With 50,000 registered users, Crappie.com is a “go to” location for crappie fishermen all across the country.
Established in 1996, one of the earliest online places for fishermen to read about crappie fishing was the Internet Forum called crappie.com. The site’s popularity makes it a go-to spot for people wanting to ask questions, read about what’s going on with other crappie fishermen and to get state-specific information. The fact that the site has grown every one of its 23 years is a great testimony to its popularity and fun. Two of the main ingredients for success are creators/administrators Ed Moes and David Shandes.
At the October Crappie Expo in Hot Springs, Arkansas, crappie.com members had the chance to visit with. CrappieNOW visited with the duo as well, enjoying a lot of laughs and great fishing stories.
Ed Moes (a.k.a. Slab)
Ed Moes created Crappie.com. He bought several domain names (web addresses). One was crappie.com. He put up one message board and said everything snowballed from there.
“I go to events, like the Crappie Expo in Hot Springs and the state crappie.com fishing events, because my wonderful wife encourages me,” says Moes, also known as “Slab”, owner of crappie.com. “I’m such a homebody that I’ll stay home all the time, get out to fish on the lake I live on, and seldom go anywhere else unless she pushes me. But once out, I really enjoy going, especially when I can be around crappie fishermen.”
Moes says he tent camped for years and enjoyed it, but his wife got to where she wouldn’t go, so he bought a fifth-wheel camper to travel to events and vacations. He says it’s more fun, comfortable and something they both enjoy.
“We live in Florida and are into scuba diving. We are advanced divers now. Not my idea, I’m just trying to keep up with my wife, who is also a marathon runner with way too much energy.”
What is something about Ed that most people do not know?
“Nothing. My life is an open book and it’s all there on the website. I write about my adventures. I have them chronologically listed so when I get Alzheimer’s late on, I’ll be able to read it and remember,” chuckles Ed.
“Crappie.com is still growing. Facebook gets a lot of traffic, but unlike them, we have a clean site and our members appreciate that. There was a time in the beginning when we lost some members because we refused to let them put stuff up that we didn’t think appropriate. It was a questionable time for the site but that was really the turnaround for us. We made up for the members we lost and have grown ever since.”
How would you like to be remembered?
“As the owner of crappie.com, who kept it family-friendly all these years,” said Moes.
David Shandes (a.k.a. “G”)
Known as “G,”, Shandes is a primary moderator for crappie.com. He lives near Tupelo, Mississippi.
“I was in some other online forums and started helping with crappie.com. I spotted some things that needed to be changed, so Ed gave me the buttons to push,” said Shandes. “Ed and I are very good friends, but through the years we’ve butted heads and argued a little. But, whoever wins, we just keep going on and are good with it. We have 50,000 members now, all family-friendly that kids can read. Any bad stuff we spot, we get it off immediately.”
What does it take to moderate?
“A lot of time and the person has to be interested in the website. After I got into it and Ed and I became best friends, my interest level went up and that helps.”
David doesn’t fish much now because of age and a fishing partner who is very sick. However, he loves to go out with others while at the fishing camps.
“The people on the site are great and many have become good friends of mine,” he said.
Moes says, “We have 100 moderators on crappie.com who do a great job and they all watch for problems on the site. But “G” has the vast majority of the work. He allows me to run the server, go to camps and he takes care of the rest. He keeps me straight and between the lines, meaning some things I might have let go, he insists on keeping super-clean and I appreciate that. He has been so valuable to our website, there are no words that does justice. He is a big reason the site has been so successful.”
(Tim Huffman has specialized in crappie fishing writing and photography since 1988. He is currently the Editor/Senior Writer for Crappie Masters Magazine, freelance contributor to four magazines, book author and Senior Writer for CrappieNow Digital Magazine.)