Surfers Choice made it’s debut in October of 1995 (although I did run it on Compuserve in late 1994). During that time we have reviewed in excess of 60,000 Web sites (my best approximation). A great deal of dedication and time was donated by myself and a handful of very special volunteers along the way.
However, it was very much a lonely effort with many all-nighters just to keep pace and provide good service. Without ever planning for it or even thinking about it, Surfers Choice has become recognized, desired and appreciated Internet Award. I am humbly proud of this and so are those who assisted. In addition, we are forever grateful to people who have become a part of our Net lives and have honored us with their friendship. I love you and may God Bless you all.
After about one full year in operation we began to receive about 90 review applications each day – between 2,500 – 3,000 each month. There is simply no way that a site providing this type of service can handle this type of volume. Just opening one’s browser and having a preview of this many sites is a full time job on its own.
As one might expect a free service, especially for an award, attracts a crowd. So, in spite of the fact the we post a complete set of submission standards, all too many people have little or no regard for these and post their unqualified sites regardless. Without getting into boring details suffice to say, like many other directory, portal and search services, have recently done, we started a fee based service in early 1997.
We are now watching free Internet services disappear quicker than a case of Pear Liquor at a Polish wedding. Advertisers simply cannot support this so-called free Internet (from free hosting to free dial-up) anymore. For us the only way to stem the tide was to charge a reasonable fee and provide good services to support it. Our new mandate is to provide higher levels of service and offer affiliate programs and other methods of working with those site owners that choose to enhance their presence here by working with us. Our direction is to become a recognized “Best of the Web” directory. A lofty goal, but we settle for anything less. This has drastically reduced submissions from those site owners that aren’t serious about their sites presence.
We now have the distinct pleasure of dealing with those that appreciate our services and don’t mind the small fee. In turn we have more time and resources to provide more than just recognition, but some real presence to our awarded sites.