10 years ago today, I officially became a part of the Scooby-Doo online fandom. This may seem insignificant to some, and many may not even remember the day they became online fans. (I have a very strange memory, like I'll forget some things yet remember exact dates I did things from years ago!) However, I still feel this particular date is incredibly significant to my memories of being a Scooby fan, and how I've grown personally over the years.
In this article, I wanted to share how I became a Scooby fan, and how I got into the online fandom along with my adventures with it over the years. I personally find learning about how people became Scooby fans very interesting, so hopefully I don't bore you to death. I'm probably not super interesting, but there are a few fun little stories from my experience as a fan that you all may find interesting and/or amusing.
I first became a Scooby fan back in the 1990's, when my parents introduced me to the show. I wish I could remember how old I was, but I know I was about 7 or 8. At that time, reruns of Scooby episodes were airing on a network called USA. The very first episode I ever saw was "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. Throughout my childhood, I began getting more and more into Scooby, though somewhat selectively. The USA Network only ever aired Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and The Scooby-Doo Show, so I didn't necessarily ever see the other series until I was older. I still remember my parents recording some of the episodes on VHS tapes, which I believe I actually may still have today in storage. I also played some of the older Scooby video games, though I can't really remember which ones unfortunately.
When I was about 12 or 13, sadly puberty hit, and as you all know that can be a very confusing and challenging time. I wasn't ever super popular (honestly, most of the popular people at my school were jerks and I didn't want to be anything like them), but I was semi-popular and had a lot of friends. Around that time, I started getting really self-conscious about myself, and was determined to eliminate any characteristic or interest that might be perceived as "immature." This unfortunately also included Scooby, because I believed it wasn't "mature" to like a cartoon with a target audience of children. For many years, I pretended I no longer liked Scooby-Doo at all. After a few months, the interest completely faded and I didn't have to pretend I didn't like Scooby anymore, because I actually didn't like it.
I still regret doing that a bit today, as I should have just been myself and not cared what others thought of me. At that time, I was in a "I'm too mature for you" phase (as most teenagers are), and liking Scooby wasn't compatible with most of my teenage phases and angst. When I was about 18 and just beginning college in 2008, I started realizing it didn't actually matter what people thought of me, and I didn't need to apologize for what I liked and disliked, as long as I was happy with myself. I finally accepted that liking Scooby was one of my (many!) personality quirks, started watching a few of the early What's New, Scooby-Doo? episodes.
Around this time, I started exploring the online Scoobyverse, which was pretty small at that time. I had certainly gone online before obviously, but I had never really had any experience with being on a forum or talking with others beyond email, as the Internet was just becoming big around that time. I'm pretty sure it was July 7, 2008 that I discovered ScoobyAddicts.com. I explored the site, and remember finding it incredibly helpful and interesting, given I hadn't seen much of the Scrappy-Doo or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo years. I was also beginning to collect Scooby DVDs again, so I remember finding that the site had the release date of Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue Volume 2 incredibly helpful. (The release date was the next day, July 8, for those curious).
A few days later, on July 10, I visited the ScoobyAddicts forum for the very first time. There were only 7 members on there at the time, since ScoobyAddict had just started the forum in April. At 9:25am (is it weird I remember the exact time? I actually didn't even have to look it up lol), I officially signed up for an account on the ScoobyAddicts forum as the 8th member. As an aside, just because I'm a huge nerd, this post was officially published at 9:25am, the exact time I was making an account for the ScoobyAddicts forum 10 years ago.
People always ask me how I came up with the name "Doo" (if you're not familiar with that name, it's the username I'm known under on the ScoobyAddicts forum), and if it's secretly some super interesting name. As I said, this was my first time ever coming up with a username for an online forum. I struggled to think of one, so I thought "oh, Scooby's last name is Doo, I'll just pick that." I thought I could change it later if I thought up something more interesting within the next few weeks. Little did I know, I would still be going by that username 10 years later haha!
So I had joined the ScoobyAddicts forum, and much of the next few hours was just spent looking around the forum and experimenting with the different features. I finally made my first post, which I believe was posting an announcement for the release of Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King. Embarassingly, I really had no idea about the reliablility of Scooby sites back then, so I actually interadvertently posted a fake summary! I would look back to see if that was actually my first post, but admittedly I'm still a little embarassed about it lol.
Within the next few days, I started posting a bit and interacting with the other seven members. The funny part about this is that we were all teenagers, which I would presume was our first experience on a forum, so we were all soooo awkward. If you ever want to see something amusing, go back and read my posts from 2008. They were all a sentence or less, sometimes just two or three words. (Don't judge me, I had absolutely no idea how to Internet back then! haha)
Over the years, I got less awkward (as did everyone else) and started making posts that were more than a sentence. It's amusing to see the difference between how I talked to people online then and how I do now. At least half of my posts are like a paragraph, sometimes multiple paragraphs. I believe one of my private messages with someone right now is nearly 20 paragraphs long (per message)...for those who haven't messaged me/emailed me privately I can be really talkative sometimes haha.
That brings us to 2010, as quite frankly nothing really interesting happened in 2009. Back before ProBoards updated things in 2013, the private messages were absolutely awful to navigate. I remember when I joined, in the place where the banner ad is on ScoobyAddicts now (for those of you familiar with it), there would be a flashing icon with a picture of a letter which said "You have 1 new message!" It was horribly set up, and in honesty I thought it was just an ad! So between 2008 and 2010, I did not check my personal messages at all because I thought it was just a fake advertisement.
