Serious Explorations - March 1, 2004


Tazmanian Veteran
Jan 1, 2004
"Serious Explorations" ( is an online community for owners of Ford Explorer and Ford Ranger based vehicles. Launched in June of 1996 using a script from Matt's Script Archive, enlarged to use UBB, Serious Explorations now utilizes vBulletin's forums software for its 21,000+ Explorer enthusiasts.

Site demographics include at least 90% men. Additionally, 90% of the users are from the US. Canada and Australia make up the next largest percentage of our audience however Explorer enthusiasts join from all over the world.

Integrating Photopost Gallery into the forums, "Serious Explorations" website is built around the forums providing discussions on General Explorations, Modified Explorations, Under the Hood, Explorer Audio in addition to forums for swaps, projects, finding accessories, parts and more. Additional community forums for general discussions (for everything else under the sun!) include photography, politics, RC models, ham radios and a pile of other forums which all stay busy with community discussions.

Special features of the site include a "Truck of the Week" which is selected and highlighted on the forum home page. Besides the member's photo gallery, the site offers a chatroom for more Explorer talk.

Taking their community offline, Serious Explorations created site sponsored off-road vehicle runs which Ford Motor Company has taken an interest.

Serious Explorations has one administrator, one Linux Server "Guru", 30 moderators. The administrator also serves as web developer with software integration and forum tweaks.

Revenue is generated from banner ads which are sold to companies relevent to the Ford Explorer topic. While registration to Serious Explorations is free, "Elite Explorers" is an opt-in club with a $30.00 membership fee. "Elite Explorers" receive additional website benefits including: the ability to use an avatar, the ability to use the PhotoPost Gallery and the ability to upload photos directly to the site. "Elite Explorers" also receive an email address at According to the website's administrator, "This has turned into a slow, but steady source of income for the site. Out of 21,000 members we have just over 350 "Elite Explorers"."

Although the site is dedicated to Ford Explorers the community has grown into a very large family where numerous other topics are discussed. With the help of excellent moderators and users who expect a clean, friendly site, Serious Explorations has managed to keep everything running smoothly for the enjoyment of the many fans of Ford Explorers.

Rick Horowitz, owner and administrator of Serious Explorations has lived in Glendale, AZ for about 20 years after transplanting from the Chicago suburbs. He graduated from Denver Automotive and Diesel College in 1981 and worked as a mechanic for five years. Returning to college, he received an AA from Glendale Community College and became a commercial photographer in 1990. In the mid '90s he found a new interest on the internet and began playing with digital photography and web site design.

"I quickly became hooked and incorporated all of my hobbies, and talents into one area. What better way to share my knowledge about a vehicle then to build a site on the WWW. What started out as a site to '"brag" about my own truck soon became a thousand strong, then 10,000 now 20,000. It's been quite an amazing few years! Ford Motor Company has even sent teams of engineers with us on three of our site sponsored off-road vehicle runs. They were interested in what we were doing with our Explorers and wanted to see what they could learn from us and eventually bring to the public in a new vehicle."

The Admin Zone congratulates Rick Horowitz for the outstanding online community he has built for Ford Explorers: Serious Explorations. May Ford Explorer fans continue to enjoy your community online and off.


Feb 2, 2004
Thanks very much!! I am honored to have my site recognized by the Admin Zone and it's members.