Years ago, 1999ish I started a website on a free hosting site that was very... ummm rudimentary to say the least. It was however, a place where I first made PointBlank available to people. If I remember correctly it is also where I first met Popgun and I believe coyote_hunter (ya they are great people and have been around that long :)).
Over the years I've become better at website management, learned HTML, PERL... PHP, reciently C# etc and am soon digging into ASP.NET, through all of this I never felt work I did was good enough to make any money at so I kept things free for the users.
Reciently however I took a hard look at some other websites I sometimes visit... ones I concider "poorly" put together and have other interesting yet negative issues. I took a look at what these "other sites" are charging for advertisers and holy cow... if my math is right some of them are generating a fairly significant amount of income. Is it enough to fund quitting a fulltime job to run? Nah, but its significant enough to warrent a serious effort at attempting.
So I reciently did some serious racking of my brain to come up with a new domain name, something catchy yet available (good luck LOL... I musta tried 200 names off and one while at work) and was surprised to find what I concider a "good" name was available, and www.TrophyChaser.com
was promptly registered.
With the name locked down I took a step back and really thought about what I should focus on for the site. People lately seem so caught up in the "B&C" score of a critter they are loosing track of the purpose of hunting and its heritage.
There should be no difference between a 6 year olds self caught 8" trout, and someones 6pt bull elk. EACH are trophys in their own ways. THAT is what I want www.TrophyChaser
to be about. I want people to share pictures, stories and experiences about hunting, fishing, photography, camping etc etc. TrophyChaser needs to be a casual, laid back fun place to visit.
HuntingNut.com is and as far as I'm concerned with, will always remain free. I just dont feel good about charging people for anything who come here. I dont want to clutter the site with lots of advertising either. www.TrophyChaser.com
will be a commercial website. It will remain 100% free to users forever as far as I'm concerned, but I will try and attract advertisers over time and I will advertise my own programming experience for hire. I've kicked around starting up my own company but never figured out a good way to attract clients and get the ball rolling, and perhaps this is it.
I installed the same software on www.TrophyChaser.com
as we use here at HuntingNut.com, its pretty nifty and I understand it well enough to program custom things for. For the past 2 months from time to time I work on it, usually while at work as I'm waiting on someone else for something. I still have alot to do to it but I feel its far enough along to let people get a first peek at it and give feedback on it.
I will not stop maintaining HuntingNut.com vs TrophyChaser. IMO they share some similarity but HuntingNut tends to tailor to the more reloading / shooting crowd where I think TrophyChaser will appeal more to the general Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Photography crowd.
I truely hope this decision doesnt offend anyone and years down the road, looking back, we view it as a good idea.
Anyway if you want to check it out, www.TrophyChaser.com
is the address. There is still alot to do on it and I'm happy to hear suggestions, likes (if nothing else photo uploading is tons easier), dislikes etc. I hope to really make a "Grand Opening" announcment in the next month or so after I get suggestions and feedback on it.
To answer a question that will come up I'm sure, I work on PointBlank vs the new website probably 5 hours to 1. In fact I havent worked on TrophyChaser in probably 3 weeks where I've put in alot of work in the past 2 weeks on PBv2.0 and its really making great strides forward. I desperately want to complete this and get it out of my hair for a while
PSS: TrophyChaser is on a different webhost & having 2 hosts means I can compare preformance and if one is better than another I can move HuntingNut over if the other host is faster.