June 27, 2006: Five Years and the Evolution of V70XC.com > VolvoXC.com
I was shuffling through some files the other day, and came to realize that over the years there have been quite a few changes around the site here at VolvoXC.com. Then in doing so, I realized that we're actually approaching our fifth year here on the site, so figured it'd be as good an excuse as any to put together a few words about the site and its history!
The site got its start innocently enough... My fiance (yes, she's now my wife) and I had just bought our dream car, a brand new 2001 Volvo Cross Country V70XC in March, 2001. Seeing as I was (and still am) a web developer, I thought it'd be fun to put together a few pages about our new car. After a quick search of the domain registry I noticed that the perfect domain name was available for this new site and poof, v70xc.com was born.
For the next few months things were fairly quiet, but then traffic started to grow... Search engines picked up on a few of my keywords and soon enough I started to see 20-50 visitors to the site each day. And the growth continued!
Around the same time, one of my good friends owned a BMW M5 and was a member of an online community called BMWM5.com. Now the XC is no M5 when it comes to breeding performance or lust, but I figured the XC was special in its own right. Not necessarily an enthusiast's ca, but a unique vehicle, perhaps for people who think a little differently than those who drive a Taurus, Camry or an Accord.
I was especially intrigued when my M5 owning friend and I took off down the coast to Palo Alto, CA in his M5. Before leaving, he posted a quick message at BMWM5.com asking for restaurant recommendations in the area and the like. To our surprise, he received a phone call upon our arrival in Palo Alto informing him that a number of other BMWM5.com members had gone ahead and arranged a meet up to coincide with our arrival. Impressive sight none the less, and something that really got me thinking hard as to the quality and value of online communities.
So with that, I figured perhaps there'd be a demand for detailed information specific to the Cross Country and went ahead and built the site into a more rounded informational resource.
I set up the message board up on June 27, 2001 but our first real member (read other than me) didn't show up until almost two months later, saabstory who'd found a link on SwedeSpeed.com. The day after that another couple Swedespeed regulars signed on, darelldd and Mastiha.
Esteemed community leader Art signed up a little later, in October 1st 2001 to be exact, and has since not only become a regular here on the forums, but also a great friend who helps out with everything from facilitating the supply of volvoXC.com window decals, helping planning with organizing the Annual Gatherings, supplying the community with an enormous variety of pdf self-help documents and incredible XC photography and trip reports. Art truly represents all the great things about this community, and for that we're always thankful!
One of the most regular comments I read from visitors and members alike is an appreciation for how well behaved our little community has become. Aside from the whole ETM fiasco from last year and a few fairly minor arguments here and there, generally speaking we all manage to get along pretty darn well.
Through the years I've met a ton of great people through this community through our annual gatherings (soon to be resumed), through online chat/IM and the forums.
Some of the big events and news items that have taken place over the years... My apologies in advance for missing anything!
- January 3: XC90 Unveiled
- July 21: Our interview with Jonathan Dale, designer of the ACC2
- July 28: The Inaugural V70XC.com Pacific Northwest Gathering
- August 2: Our interview with Claes Blomquist, head mechanic for Team Inventor
- September: Though it took a while to make the transition complete, the site's name changed to VolvoXC.com.
- June 27: 5 year anniversary!
So that's about all I have to tell for now. I've had a great time building and maintaining the site over the past five years and as far as I can tell, have no plans on switching from Volvo anytime soon, so I'll be sticking around for a long time to come!
Thanks to everyone who's become a part of the community because at the end of the day, as cliche as it might sound, this wonderful community is only great because of the members, I'm just here to keep the light on.
Click on over to the gallery to see some of the design changes that have happened here on the site over the years!