26 Dec, 2008 11:40 am

The following is my recollection of how things got started. I can't claim to have had much to do with it, other than having been an enthusiastic reader since the early days.

The first board was put up on Dallas's site (Oz Reef Marine Park).
Oz Reef was originally set up as an online journal of Dallas's tank, and grew into a reference source for marine aquarium information in general, and a slant on the Australian experience in particular.
Incidentally, http://www.ozreef.org is still going strong, and is well worth a browse. I don't know of a more comprehensive source of aquarium DIY information anywhere on the net.
I first discovered his site back in 1997, but I don't know how long it had been going before that.

Another pioneer of around the same time was Nathan Cope over in WA who set up an online Australian Marine Aquarists directory. That wasn't much more than a list of names and email addresses from the various states, but it was the first attempt I had come across to bring marine aquarists together via the internet.

Both guys were involved with local state societies, MASOV and MASWA respectively, which at the time were primarily non-web based societies.

I had been involved on a US based bulletin board for a few years (Aqualink) and had run into Dallas over there a few times, and swapped the odd email. So I remember being really interested when I discovered that he had put up a UBB message board on his site. From the very start, he had called it "Reefing the Australian Way". I can't remember when that was, but 1998 sounds about right. I used to drop in and have a look from time to time, but traffic was pretty low to start with, and I wandered away for quite a while.

In mid 2000 I discovered, and subsequently joined, the newly set up Marine Aquarium Society of Sydney, which had been pioneered by Gavan Harrison (Gavan) and David Macnamara (maquaman). They had their own bulletin board for managing internal society business, but most members were using Dallas's RTAW board for discussing aquarium topics.

I have a hard copy printout of one of the first threads I posted on RTAW in August 2000 - a question about metal halide lighting. The thread includes a lot of familiar names: Gavan, Jamie (The_Bandit), ATJ, Caevan, Tony Fendt. It even includes the obligatory argument with Kent from Reeflections that was part and parcel of those days.

The concept of a national body - The Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia - had been spoken of for a while, but it really crystallised in 2001 when we needed a coordinated response to Senator Hill's proposal to close down the coral and live rock fishery on the Great Barrier Reef. Whether or not we had anything to do with the eventual reversal of that decision, (we like to think we did), it resulted in a push to formalise the formation of national group to represent the interests of the various state societies. I wasn't really involved in MASS or MASA committees at that point, so will need others to perhaps fill in some of the gaps in how that all came about.

The MASA website was launched around the end of 2002, and incorporated the databases and registries. It was put together between Maquaman, Caevan and Dr_DBW, and it was at this point that RTAW was handed from Dallas to MASA, although the site at that point was still hosted under Dallas's Ozreef domain.

It certainly took some vision from individuals to set up the structures on which MASA and RTAW is built. But at the end of the day, it has only been as successful as it has through the dedication of all of the members who choose to continue to visit the site and contribute to the community. There have been a number of other attempts to start up marine bulletin boards in Australia, with varying levels of success.

To my mind, the forum's membership base of real-life societies - people who actually know one another as friends and have seen each other's aquaria - is the key to why RTAW has succeeded while other boards have not. Add to that the important early decision that was made for RTAW to remain commercially independent, and the dedication of people who are in it for the long haul, and hopefully RTAW will still be here to provide helpful and commercially unbiased information resources for many years to come.
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Postby Steve Campbell » Fri 26 Dec, 2008 3:29 pm

^Very informative Colin and thanks to you and Scooby for the MASA history lesson. I wonder if your and Scooby's posts could be combined, sent around to the founding members, Maquaman, ATJ, Caevan, etc. and who ever has contributing material, finally edited by Dallas and placed on the 'About MASA' page under a 'History' heading.
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Postby Tone » Fri 26 Dec, 2008 5:51 pm

Colin, We had just discovered 'shopfitter' MH light fittings ... that brings back a lot of memories and would have made for classic group dynamics study. Things have matured significantly since then along with our midrifts :roflmao:

I found RTAW from a reference in a thread on RC where I had hung out for a few years. The board was a primitive text based bulletin board in around '98 ... who still remembers those heady days? Everything was being discovered!

There was a core movement in Sydney and Melbourne ... Dallas Warren (Dr DBW, of course) Dan Robinson (DDR), Andrew Trevor-Jones (ATJ), Caevan, David McNamara (maquaman) were the 'Sharp Thinkers'.

