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Obituary for a fansite: AJAX USA (1995-2008)

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Obituary for a fansite: AJAX USA (1995-2008)

Postby Kowalczyk » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:29 am

Obituary for a fansite: AJAX USA (1995-2008)

We almost can’t believe we’re announcing this, but we are.

We’re calling it quits. Ajax USA is saying farewell.

You will have noticed that something changed in recent months. We were slower to the trigger than we used to be. We skipped a few match reports. We ignored some important news facts. We were not as good, not as relentlessly devoted as we once were.

The reason? It’s a combination of a few different things.

Firstly, our lives and careers have changed. Jim McGough, Ajax USA’s publisher, had no kids when he founded Ajax USA back in 1995. Now, he has two boys and a much busier job. Menno Pot, Ajax USA’s editor, was just starting out as a freelance journalist when he started writing match and news reports for Ajax USA, back in 1999. He, too, is much, much busier now. Finding the time to keep Ajax USA up-to-date has become an uphill battle, a struggle – and that’s not what we want Ajax USA to be.

But there’s something else, and we have to be honest about it. We don’t enjoy it as much anymore as we once did. We’re running out of steam and no: it’s got nothing to do with Ajax’s string of disappointing seasons. Some of Ajax’s worst seasons were great seasons for Ajax USA, so that’s not it. Our passion for Ajax is still there, and will always be, but our passion to write reports about every Ajax match, every news fact and – as frequently as possible – about the great history of our club... It died a death.

Finally, perhaps the most significant thing: our content has become a commodity. We’re just not necessary any longer, and that has taken the wind out of our sails.

Ajax USA has been there, in one form or another, since 1995. We’re older than Ajax.nl or any other still-published Ajax website. Ajax USA started, believe it or not, as a fax service, in 1995; Jim would collect Eredivisie news and results from Internet Bulletin Board Systems, or BBS sites (there was no Ajax news in English on the web; none) and then fax it to friends. Then, he briefly switched over to email distribution.

And then, in January of 1996, Jim launched the first version of Ajax USA, the website. He maintained it mostly alone, with a few contributions from guest writers. In the early days, Jim had technical help from some nerdy friends (you know who you are, Peter, Bruce and James). But it was mostly a one-man show.

Then, in 1999, Menno Pot began writing news and match reports, and his totally original historical content. Ajax USA was transformed, and really took off. We became the most popular, up-to-date and reliable source for Ajax news in English on the Internet. We were far better than the English version of Ajax.nl. Hell, let’s just say it, for once: for a long time we were the best out there, period. We were always 100% free of advertising and 100% independent. Thousands of ‘Ajax starved’ supporters from across the globe relied on us: they couldn’t watch Ajax games, and it was tremendously difficult for them to stay informed. In those days we provided a service that was badly needed. At our height, we could occasionally have more than ten thousand unique site visitors in a single day.

But times have changed. Almost every Ajax match is available online these days. Sometimes you pay a few bucks for it (and you’ll get a perfect feed with English commentary); sometimes you don’t pay a penny and you’ll be watching a grainy, semi-legal feed with some dude doing the play-by-play in Chinese. But it’s available. All of it. Ajax news in English has become a commodity. Every Ajax news fact can be read in English. Everywhere and almost immediately.

In other words: we’re just not needed any longer. We were there before the internet became a big thing, and we were way ahead of our time. Today we’re almost old-fashioned.

The combination of the above factors made us decide to pull the plug. We always promised ourselves to do so as soon as our passion began to evaporate, as soon as got the feeling that Ajax USA, our beloved little baby, was dying on us. We’ve reached that point. It’s time to go.

Jim and Menno will remain friends. We will continue to ‘talk Ajax’ on Ajax Talk and we will continue to moderate the English zones over there. Hopefully the Ajax USA community we created will stay more or less intact. It’s nice to know you. But Ajax USA, the website itself, is saying goodbye.

However, we’re not going to flush more than ten years of Ajax writing down the toilet: we’ll leave all of our legacy content online. The match reports, the news reports, the Eredivisie club profiles, the Ajax club history, 15 Years Ago... all of that will remain available. But there will be no more updates.

We did this for Ajax. We did it ‘cos it was fun. We did it because we thought we were pretty damn’ good at what we did. And last but not least: we did it for you. If we ever gave you the feeling that you were part of something, an Ajax ‘family’ of some sort, we achieved our goal.

Thank you for your support. In the words of Neil Young and Kurt Cobain: “My my, hey hey, it’s better to burn out than to fade away”. And don’t forget... always Ajax.

Jim McGough, Publisher
Menno Pot, Editor
Last edited by Kowalczyk on Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Hartstikke bedankt!

Postby grachtdog » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:58 am

What a sad e-mail I just read about the end of the ajax-usa website. And just a month after I moved from Amsterdam back to the USA. Anyway, thanks a million for all the match reports, histories and news that I have enjoyed over the last four years.

Now let's see LOTS of Ajax and Twente goals tomorrow!!

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Postby aveslacker » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:22 am

I'm sad, but I understand. Thanks for all the work you guys did. I'm honored to have been a witness to the best fansite in the world. I would wish you all the best, but I suspect no one who was brought here by the Ajax-USA site is leaving anyway.

Is it safe to say that the Ajaxtalk english language zone is staying around?
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Postby Neefkens » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:24 am

Menno and Jim,

You described your thoughts perfectly, i totally respect that.

As long as AJAXTALK exists, there will be a safe place for the English AJAX-fans all over the world to talk about the best club in the world.
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Postby ajax-erie » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:17 am


THANK YOU............

:ajax.gif: :anew.gif: :ajax.gif: :anew.gif:
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Postby DanK » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:17 am

Guys thanks for everything.

