The Original RC Social Media Site - RCGroups.com

Social media is such a buzzword now that you would think it is a new thing. RCGroups has been the social media site for RC enthusiasts since 1996!

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RCGroups.com, the Original RC Social Media Site

I have been around long enough in the RC hobby to see trends come and go - from brushed motors to brushless, from nickel-metal batteries to lipo, from underpowered park flyers to ballistic foam electric planes. I was on the phone with former Hobby Lobby product development manager Mike Hines (and now RCGroups reviewer). We were talking about all the changes we have personally witnessed and been a part of in the RC hobby. Back then it took me months to talk the Hobby Lobby execs into the idea that selling pre-printed foamy 3D planes was a good idea, and the rest was history (multiple top 10 selling aircraft that changed the way the hobby looked at foamy planes.)

When people think of social media they think of sites like Twitter and Facebook. While those are good for general social topics the real social media home for RC hobbyists has always been RCGroups. In 1996 RCGroups founder Jim Bourke started a web page called "The E zone." This was the very first RC related site on the web. In 1997 we became Ezonemag.com with a magazine-style format. In 1998 the forum was added and advertisers started coming on board.

Jim told me that this is when he started going to shows like Toledo to try and sell banner ads. At this point in time, many people were not even on the internet yet and laughed at the idea of trying to sell RC hobby products on this newfangled thing called the internet! In 2001 we went with a new name for a broader audience and adopted RCGroups.com for the first time.

By 2004 we were up to 2 million posts. By 2005 we had 4 million posts! I had been advertising with Jim Bourke as the marketing manager of Hobby Lobby and many of the ad spots on the site today were invented at that time via phone calls between Jim B. and myself. I also did event coverage for RCG. By 2007 I was working full time running RCGroups.com. Since then we purchased FlyingGiants.com and HeliFreak.com.

Fast forward to today and we have 39 million posts, over 3 million threads, and almost 10 million attachments! On any given weekday there are usually around 16,000 to 19,000 users on the site and around 1.2 to 1.7 million unique users per month (depending on the season).

Facebook - One and Done

In the past, there were just a few places to go to share your love for this hobby with other people. Nowadays the choices seem to be endless. At one point I tried to be on all these networks but these days I have concluded that for me RCGroups is my RC home. On a daily basis, myself, Jason Cole and our reviewers work hard to provide RC related news, updates, reviews, event info, and much more. We literally are focused on RC all day long.

While some folks do check out RC info on sites like Facebook I noticed after their latest data breach that people are less likely to click things. That site tends to control what you see and I have almost totally disengaged from it. Another issue with sites like these is after you post your text, images, or threads they evaporate. Your content literally falls off the earth after a certain amount of time. That is great for those that happen to see it but bad for folks looking for information in the future. That one aspect is enough to make you wonder why you are posting there.

RCGroups Is Pure Social Media

If social media is information created by your everyday person then RCGroups has it in spades. The amount of new threads per day is pretty amazing. For a finger on the pulse take a look at our forum spy and watch the content flow. The really great thing about posts on RCGroups is that they live on for RC pilots just like you and me that have a question in the future. What servo do I need? How do I set my transmitter up for this quad? What is this planes CG? I have had all these questions, sometimes at the field, and been able to answer them by searching RCGroups.com.

RCGroups has always been the place to read information on just about every RC vehicle out there. You can look at all the images in a thread with a click, and of course we are loaded with videos. That is social media in it's purest form and we have been doing that since 1998!

RCGroups - The Most Active RC Network Print or Internet

There is no web forum, no magazine, or site that has as many RC pilots on a daily basis interacting and providing information in the world bigger than RCGroups.com. That is a bold statement but true. If you are looking for anything RC related RCGroups has you covered.

RCGroups Around The World

Another cool thing to check out is our user map. This is a live visual that will give you an idea of all the people around the world that are on RCGroups at this very moment. It's always pretty amazing, and sometimes surprising, to see where our RCGroups family lives.

RCGroups and You

I was inspired to put all of this in writing because it is something that I have been pondering. Our hobby is in our hands. Each one of us is an ambassador to the hobby and it is up to us to keep it moving forward. I want to thank all the users over the years that have made RCGroups their home. The amount of useful information posted on our site is mind-blowing. It also is the lifeblood of our hobby. It encourages others and provides much-needed information for those just starting out in the hobby. The videos posted get other hobbyists excited about their own possibilities. Making people aware of events also helps push the hobby forward. From a funny post to a very elaborate build thread, all of these things are positive for the hobby we love. I have run this site and our partner sites for over a decade and I know how important is to keep all of this moving forward into the future. Plus it keeps our minds engaged and entertained!! I look forward to the next phase of the hobby and RCGroups.com!

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Jun 12, 2018, 05:15 PM
Sam Talley
Ranger13's Avatar

Not a Charter Member


I am not a charter member, but have been a member of RCGroups since May 2003. I am fortunate to belong to the Edwin Warner Model Aviators whose members include Jason Cole, Jim T. Graham, and Mike Hines.

