• Celebrating 21 Years on the Web

    Mandolin Cafe logo from 1997

    Mandolin Cafe circa 1996
    21 years ago today we fired up a state of the art 14.4k modem and uploaded version one of the Mandolin Cafe onto the world wide web. For those of you not old enough to remember what a modem is, be thankful. The entire site was less than 100K, far smaller than the page you're reading.

    Six months prior to launch my wife Annie and I--typical computer nerd couple, me a techie, she's a graphic artist--attended a MacWorld conference in Boston. There was but one book at the show on how to build a web site. I brought it home, read it twice and never looked back.

    21 years later to the date I'm busy at my computer working hard to ensure the success of the Mandolin Cafe... OK, not really.

    At the moment, if all has gone as planned, I'm breaking camp on Day 3 with a one-man tent in Big Bend National Park (Texas) on their signature Outer Mountain Loop through the Chisos Mountain and across the daunting Dodson Trail. A wireless signal out there is but a dream.

    This is my idea of fun.

    Being off the grid is exhilarating, something I don't often do but relish. I pressed the publish button on this article a week ago. The hike ends this afternoon and if you're in the vicinity of Marathon, Texas tonight you can join me in celebration of 21 years of mandolin nuttiness at the historic Gage Hotel's White Buffalo bar. I'm buying. Big Bend Brewing Company's Oktoberfest is sublime and I'm hoping there's one on tap like last year.

    I keep thinking I'm going to make a big deal out of these anniversaries, but I never do.

    Some very good friends help run this site and deserve our collective gratitude. It's for them this article is meant.

    My thanks to Ted Eschliman for leading the forum and for being a friend and mentor. Dan Beimborn for his expertise as a system administrator and programmer, allowing us to have features and the kind of speed and reliability that most large corporations can only dream of. Forum moderators Jamie Stanek and Charlie Jones for their valuable input and support of our members. Forum moderator Mike Edgerton who handles registration requests, a 24/7 job, and other various technical duties while I'm off the grid. Annie Tichenor for being my best friend, graphic artist and all-purpose business partner. If there's something that looks bad on the site, I'm responsible. If it looks good, she did it. And to Shannon Skye Tichenor, our musically talented college attending daughter who was not yet born when the site launched. She brought incredible new music into our house we never would have dreamed of hearing.

    In 1996 I wrote words that still appear on our About page, and yes, still apply today more than ever:

    We hope you enjoy your visit and find our site a welcome relief from the stress of life. Thank you for allowing us to indulge in this bit of fun.

    Thanks for visiting. Here's to the next 21 years.

    Scott, Annie & Shannon Tichenor and Mandolin Cafe staff
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. George R. Lane's Avatar
      George R. Lane -
      Scott and all you folks who work so tirelessly to keep the Café running so smoothly,
      THANK YOU.
    1. Don Julin's Avatar
      Don Julin -
      Nine more years and get a gold watch. Thanks for all you do for the mando-world.
    1. Rush Burkhardt's Avatar
      Rush Burkhardt -
      Thanks for:
      1. being the best mandolin site, without doubt!
      2. being the best interactive site, I've ever seen!
      3. your diligence and tremendous consistency!
      4. your support of the growth of the mandolin's popularity!
      Rush Burkhardt
    1. Mandomusic's Avatar
      Mandomusic -
      Awesome Website that keeps getting better. Thank you Scott!
    1. Cary Fagan's Avatar
      Cary Fagan -
      Congratulations and thanks! I'll raise a glass to the cafe!
    1. Fretbear's Avatar
      Fretbear -
      Thank you, Scott.
      That 70281 restoration in FJ is one of the most exciting things to ever happen in our world, and Mandolin Cafe was there to break the news about it.
      Best site on the web.
    1. Dale Ludewig's Avatar
      Dale Ludewig -
      Bravo, Scott. And thank you. And thanks to the moderators. And I agree: best site on the web.
    1. CES's Avatar
      CES -
      Happy 21st, MC! A toast to ya for sure!
    1. Elliot Luber's Avatar
      Elliot Luber -
      I was new to the mandolin a decade ago and found a friendly group of real experts who really took me by the hand, gave me accurate advice and got me started on what continues to be a very cool ride. Thanks Scott for creating this community.
    1. Denny Gies's Avatar
      Denny Gies -
      Wonderful work, Scott. Hope you have another 21 just as good. This remains my favorite web site and I continue to be impressed with the knowledge of the monitors and the camaraderie (sp) of all the members. Thanks.
    1. Sweetpea44's Avatar
      Sweetpea44 -
      Thank you for all that you do .... this website is my homepage! :-)
    1. fatt-dad's Avatar
      fatt-dad -
      right on!

    1. Alfons's Avatar
      Alfons -
      Congratulations, and THANKS to Scott and the team.
      It's an amazing gift that you are giving us every day with this site.
      Your efforts and your example have encouraged a great community to flourish and given it a place to grow.
    1. greenwdse's Avatar
      greenwdse -
      And it's packed with advice and entertainment - a museum and park devoted to all things Mando - a site that's never dull.
    1. Paul Statman's Avatar
      Paul Statman -
      Congratulations and big thanks for all that you do for the mando world. It is not a small thing.
    1. MikeEdgerton's Avatar
      MikeEdgerton -
      If anyone wants to take a trip back in time on the Mandolin Cafe check out this link to archive.org's Wayback machine. Pick the year, the blue circles are actual dates that a copy of the Cafe was archived.
    1. John Soper's Avatar
      John Soper -
      I'll add to the congratulations and KUDOs. My favorite site, bar none.
    1. Martin Ohrt's Avatar
      Martin Ohrt -
      Happy birthday
      And thank you so much for running this site!
    1. Jim Garber's Avatar
      Jim Garber -
      Thanks Scott and the gang as well as all the other mandolinists for my very favorite web site. Keep up the excellent work!
    1. Paul Kotapish's Avatar
      Paul Kotapish -
      Let me add to the chorus of thanks, Scott. This is a very impressive and always helpful site.