Not only have you allowed us starved of Ajax news in the past to feel as if we were in Amsterdam watching the games ourselves, you have also helped increase my knowledge of my favourite club in the Universe.

But best, and most important of all to me. I have met some of my best friends due to your site. We are a family and always will be.

Ajax USA will continue on this forum and hey there are always Ajax USA Rendezvous in Amsterdam in future years :ajaxscarf.gif:

Thanks again.
Last edited by DanK on Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Manneken Pis » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:18 am

I felt this coming, so its no surprise, even if it is sad news.

I completely understand guys ... things change.

Thanks for everything you did, you put out a top quality product for many years, for no reason other than love of the club ... respect.

My only hope is that the AjaxUSA "community" you established lives on here on Ajaxtalk as a testament to your pioneering endeavours....

“If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.”
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Postby SE6Ajacied » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:44 am

Well done guys - totally understand, I'm just amazed that you managed to keep going so long - almost a full time job in itself I'm sure.

Like Dan, I can honestly say that I've had some really great times and met some really good friends through this site. I'm not at Ajax as often as I'd like but when I am the welcome is always warm and genuine.

Thanks for all the hard work and I hope that our little community can continue through the English zones on here :ajax.gif:
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Postby SylvievdVaart » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:22 am

You guys! Such a sad thing! But I totally understand, of course...

And indeed... ALWAYS :ajaxscarf.gif:
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Postby Jesse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:45 am

Sad news, I always loved the match reports. But I totally understand, so thanks for everything!

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Postby joey » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:12 am

So sorry to read this. Thanks for everything, Jim and Menno. :worshippy.gif:
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Postby SPL » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:15 am

A Sad day. Thanks guys or all your hard work in making this the best fans site in the world.

I know I am still to come over and watch a game with you guys and this makes me a bit of a fraud but discovering your english site certainly changed my footballing life.

Yes we will continue on Ajaxtalk.

Thanks again.
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Postby Monkey Tonk » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:02 pm

Wow. A shocker.

Thanks for all the hard work you guys put into that site. Sad to see it go.
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Postby Cluijffert » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:27 pm

thanks guys for everything!
for quite some time you lot were my only Ajax source.
but understandable and smart choice, go out on top.
I was recently diagnosed with a stage 4 I don't give a shit, I'm afraid is terminal.
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Postby Rubin Stark » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:52 pm

Loved the impartial match reports.

Loved the 15 Years Ago stories - relived some wonderful memories through them.

Thanks, fellas.
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Postby bluedaddy19 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:07 pm

Heartbreaking, yet understandable. A huge thank you for everything, certainly including leaving the archives up. AJAX-USA was my beacon for a long time, and I'll never be able to repay you guys for keeping me that much closer to my true love.

HUP AJAX! :ajaxscarf.gif: :ajaxscarf.gif: :ajaxscarf.gif:
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Postby The Purple Cow » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:45 pm

Thanks for all your efforts guys, there are a lot of people out here who really appreciate what you've done for us.
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Postby Per » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:56 pm

I will always remember the high quality content that you continuously kept feeding us with.

I can truly say that a pillar of my internet usage and read is going to the grave.

Cheers and thanks guys!
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Postby eb » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:14 pm

I remember Ajax-USA when it was first introduced at Ajaxmania. If i'm correct the big 'O' when you talked about Ajax fan-sites. Weren't they also the first and only fansite to be admitted at Ajax? Edwin and his team imo laid the ground for other fansites like Ajax Netwerk,Ajax-USA to be founded. Too bad that another great site of the past is leaving the virtual world. Thanks for the memories guys. :ajaxsmiley.gif:
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Postby Venezuelan Ajacied » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:00 pm

I remember that at one point Ajax USA was like going to Church every sunday morning....it was a gate to the team we all love but because off geographical reasons could not watch...Its sad to see it go away but like everything in life we have to move on....thankyou guys for every single letter you wrote on the site....every single effort and best of all....the legacy of the site is right here....hundreds off ajax fans all over the world are united in this site all because of Ajax-USA.

Lets keep that way..... :ajaxsmiley.gif: :ajaxscarf.gif:
BRING IT ON !!!!...
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Postby sgordo » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:28 pm

Funny how you don't realize how important something is in your life (and how often you take it for granted) until it is suddenly gone. Nearly every day Ajax USA would be one of the first sites I would take a look at, knowing that I would find up-to-date and most important, well-written game summaries, news and other Ajax info.

Thanks for the great work all these years. Hopefully we can have an Ajax USA reunion in Amsterdam sometime down the road.

Now a practical question: what is now the best site to get well-written, current English language Ajax info?

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Postby raymon » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:59 pm

sgordo wrote:Now a practical question: what is now the best site to get well-written, current English language Ajax info?

Steve, NC

What about AjaxTalk? All news, rumours and match reports will be provided by the members for the members of AjaxTalk.
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Postby orange goblin » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:10 pm

thanks for all men

I have admired your devotion and also your elegant, sober style of writing. hope I'll meet you here, at least. you should promise this!!!

respect and support :headbang.gif:
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Postby sgordo » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:13 pm

Raymon wrote:

What about AjaxTalk? All news, rumours and match reports will be provided by the members for the members of AjaxTalk.

Since AjaxTalk has been the second site I go to after checking out Ajax-USA, I guess the answer to my question should have been obvious. Thanks.
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Postby jamcocteau » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:44 pm

Jim / Menno

Sad to see end of website - through the website got to meet a lot of great people not only from Amsterdam but all over globe. But at end of day times and people move on and can fully understand the reasons for you doing this. But just wish to say thanks for everything.

PS I see I got the honour of having last ever full match report - slainte :ajaxscarf.gif:
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