The idea of MASQ was spawned in mid 2001 in response to the growing threat from the then Federal Minister for the Environment to ban coral collection. The first meeting was held at my home before we even had a name for the society. That meeting drew about 12 people who were regular participants on the board. The peeps included Steve Wyld (Blackbeard), Brett Parnell (Spooky), Les Savage (Savvo), Andrew Kendall (Skozzy), Andrew Butterworth (Butters), myself, and a few others who have long since come and gone. Somewhere I've still got a salad bowl brought along by a lady from Qld Fisheries / EPA. Steve Wyld came up with the name MASQ when we held our second meeting at his home.

Due to being transferred to Cairns, I didn't get to actually join MASQ until I came home in late 2002. My wife 'maintained' my little 3' tank for me in my absence and Green Island (owned by my employer) became my hobby.

WOW! We have come a long way since those days. :clap:

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Postby shona » Sat 27 Dec, 2008 4:59 pm

Steve Campbell wrote: placed on the 'About MASA' page under a 'History' heading.


good idea Steve, we'll look at doing that. Great post liquidg :thumbsup:
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Postby liquidg » Mon 29 Dec, 2008 9:46 am

Dallas in 1998.
That is a long time ago.
Pimitive or not,he started it.
1998,i am definitely depressed now.
Thank you for that,much appreciated.
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Postby Basenji » Mon 29 Dec, 2008 4:03 pm

Why depressed? Just because you didn't think of it first?
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Postby angel101 » Mon 29 Dec, 2008 11:24 pm

Basenji wrote:The following is my recollection of how things got started. I can't claim to have had much to do with it, other than having been an enthusiastic reader since the early days.

The first board was put up on Dallas's site (Oz Reef Marine Park).
Oz Reef was originally set up as an online journal of Dallas's tank, and grew into a reference source for marine aquarium information in general, and a slant on the Australian experience in particular.
Incidentally, http://www.ozreef.org is still going strong, and is well worth a browse. I don't know of a more comprehensive source of aquarium DIY information anywhere on the net.
I first discovered his site back in 1997, but I don't know how long it had been going before that.

Another pioneer of around the same time was Nathan Cope over in WA who set up an online Australian Marine Aquarists directory. That wasn't much more than a list of names and email addresses from the various states, but it was the first attempt I had come across to bring marine aquarists together via the internet.

Both guys were involved with local state societies, MASOV and MASWA respectively, which at the time were primarily non-web based societies.

I had been involved on a US based bulletin board for a few years (Aqualink) and had run into Dallas over there a few times, and swapped the odd email. So I remember being really interested when I discovered that he had put up a UBB message board on his site. From the very start, he had called it "Reefing the Australian Way". I can't remember when that was, but 1998 sounds about right. I used to drop in and have a look from time to time, but traffic was pretty low to start with, and I wandered away for quite a while.

In mid 2000 I discovered, and subsequently joined, the newly set up Marine Aquarium Society of Sydney, which had been pioneered by Gavan Harrison (Gavan) and David Macnamara (maquaman). They had their own bulletin board for managing internal society business, but most members were using Dallas's RTAW board for discussing aquarium topics.

I have a hard copy printout of one of the first threads I posted on RTAW in August 2000 - a question about metal halide lighting. The thread includes a lot of familiar names: Gavan, Jamie (The_Bandit), ATJ, Caevan, Tony Fendt. It even includes the obligatory argument with Kent from Reeflections that was part and parcel of those days.

The concept of a national body - The Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia - had been spoken of for a while, but it really crystallised in 2001 when we needed a coordinated response to Senator Hill's proposal to close down the coral and live rock fishery on the Great Barrier Reef. Whether or not we had anything to do with the eventual reversal of that decision, (we like to think we did), it resulted in a push to formalise the formation of national group to represent the interests of the various state societies. I wasn't really involved in MASS or MASA committees at that point, so will need others to perhaps fill in some of the gaps in how that all came about.

The MASA website was launched around the end of 2002, and incorporated the databases and registries. It was put together between Maquaman, Caevan and Dr_DBW, and it was at this point that RTAW was handed from Dallas to MASA, although the site at that point was still hosted under Dallas's Ozreef domain.

