PackerChatters started in 1995 as a message board for Packers fans. Back then the site was hosted by Royles Communications which is now Packer Report. Pmom (Sue) then came up with the idea to have our own website and today we are one of the top Green Bay Packers websites offering news and information, fan interactivity and much more not only for Packer fans but all NFL fans.
Larry (LMG) and others rode along on the wave Pmom created and submitted content for her to put up. Originally, when the internet was in its infancy, this was the only on-line source for accurate Packers info. Larry and other members would type in Press-Gazette articles so that fans outside Brown County could stay in touch. Today things are blissfully a lot more open and automated.
Later, Larry and Sue decided to make a general discussion board. Larry started the draft portion, called LMG’s Draft Page, as an add on that quickly grew into its own as a major component of the Chatters site. Originally the message board was by invitation only. One became a member when, after posting for some time at a complete zoo like CNN/SI, an existing PackerChatters member noticed you and invited you in. Sue did the html code and even some of the content for the site for several years until school, work, and family pretty much took over all her time and energy, and she retired from active site management. Larry was really skeptical about continuing PackerChatters after Sue retired – he’s not a very technical guy, but somehow we persisted. We called it a labor of love…Packers love…and were determined to offer a Packers Fans website for all to enjoy.
After a couple years, Patty came along with all of her incredible draft knowledge and the message board was for a time renamed to Patty’s PackerChatters. The last few years Patty has had her own special section in the PackerChatters website called Patty’s Green Bay Draft Sheet which has national attention. Larry is (pardon me) just a guy, well a guy who is one of the best tailgaters in the Lambeau parking lot and a never-say-die Packers fan, but otherwise has no special access to 1265. Patty has been a professional scout in the NFL, and maintains many contacts with current scouts and various front office people. When Patty says she’s heard something, she doesn’t mean from her great-aunt in Toledo. Unfortunately, she is most often not able to reveal her sources.
In 2001, it seemed to some of us that the PackerChatters message board was getting a bit stale and predictable – there were just a few members; we all knew each other well, and most likely we could have mostly written each other’s posts if we really tried. There was some discussion about opening up the board to the public at large. Patty and I were strong proponents of this – we both felt that without new blood the board would not survive in the long run. Larry, a veteran of the open and unbounded hostility on boards like CNN/SI, was more reluctant. A compromise was struck: Larry agreed to open up the board, if I agreed to be the moderator.
There were more than a few false starts and incidences of teething pains as we all worked out our MO. However, for the last few years we have been pretty well settled in to what you see here: a forum for general Packer talk, a forum for the draft, a few other forums scattered about, no personal attacks, PG-13. It seems to work pretty well. The main reason why it works is not because the moderators are magic, but rather because there is a strong consensus among the core couple hundred posters that this is how things should work.
Over the years there have been various technical challenges. As we have grown in membership and posting it has been necessary to move to bigger and better servers a couple of times. We have had to upgrade our forum software several times, too. Most particularly, in 2005, someone seeking an alternative outlet for his reproductive urges managed to find a hack for our software (forums not website), and destroyed the databases of a couple hundred public forums including ours. This forced a purchase of all new software and a complete restart of our databases. One can only hope that the little demon at least has the public spiritedness to fail to reproduce.
From the very start PackerChatters has been privately funded. There have been suggestions at times to solicit or require donations. We have consistently felt that keeping the website private property means we can determine our own editorial and moderating standards without debate.
Our Forums are a very important part of PackerChatters.com. In our Forums there are about 5 people who read the posts here for every active poster. We try hard to keep in mind that our audience is not just the 200 or so people who post here frequently, but the over 2000 people who come here frequently to read and keep informed, but for their own reasons choose not to post.
Because of the sudden influx of new members, and the rebuilding of our databases, it may appear to some that we’ve sprung fully grown out of the ether. As you see, nothing could be further from the truth – our website and forums have a long and rich history, and we feel, a well understood and pretty well worked out consensus on what we’re about.
Wisconsin Sports Online, LLC was incorporated in 2007 as part of an expansion of our websites.
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