When Dave Reid was a freshman at MU in 1996, people were beginning to discover the Internet. EBay had been around for a year. Web sites for sports were rather bare, featuring scores, stats and recaps. Tiger fans had nowhere to congregate online and discuss their favorite team.
Reid created a Web site dedicated to MU sports using his student account. He posted his musings and analysis about MU sports. Soon, he was conversing with fans across the country via e-mail and including those remarks on the site. When the volume of e-mails became too overwhelming, he scrapped the format for a message board.
Although Reid didn’t advertise the site, fans learned about it through word-of-mouth and stumbled on it using search engines. He realized it was growing when a fan posted from the green land of Guinness.
“Someone from Ireland posted and said he was a big Tiger fan. He couldn’t get any news, and he loved coming on and being a part of it,” Reid said.
But the message board got too much traffic, jamming the network. MU could no longer host the site. The information technology department sent Reid an email telling him the message board was taking up 75 percent of the resources on one of the servers. As a student, Reid couldn’t afford to move the bulletin board elsewhere. He had to shut down the site during the summer of 1998.
But Nick Witthaus, who graduated from MU in 1992, resuscitated it. During one day at work in Chicago, the former computer science major made his daily visit to the site. But it was gone. He e-mailed Reid, and then offered to pay to host the site. TigerBoard.com was officially registered, and the two formed a business partnership.