It certainly took some vision from individuals to set up the structures on which MASA and RTAW is built. But at the end of the day, it has only been as successful as it has through the dedication of all of the members who choose to continue to visit the site and contribute to the community. There have been a number of other attempts to start up marine bulletin boards in Australia, with varying levels of success.

To my mind, the forum's membership base of real-life societies - people who actually know one another as friends and have seen each other's aquaria - is the key to why RTAW has succeeded while other boards have not. Add to that the important early decision that was made for RTAW to remain commercially independent, and the dedication of people who are in it for the long haul, and hopefully RTAW will still be here to provide helpful and commercially unbiased information resources for many years to come.



Was that thread titled 10000K's of pain? If so, it related to Kent selling me a DE bulb and saying it didnt need a glass shield. The debate was about the quality of his advice and whether the fact that all my SPS burnt off was down to him or not!
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Postby Basenji » Tue 30 Dec, 2008 6:21 pm

Let it go Gary, let it go. :roll:
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Postby angel101 » Wed 31 Dec, 2008 12:18 am

Basenji wrote:Let it go Gary, let it go. :roll:



It was, wasnt it!!!! :devil:
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Postby Rallyant » Wed 31 Dec, 2008 2:20 am

Post a scan of the old thread then, Be nice to see some history like that! :)

A little off topic but has the Number of reefers grown a lot since then?
are the number of members now due also partially to that?
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Postby Lewy » Wed 31 Dec, 2008 7:11 am

I remember Nathan Cope. Does anyone know what he is up to these days?

Is his website still going?
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Postby Basenji » Wed 31 Dec, 2008 7:47 am

angel101 wrote:
Basenji wrote:Let it go Gary, let it go. :roll:



It was, wasnt it!!!! :devil:

No it wasn't, but I do remember the incident you are talking about.
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Postby damer » Wed 31 Dec, 2008 9:12 am

angel101 wrote:
Basenji wrote:Let it go Gary, let it go. :roll:



It was, wasnt it!!!! :devil:
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Postby Dr DBW » Mon 05 Jan, 2009 3:38 pm

We have now set up a page documenting the history of MASA.

See MASA">History of MASA

Number of things still yet to be fleshed out, collated etc. Feel free to make your own contribution / edit to the document, that is what a wiki is all about :)
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Postby Dr DBW » Mon 05 Jan, 2009 4:27 pm

And there are some links there to some archives of what the forum looked like, way back in the beginning :)

I am not sure about the date of the start of the forums. It is not visible in the archives from before March 2000, and I have a terrible memory for things like that. I may have some archives of my site at home, will have a look through and see if can find some time stamps etc.
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Postby Adjool » Tue 06 Jan, 2009 11:21 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't some of you original guys put money in from your own pockets to get this forum up and running?

Good effort :clap:
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Postby JimmyA » Tue 06 Jan, 2009 11:54 am

Dr DBW wrote:And there are some links there to some archives of what the forum looked like, way back in the beginning :)

I love the fact that some of the questions being asked back in 2000 are still being asked today. Superglue gel, catching damsels, ich.

I have also updated the MASSA/MASAOG origins in the history page too.

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Postby Basenji » Tue 06 Jan, 2009 12:19 pm

Adjool wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't some of you original guys put money in from your own pockets to get this forum up and running?

Good effort :clap:

Check the links at the bottom of the History page for the MASA Hall of Fame

JimmyA wrote:I have also updated the MASSA/MASAOG origins in the history page too.

I was just in the process of throwing something in there about MASSA when I refreshed the page and realised that you had just beaten me to it. Better coming from the horses mouth anyway.
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Postby JimmyA » Tue 06 Jan, 2009 12:21 pm

Basenji wrote:I was just in the process of throwing something in there about MASSA when I refreshed the page and realised that you had just beaten me to it. Better coming from the horses mouth anyway.

:roflmao: :thumbsup:
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Postby Adjool » Tue 06 Jan, 2009 12:41 pm

Basenji wrote:
Adjool wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't some of you original guys put money in from your own pockets to get this forum up and running?

Good effort :clap:

Check the links at the bottom of the History page for the MASA Hall of Fame


That's the one :thumbsup: thanks Colin
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Postby angel101 » Wed 07 Jan, 2009 2:17 am

Does anyone remember "Kent's coupe?" He announced one day that that as the BB "belonged" to him , he was going to take over to his own server!!


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Postby Maquaman » Wed 07 Jan, 2009 11:21 am

How could we forget?!
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