History of Mikomos
While I was dating I always had a hard time finding good places. Between hearing about a spot, finding someone who had been there, making sure it was open, getting directions, etc., planning a date took me an entire day. And I was in Yeshiva. I thought about how much harder it must be for those without a close group of friends willing to be hocked.
At first I was thinking small. I was going to create a binder for use by the Bnei HaYeshiva. This was an idea that many thought and even started before, but never worked out. Later on, I figured that using web technology I could combine everybody’s ideas and come up with a useful resource. So on April 23, 2007 Mikomos was born. I didn’t have any intention of it being a site used by the community. But the response I received from my friends in Yeshiva was (ahem, you know who you are :) ) lackluster. Instead, I began thinking big: combining the ideas of everyone in our community. First, I tried finding a site that already existed because I wasn't so interested in doing this myself. I was surprised to see that there was nothing beyond one page lists. (I recently found goitguide which may have the claim of being the first site of this type, though it was limited to Toronto.) As you can see, Mikomos was done as a chesed. The idea never was to make money. As of today, Mikomos is running a huge deficit that we hope to make up some day. Though if we all get rich on it I won't complain :).
Mikomos was originally hosted on a free wiki farm. It looked nothing like it does today. In order to have the freedom to implement the features we needed, it was necessary to move to our own host. I prepared to move the site to a shared host I'd found. Luckily, around this time I was schmoozing with Doofus and he generously offered to add us to his account. To this day, he takes care of all the insanely complicated backend server and db type stuff I'd hate to do. He is the reason that Mikomos is on its own dedicated server.
A problem with wikis in general is that nobody wants to add stuff until there’s already a lot of content there. People want to be sure that others will use the info that they add. So how do you get a lot of content? That’s where Cdo came in. Cdo worked tirelessly, adding hundreds and hundreds of places. This freed me up to work on new features; I have personally added very little content.
So, thanks to both of you. I don’t know what the site would look like today (if it even existed) without you guys. While I’m at it, I must thank Yaron Koren, author of IMHO the best Mediawiki extensions out there. Without Semantic Forms (the form you see when adding or editing mikomos) we would certainly not have 1000+ mikomos. Thanks Yaron for all of your help. Finally, thanks to all contributors and all those who spread the word. 1500 here we come!