How Online Communities Work

Just read this – a goodbye post from the longtime owner/operaters of Rennlist – a web board for Porsche owners:

I want to start this announcement with this personal comment.

Jen and I simply want to thank our Moderators, Sponsors and Rennlist Members for nearly eleven years of support, trust and confidence. Without all of you – each and every one of you- Rennlist would be an empty shell of what “might have been”. But rather, you entrusted Jen and I – for the ten plus years to do what is best for the site, its Members, its Sponsors. That trust has not been taken lightly nor misplaced. Jen and I honor it. At the same time, it is our responsibility to take Rennlist beyond both Jen and me – our capabilities both combined and individually. That has always been our charter since May of 1998. And most, if not all of you, know that to be true. And that’s what this announcement is all about. We physically, monetarily and time wise – cannot take it to the “next level” which this site deserves. Jen & I, in short – are “out of gas”: We have no more “We Need More Power, Captain!” overdrives left (I always chuckle when I read that post of yours, Randy V.!! ).

Today, was acquired by Internet Brands, Inc.. Internet Brands owns and operates many of the most pervasive on-line automotive enthusiast communities found on the Internet today. They include sites such as,,,, etc.

Jen and I are excited about what this means in the long-term of Rennlist. This acquisition will result in the ability to invest more in servers, software, programs and features than we could ever accomplish on our own. These technology improvements will also result in additional content in both the short and longer term, and of course, Jen & I will continue to play an active role in the community and in the direction and growth of this site.

In retrospect, the growth of Rennlist since Jen and I started in May of 1998 has never ceased to amaze us (perhaps even “daunt us”?). Jen and I credit that growth to our Moderators, Members, Sponsors and supporters. What started as a simple e-mail list server has grown into a thriving International community interacting both online and off. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Charities worldwide. We have shared the loss when its members have passed away. People have met on Rennlist – married – and started their own families. Folks regularly get together, meet, drive and gather throughout the world under the moniker. In short, we have laughed together, mourned together – and accomplished things in ten years that most on-line communities can’t even imagine, nor will they ever experience.

But you have, too – shared those same experiences with us – simply through being a part of this community. And sure – this community has changed. A few may remember the “good old days” with a smile – the Flamers list, PorscheList and that transition, the infamous “Tuner Wars” – and many thought this community couldn’t/wouldn’t survive those evolutions. But we did. And every single one has been wrought with equal amounts of uncertainty and conviction that we needed that change to positively affect this community. And every single time – this site and community grew, matured and improved.

This, too – is “one of those transitions”. And someday -today will be the “good old days” as well. And as well, this “transition” will positively impact both this community and this site we call “Rennlist”.

As for my favorite sayings: “that’s all there is – there is no more” and “it is time”. Both are appropriate. Internet Brands, can – and will take Rennlist further then Jen, I and even you, reading this right now – could ever imagine. They have earned Jen’s and my confidence. We are certain they will earn yours as well.

My Sincerest thanks and;

My Best Always,

John D.


One Response to How Online Communities Work

  1. Thanks for pointing me to this and the comment on my blog. This definately connects some dots.


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