Once upon a time... - race-deZert.com

Once upon a time…

The year was 1998 and my good friend Paul and I were driving back from the 1998 SCORE Laughlin Desert race where we had a fun weekend of shooting photos and video. During that drive the idea was born to create a website dedicated to desert racing.

At the time there where only two popular websites around that featured desert racing related content. Off-road.com headed by Pat Chicas at the time, and Extreme-offroad. We aligned ourselves more with the eXtreme site and saw ORC as the competitor to beat. In hindsight that is a silly way of thinking but that’s how it was.

So on the drive home Paul and I thought about key elements this new site ought to have. A forum was a new concept at the time but that was THE app to have on this new website we wanted to create. We started out with a guestbook called “the deZert people” where people could sign in and post about desert racing. We later installed a traditional style message board (aka forum) in 2001 that was named the deZert people 2.0.

We also had this video gold mine. We managed to be at the right place at the right time and captured what later became legendary trophy truck video content. All of those videos became the internet gold we used as an eye-candy foundation to launch something great. Of course this being 1998/1999 all content was analog and had to get scanned or digitized. Video sharing platforms like YouTube where founded 6 years later.

Some domain names similar to race dezert where taken but I really wanted those two names in the site name since the site is about racing and in the desert. I once heard this phrase of “race the freaking desert” and it resonated highly. So we spelled it with a Z and many years later painfully bought all the domain names spelling desert with a S, with and without dash. Instead of hiding the Z we emphasized it and it quickly became the hip cool thing.

There are other brands and websites that have emerged afterwards also using a Z in deZert. We take it as a flattering compliment whenever we see it.

So on that long drive back home from Laughlin, NV to Southern California this new website idea was formed. And on exactly this day 20 years ago race-deZert.com was registered as a domain name.

There are a few off road websites that are 20 years old and that is an accomplishment to be proud of. However, RDC is the only one we know of still ran by its original founders.

Today we proudly celebrate our 20 year anniversary and would like to thank all of our fans, friends, forum users and advertisers for being with us over the last two decades. RDC has evolved in many ways over the years and we plan on continuing that path throughout the future.

To commemorate the 20 year anniversary our official RDC logo will feature the roman numeral XX stamp for a limited time and there will be a couple more “specials” during the year.

Thank you for your loyalty.

6 Comments

  1. I can remember having my own site as well as my in house production company and thinking, “I can keep up with these guys”. I was struggling to get my videos and pictures uploaded as quickly as possible after each race while still editing and selling VHS copies to the racers. Once the dezert people from took off and the videos started being burned to DVD I realized that I had no chance of keeping up so I decided to submit my clips for the guys to add to the dezert people series. Well done Klaus. It was nice talking with you over the years, Blazersracing (Brian Fenton)

  2. Keep up the good work! Now that I live in Iowa it helps me keep in touch with the dezert back home. Thanks for the great content the past 20 years, I look forward to many years to come!

  3. 20 years in this day and age is a monumental achievement, and something to be very proud of. 2004 was the year I discovered the site and have been hooked ever since. Thanks for the many years of great content and for bringing the race deZert community toether from all over the world. Thanks, Klaus.

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