The Scooby gods must have been smiling down on me, because on March 7, 2010, I finally decided to click on the "ad" just to see if it was actually something legitimate. Sure enough, on February 27 (I think?), ScoobyAddict had sent me a message. The message said that she loved how passionate I was about the forum, as well as how friendly and mature I seemed. She asked if I was interested in co-adminning the site with her, as she needed some extra help. I felt incredibly honored that she would ask me to undertake such an important position. I gladly accepted, and many of you know I still am a co-admin there today.
I still am in awe of that amazing coincidence, to be honest. How weird is that, that I would not check my messages for years, and the week I happened to finally take a risk was the week ScoobyAddict asked me to be an admin. There was also another message from July 2008, which asked me to "Join the Yahoo Scooby Fan Group!" I never ended responding to it, since I felt so embarrassed it took two years to reply. If you're reading this ScoobyObsessed, I would have loved to join your Yahoo Scooby Fan Group if it were still active, lol.
My first day as an admin was a bit interesting. We rarely ever get spammers on ScoobyAddicts, and we had even less so back then. I believe we had only had one spammer before I became an admin. But the day I became an admin, a spammer came on and was asking for people to go to the store for him and send him Scooby DVDs. While this was pretty sketchy already, he also made it very clear he had no intention of paying anyone back. Obviously, SpiderScooby (another person ScoobyAddict asked to be an admin, who currently runs the amazing ScoobyFan.net, in addition to still co-adminning the site with ScoobyAddict and myself) and I had to deal with the issue. It wasn't a hard issue to deal with, and I believe the person was just a young kid who didn't really have a concept of money yet.
And in case you were entertained by that last spam story, I'll share my favorite instance of spam just because it's so old and I doubt the person is reading this post. Back in 2010, someone spammed eight different threads with requests to make him bootleg DVDs of the missing Scooby-Doo Show episodes. I remember messaging him, requesting he not ask for people to do illegal things for him that could get them in serious trouble. He refused and responded very inappropriately, so unfortunately we ended up having to ban him. 6 months later, after I had already forgotten about the issue, he came back under a nearly identical username, and didn't post any more spam. Rather, he privately messaged me apologizing for spamming eight threads, but said he would pay me "a fair wage" if I allowed him to spam four threads instead of eight. I mean seriously, what were you expecting my response to be? "Well, if it's only four...sure!" lol. Most amusing spam story to date, other than the famous "rappers" (P. Diddy, Jay-Z and Kanye West to be precise) who emailed me through my contact form, claiming they were selling insurance and wanted to cut me in on some of their profits. They were very nice though, they gave me "a week to respond, or else we gon' call up Snoop Dogg instead". Ah trolls and spammers can be so amusing lol.
In 2014, as you all know, I started this site. I won't go much into that, as I've already explained how I decided to create it on other posts, and you can read about it on the History of the Site page. I decided to go by the username "WildwindVampire" on here, which to be honest, was because I wanted a slightly cooler username than Doo. I've always loved the Legend of the Vampire movie, and liked the name "Wildwind" (which interestingly has now unintentionally become a nickname a lot of people call me by - I love it though! <3), so I decided to add the word "Vampire" onto it and call myself "WildwindVampire." I'm super indecisive with usernames, like I could change to a different username every week. I think up a cool username, and then two seconds later I'm like, "oh, this new username would be so much cooler than the one I just picked!" lol.
This site has been such an important part of my ten years in the online Scooby fandom. It's been awesome seeing the site grow and develop (partially due to you all!), since after all I've taken care of the site since it was just a pup haha! :) I still love writing the fun facts every week, and continue to be amazed that I've been doing this for nearly 200 weeks now. It continues to be a lot of fun researching and writing the fun facts every week, and I hope it's brought as much happiness into your Mondays as it has into mine.
I personally hate when people pretend like things haven't happened just because it didn't go well or "it's behind them." Even though this site's forum is a thing of the past, I still am so grateful to GroovyScooby and Scoob16 for helping me start out. They were both such an important part of the site coming to be what it is now, and I definitely will never forget the contributions and support they gave me!
I also want to give a special thank you to ScoobyAddict and SpiderScooby, my fellow admins over at the ScoobyAddicts forum. I have loved working with you both, and I really appreciate all the support you've given me and the kindness you've showed me over the years. It has been an amazing experience working with you both these past several years. Much love and hugs to both of you! I also want to say thank you to former admin j3h, who had to step down for personal reasons. It was a pleasure working with you as well and I miss having you around the forum. I love the forum (and this site!) with all my heart, and genuinely miss checking it and talking to people when I'm having a busy streak or am not able to log on much.
There are SO many amazing Scooby fans I've met over the years, and I wish I could give a shout-out to each and every one of them. The kindness and compassion you've all shown me has been amazing, and I truly feel like Scooby-Doo one of the most wonderful fandoms out there. I feel so lucky to be able to talk and interact to such friendly, respectful, and amazing fans! I've felt so accepted, loved and supported with every decision I've made, from becoming an admin to starting my own site and blog, and I appreciate you all so much. The ScoobyAddicts forum and the blog have been great places to express myself and how I feel as a fan, whether it's discussing, brainstorming ideas or just being silly.
Thanks to all the Scooby fans for making these past 10 years so wonderful for me, and here's to another fantastic 10 years! Scooby fans are the best around as far as I'm concerned! I've learned so much from you all the past 10 years and have grown a lot as a fan. Thank you for reading this far, and hopefully you found this post interesting (and hopefully I didn't sound too corny, though I genuinely feel that way about everything I wrote in this post!). It was really fun getting to write this post! Reliving all those great memories hit me right in the feels! <3
~ WildwindVampire ~