Physics Forums History
|Owner Greg Bernhardt started Physics Forums as a high school extra credit project for a physics class in 2001.
Owner: Greg Bernhardt
Greg's real job: Web Design/Development
PF DOB: 2001
Organization: Undefined, Bernhardt Media LLC.
Revenue: Adsense, Gold Memberships
PF Data Size: ~6gigs
Location: Datacenter in Dallas
Monthly Costs: high $XXX
PF average 100,000+ visitors, 100+ new members and 1000+ posts per day.
80% search engines, 10% referral sites, 10% direct traffic
80% of our visitors are from North America. 10% Europe, 5% asia and 5% other.
55% use Internet Explorer. 38% use FireFox. 5% Safari, 1% Opera
70% on high speed internet, 10% dialup
88% on Windows, 8% Mac, 3% Linux
|Let's use this section to list Mentors. Oldest to Newest. (Bold means they are still on staff)
1. Monique (Niqqie,theOwl)
11. Sting1983 (Sting)
15. Kerrie (skorpiano)
15. Tom Mattson (Tom)
18. damgo (alis)
22. Russ Watters
24. Another God
26. Ivan Seeking
28. Doc Al
41. Math is Hard
44. George Jones
49. D H
Recent forum threads on Physics Forums History
> Other Topics
|The Beginning (Spring 2001)
It comes to many peoples surprise to find I am actually not very good at math and physics. PF started in spring of 2001. I was taking Physics II in high school my senior year. The semester was ending and I found myself getting a "D" in the class. I badly needed at least a "C" to minimize impact on my overall GPA.
Through the year I gained mass interest in the Internet, web designing and community building. My interest in physics was also sparked by popular physics books by Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking's and Paul Davies.
So I thought of proposing the idea of creating a useful physics community on the web as an extra credit project to my physics teacher. The teacher bought it and away I went. In the end it took me just a month to get enough done and promote it for the thing to look half way decent. I found a "C" on my report card end of semester :)
Early Years (2001-2003)
PF started out on the ASP driven software of Snitz. I believe we also started on the web host "DreamHost". Unfortunately two years later in 2003 we grew too big and too fast. We ended up having to ditch the software and the host. This resulted in starting completely from scratch. The database had about 200,000 posts in it. It still hurts to lose all that data to this day. But it has proven to be a turning point marker for PF's history. We moved to a dedicated server and professional software to last us for many years. During this time I also admit hiring some non qualified staff members. Once we got Integral, Tom Mattson and chroot, things started to change.
The Middle Ages (2003-2005)
Before the "beginning from scratch", PF was becoming quite popular, but our forum management and organization was severely lacking. Over the next couple of years PF would prove itself a giant in the science web community. Early 2004 we even hosted Michio Kaku's official forums.
In these years PF would:
1. Develop an organized forum structure
2. Start creating a strict but fair policy
3. Hire competent staff with similar visions
4. Start member award days
5. Install LaTeX for equations
6. Start the Homework Helper and Science Advisor programs
The "Golden" Years (2005-Present)
Physics Forums is now finally working like a well oiled high performance machine. The standard has been set. We're pretty much coasting now that we have a complete system in place that has proven to be successful. Crackpots and spam are almost non-existent. Along with what seemed like a new design a year, we found one that works and will stick with for a long time now.
A few highlights of these past couple years include:
1. Partnership with Scientific American
2. Partnership with PhD Comics
3. PF Library
Bigger and better things planned for the future!!
Kurdt @ 04:56 AM Jun25-08