When I started this website more than a decade ago I did not make a note of exactly when I started it. For years, the earliest files relating to the website I could find on my computer(s) were from April of 1999. At some point last year while digging around I found files suggesting that in fact I may have started it in late 1998. Until I find conclusive proof, April 1999 will stay the “official” launch month and that means it has been 13 years since I began what eventually would become MASH4077TV.com.
During the early years, the site bounced around between freebie web hosting services like Xoom and FortuneCity (but never GeoCities, if I recall correctly). In early 2001 it moved to Tripod, another freebie host. Shortly thereafter, it transitioned to the paid Tripod service, which primarily meant no advertising. The name of the site was officially changed to M*A*S*H — Finest Kind in February of 2002. It moved to its own domain name (www.finest-kind.net) in October of 2002. For many years, it was a general “fan site” featuring an episode list, character profiles, pictures and sound files. Following a three month hiatus, the site relaunched in April of 2004 with a new emphasis on exploring the history of M*A*S*H. In August of 2007, the site switched to a blog format utilizing WordPress. After another hiatus, this one lasting six months, the site moved to a new domain name (www.mash4077tv.com) in May of 2011.
There were already a number of websites dedicated to M*A*S*H in existence when I launched mine, including Andy Lawson’s M*A*S*H 4077th Home Page (launched in
1996? mid-1995), J.W. Price’s long-defunct M*A*S*H 4077th Page (launched in 1996?), David Long’s Best Care Anywhere (launched in January 1997), and Andreas Helm’s M*A*S*H Homepage (launched September 1998). There have been dozens of other M*A*S*H sites over the past two decades, many of which came and went in a matter of months. There used to be a website dedicated solely to selling M*A*S*H collectibles and memorabilia (The Supply Tent) and another focusing on an incredible collection of M*A*S*H collectibles and memorabilia (The M*A*S*H Museum).
My interest in M*A*S*H has fluctuated wildly at times over the past 13 years. I believe I’ve mentioned in the past that I very rarely watch M*A*S*H these days. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve actually seen a single episode so far this year. Nevertheless, at the moment I have a few things in the works, including an article about M*A*S*H on VHS/DVD and another about the 2008 Malibu Creek State Park site restoration (which I’ve been meaning to write since 2008). And I have some plans on the drawing board to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the series in September.
I would be very interested in hearing about how and when people first found this website (and whether it was under the old M*A*S*H Finest Kind name). I’ve often wondered if anyone who visited the site way back in the late 1990s has followed it over the past 13 years or so and is still visiting.