This group is the most amazing source of knowledge and its members are the most helpful modelers anywhere.
Last edited by Ranger13; Jun 12, 2018 at 06:45 PM.
Jun 12, 2018, 07:59 PM
Registered User
Zoomer-Ron's Avatar
I've been around since the beginning. Always admired Jim Bourke, and you guys who keep it going.

Here is one of my reviews from 1997.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...rocraft-Apache
Jun 13, 2018, 06:37 AM
MK
MK
Registered User
I just checked my Join Date. Yikes! Has it been so long ago??? Time flies when you are having fun!
Jun 13, 2018, 07:49 AM
Registered User
Captain Dunsel's Avatar
I can honestly say I was a member of the E-Zone when it was just a mailing list (using another name, Bill Bowne). I later had to ask Jim delete that account as I'd been personally threatened by someone who found where I lived based on that name and disagreed with some of my posts in the LTUP forum.

I also met Jim when he and I both worked at the Air Force Global Weather Center, in Offutt AFB, circa 1993/94 (I retired in '94).

A bit of trivia: When R/C Groups was still Ezonemag.com, you had to be careful when typing in the URL. If you left off the 'mag' part, you were directed to a very nasty gay p**n site!

R/C Groups is the only social forum site I use. I deactivated my Facebook account, and don't use my Flite Test account. I prefer the interaction and technical information I can get/give, here, over the more, well, social info passed on sites like Facebook.

CD
Last edited by Captain Dunsel; Jun 13, 2018 at 08:05 AM.
Jun 13, 2018, 01:55 PM
Team Spektrum FPV
aaronredbaron's Avatar
RCG, maybe it should be called RC OG.... facebook schmacebook, try digging for any usefull info, its useless as a resource because the questions just get recycled in circles, the users of RCG + the admins have created the worlds biggest RC info database!

...and Jim Bourke can fly the heck out of any airplane!
Jim Bourke One Wing Landing (1 min 38 sec)
Jun 13, 2018, 07:36 PM
100% electric since 1990
twest's Avatar
I joined “the e-zone” in 1996, and met Jim that same year while he lived in Massachusetts.

I even made it into a group photo with some of the ezone guys at KRC 1996:
https://www.rcgroups.com/articles/ez...96/krcface.htm

My name is Tyler West and I’m in the bottom row of the group shot. 22 years older and 25 lbs heavier!

Edit: here is a better picture from the 1997 KRC write up: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...997-KRC-E-vent
Last edited by twest; Jun 14, 2018 at 02:45 PM.
Jun 13, 2018, 08:11 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomer-Ron
I've been around since the beginning. Always admired Jim Bourke, and you guys who keep it going.

Here is one of my reviews from 1997.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...rocraft-Apache
It says under your name you joined in 2002.
Jun 13, 2018, 10:03 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Great stuff! Awesome to see this the videos and photos!
Jun 14, 2018, 08:00 AM
Registered User
Captain Dunsel's Avatar
Here's a link to a design I gave to Jim, to help the the E-Zone get started:

I think there were some 'hiccups' back in the E-Zone's early days, requiring re-re-registration, etc. So, some start dates aren't accurate.

CD
Jun 14, 2018, 09:10 AM
"Mongo like beans"
maddmatter's Avatar

New Era


I believe, with the advent of seriously good and "less expensive" stabilization tech, the RC hobby is about to boom majorly, in ways only the future can know.
Jun 14, 2018, 10:09 AM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel
Here's a link to a design I gave to Jim, to help the the E-Zone get started:



I think there were some 'hiccups' back in the E-Zone's early days, requiring re-re-registration, etc. So, some start dates aren't accurate.

CD
I still have that one saved on my computer and every year I think, "This is the year I'll build this one."
Well, I am getting really close to that point now. It will definitely be my next balsa build.

Ken
Jun 14, 2018, 10:14 AM
Team Spektrum FPV
aaronredbaron's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel
Here's a link to a design I gave to Jim, to help the the E-Zone get started:



I think there were some 'hiccups' back in the E-Zone's early days, requiring re-re-registration, etc. So, some start dates aren't accurate.

CD
how cool is that? Just imagine how well that would fly with a modern and lightweight power system!.... the days of 20 NiCad cells and a huge geared brushed astroflight motor
Jun 14, 2018, 11:28 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel
A bit of trivia: When R/C Groups was still Ezonemag.com, you had to be careful when typing in the URL. If you left off the 'mag' part, you were directed to a very nasty gay p**n site!
Oh yeah, I remember hitting that once. A few days later I had a filter machine set up so we didn't go there any more!

I used to subscribe to the mailing list too - Doug Ingraham got me going on that.

It's been a while!

Andy
Jun 14, 2018, 11:51 AM
Registered User
I absolutely detest Facebook for anything RC.

Maybe I am a dinosaur, but I prefer forums - and RCG is a good one. It's big and sprawling, with a lot of activity. FB is unbearable for all things RC IMVHO. Selling is imposible - getting caught up in some 50-message exchange with a teenager, who jumps ship at the last second. Or the same teenager posting a search message with retardedly unrealistic price expectations. Then the fanboy cliqueishness... Even virus porny nonsense I've seen from them in RC related FB groups. Godawful.
Last edited by Herrsavage; Jun 14, 2018 at 11:57 AM.


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